The Indian Independence Day is observed on the 15th of August every year. The day is declared as a national holiday and celebrations are held across the country commemorating its independence from the British Rule. India gained independence from the tyranny of the British on 15th of August 1947 after struggling for almost a century. 15th August 2017 will mark the 71st Independence Day of the country.
The British Rule
The European traders entered the Indian subcontinent in the 17th century and by the 18th century the British East India company established itself as the dominant force in the country. The citizens of India suffered at the hands of the British who treated them like slaves. However, soon certain people made efforts to come in the forefront to fight them out.
The first war of Independence was fought in 1857. After this, the Government of India Act 1858 allowed the British to take direct control over the country. Many freedom fighters came forward and encouraged people to take part in the freedom struggle in the years to come. Indian National Congress was formed in the year 1885. Several non-violent movements were carried out across the country. People came forward and actively participated in the non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements mainly led by Mahatma Gandhi who advocated the path of non-violence.
Leaders such as Shaheed Bhagat Singh on the other hand believed that they will have to take on the arms in order to drive the British out of the country and hence used violent means to further their aim of freeing India from the clutches of the British government. Several revolts and protests were conducted by these leaders to shaken the British rule.
The joint efforts of all these leaders and the support from the general public finally led to the independence of the country on the 15th of August 1947.
The President of India delivers a speech addressing the nation on the eve of the Independence Day. During the morning hours, on the 15th of August, the Prime Minister of the country hoists the Indian flag on the Red Fort in Delhi. This is followed by twenty one gun shots that are fired to honour the occasion. The prime minister than gives a speech by way of which he pays tribute to those who fought for the independence of the country. His speech also includes a brief about the past year’s achievements, important issues being faced by the country and the ways in which we can bring about improvement in different spheres.
The National Anthem, Jan Gana, Mana is sung and march-past is done by various divisions of the Indian Armed Forces and the paramilitary forces. The Chief Ministers of each of the Indian states also perform similar activities to celebrate the day in their respective states.
Flag hoisting is also done in schools, offices and other places throughout the country to celebrate the day of independence. People gather around in the morning for the flag hoisting ceremony which is followed by cultural programs. They are mostly dressed in tri-colour clothes and accessories to add to the spirit of the day. Patriotic songs are sung and kids perform dances on such songs. Speeches are also delivered in honour of the freedom fighters. Sweets are distributed and at certain places these activities are followed by brunch. There is also a tradition of flying kites in certain parts of the country.
We must not forget that it is because of the sacrifice of the freedom fighters that we are leading our lives in an independent democratic nation today.