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Significance Of Date August 15 In India’s Independence: Know It All

The independence movement was lead by Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated the method of nonviolence, non-cooperation movement followed by the Civil Disobedience movement.

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Independence Day is not just a day for Indian citizens, it is a feeling of patriotism and freedom. Indian observes this as a day of sovereignty from the British rule. But the question arises that why is this particular day is selected? 

Each year the country rejoices and celebrates to mark the end of British rule in the nation. This day reminds all the citizens of India about the sacrifice the freedom fighter made, their selflessness attitude just to attain freedom from the colonial rule. 

On August 15 the whole nation cherishes the idea of oneness and remember all the struggles the freedom fighter dealt with to win against the mighty British empire. So here are the events that suggest the relevance that why was this particular date chosen as the day for this historical event.

In 1757 the British Rule began in India, preceded by the victory of English East India Company at the Battle of Plassey and acquired control over the country. For almost 100 years the East India Company took power in India and then the British crown replaced it via Indian Mutiny in 1857-58. 

The Indian Independence movement commenced during World War I. The independence movement was lead by Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated the method of nonviolence, non-cooperation movement followed by the Civil Disobedience movement.

British Prime Minister Clement Atlee on February 20, 1947, announced that the British rule in India would end by June 30, 1948, which would result in powers being transferred to a responsible Indian. This declaration was trailed by the Muslim League’s agitation and demanded the partition of the country.

Later on, the British Government on June 3, 1947, set forth that any Constitution set up by the Indian Constituent Assembly which was formed in the year 1946, cannot apply to those parts of the country which were disinclined to accept it. On the very same day, the viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, but for the proposal of partition and it was known as Mountbatten Plan.

The Congress and the Muslim League agreed upon the proposal. The quick impact was given to the expectation of establishing the Indian Independence Act 1947. On July 5, 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act. It accommodated two territories states: India and Pakistan The head of the state was retained by the King of Britain until the full transition to Republic state.

The partition was difficult and it fabricated fissure on the lines of religion. Uproars and mass casualties were the most disastrous results of the two-nation principle.

Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929 entitled for ‘Poorna Swaraj’, which meant complete independence from colonial rule. January 26 was picked as the Independence Day and the Congress party even praised it from 1930 onwards till India's freedom. 

The last Viceroy of India, Mountbatten was the reason behind choosing August 15 as the Independence Day. He was bestowed with powers and mandate by the British parliament to pass on the powers to the Indians by June 30, 1948. 

Yet, August 15, 1947, was announced by the Britishers the day of the end of British principle. To this end, Mountbatten had said that he was guaranteeing that there will be no carnage or riot. Although, what occurred in August 1947 is a written history, which refuted Mountbatten.

Another crucial incident is linked to the date chosen by Mountbatten for Indian’s Independence. As Mountbatten remembered the day August 15, as when Japan announced the surrender to the Allies and he was hearing the news along with Winston Churchill in latter’s room. Thus, this day was of symbolic significance for the Britishers.

Mountbatten said “The date I chose came out of the blue. I chose it in reply to a question. I was determined to show I was master of the whole event. When they asked had we set a date, I knew it had to be soon. I had not worked it out exactly then-I thought it had to be about August or September and I then out to the 15th August. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender,” As quoted in Freedom at Midnight. 

On Midnight of August 14-15, the British rule came to an end in India. Thus, the  power was reassigned to the two new autonomous Dominions of India and Pakistan. Lord Mountbatten was the first to turn into governor-general of the new Dominion of India. Jawaharlal Nehru was declared as the first Prime Minister of Independent India. The Constituent Assembly that was established in 1946 turned into the Parliament of Indian Dominion.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Pritika Khanna

The author is Intern with BW Businessworld

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