Observed as a national holiday, Independence Day in India is celebrated with undaunting pride and carries a sense of glory since it was on this day, that is August 15, in the year 1947, when India was officially declared free from the 200-years-old tyranny of British rule. This day reminds us of the sacrifices of many gallant freedom fighters who laid down their lives in making India, independent. The Independence Day of India is also marked as the anniversary date of our subcontinent’s partition into India and Pakistan.
India celebrates this day with great excitement and love for its country. Streets are adorned with tricolour flags and buntings. On the eve of Independence Day, the President of India addresses the nation. The celebration kicks off with the arrival of the Prime Minister at the Red Fort. After accepting the Guard of Honour, he walks to the podium to address the nation. Synchronised with 21 honorary gun salutes, the Prime Minister hoists the National Flag, followed by a moving rendition of the National Anthem, ‘Jana Gana Mana.’ Countrymen feel proud of their nation and its achievements after gaining freedom from the shackles of Colonial Rule. This day is celebrated as the National Festival of India.
With the arrival of the East India Company in the 16th Century, India’s colonisation began. They entered the subcontinent with the intention of trade, however, they didn't restrict to that as they began to overpower India with their adroitness and massive military strength. By 1757, they suppressed and subdued innumerable smaller kingdoms and gained a hold over many parts of the Indian states.
The tyranny of the East India Company created resentment among the Indians that led to a rebellious attitude. Known as the Sepoy Mutiny, the first revolt by Indians started in 1857 in Meerut. After witnessing the revolt, the British Crown took over the charge of India in 1858, contemplating that direct control would make their hold stronger. However, the citizens of the nation were prepared to fight tooth and nail for their rights.
Many mutinies happened in between and India lost many lives. Social reformers and leaders such as Mahatama Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Sarojini Naidu and many more took part in this struggle for independence. Today, India basks in the glory of freedom only because of the sacrifices made by these patriotic leaders and some unsung heroes. It is for these reasons that India Independence Day is celebrated with great joy and fervour.
1. Flag Hoisting Ceremony - The day begins with Prime Minister hoisting the Indian Flag (Tiranga) at the historical Red Fort which can be witnessed on TV and the internet throughout the country. 21 gunshots are fired in the sky honouring this significant occasion in our country. In the course of his speech, the Indian Prime Minister outlines his governance objectives and also calls attention to his achievements. The ceremony is concluded with National Anthem as the very air of the whole of India resonates with Jana Gana Mana.
2. Marching Ceremony - After the culmination of the Prime Minister’s speech, follows the march past of Indian Armed Forces along with the paramilitary forces. There are also parades that showcase many scenes from the independence struggle as well as depicting our diverse culture.
3. Independence Day Celebrations in the Country - Various flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes are organized in government and non-government institutions in different parts of the country. Students take part in cultural events, debates, drills and competitions that are organised by schools and colleges. The significant government offices and monuments such as India Gate are charmed with strings of tricolour lights. People can be seen riding on bikes carrying the Indian flags with pride. The locals are seen flaunting tri-colour wrist bands, bangles, and attires to pay tribute to this special day. 15 August Independence Day Celebrations marks the day.
4. Celebrations Across Indian Boundaries - Indians living outside the country also celebrate this day with great enthusiasm. In some prominent locations around the world like New York, the occasion of August 15 is celebrated as India Day.
5. Kite Flying - How can anyone not fly kites during this historic occasion? It won’t be wrong to say that Independence Day might have become synonymous with Kite flying. On this day, one can see hundreds of colourful kites of different shapes and sizes, flying in the bright and clear sky depicting freedom and prosperity. People also hold kite-flying competitions. August 15 is a special day in India when citizens are seen swaying in the patriotic spirit.
Independence Day in India is celebrated all across the country with excitement and fervour. The whole nation is painted in festive tri-colours, patriotic songs in the backdrop, excited kids waving the Indian flags and more. The glorious legacy of the nation is celebrated all across the country. Let’s have a quick look at some places that played a vital role in the freedom struggle of India.
1. Wagah Border, Amritsar
Independence Day celebrations at Wagah Border are at their peak. The enthusiasm of Indian soldiers and countrymen is infectious. The slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai can be heard from afar. The high point of this day is the elaborate beating retreat ceremony.
2. Jhansi Fort, Jhansi
The land of Rani Lakshmi Bai, Jhansi is known for its imposing fort and the legendary queen. This fort is a humble tribute to the warrior queen who fought fiercely to protect her kingdom from the British Forces. The evening light and sound show, especially on Independence Day speak volumes about her struggle.
3. Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
Sabarmati Ashram is the place known for Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings. This place inspires a simple lifestyle. A 90-minute tour of the Ashram walks the visitors through the amazing but simple life led by Bapu.
4. Cellular Jail, Port Blair
Port Blair is also known as ‘Kaala Pani’ and is associated with a very dark history. The Light and Sound Show organised at the Cellular Jail gives an insight into the life of freedom fighters who spend years rotting in jail, experiencing unimaginable torture inflected by the British soldiers.
5. Netaji Bhavan, Kolkata
The important role played by Kolkata in the independence struggle of the nation cannot be described in words. Stob by Netaji Bhawan, the ancestral home of the great patriot and freedom fighter, Subhash Chandra Bose. This house has been now converted into a museum.
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