Independence Day India
For India, 15th August is known as the rebirth of India. On 15th August 1947, India got the complete Independence from British rule after a struggle of 200 years. On the midnight of 15th August 1947, Britishers handed the country back to the Indian leaders, ending the remarkable struggle of years. In the weeks leading up to 15 August, landmarks and government buildings are lit up in the country’s national colors. Shops, malls, and houses are decorated in similar colors, and shopkeepers can be found selling flags, dupattas (lengths of fabric) and kites for the occasion. Documentaries, patriotic films and programs related to India’s freedom are aired on TV channels to get people into the spirit of Independence Day.
India Independence Day History
15th August 1947 is considered to be the most important day of India. This is the day when Britishers left India after ruling over it for more than 200 years. It all started with the British East India company which started as a joint-venture company in the early 17th century. Britishers were equipped with war machines and cannons. They supported local rulers in return they established East India Company trading centers around three major cities of Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. They began to interfere and influence Indian affairs around 1750. After the battle of Plassey (1757), it began to transfer from a trading company to a ruling force. Britishers started influencing and dominating local people and resources to gradually start controlling the nation. The British rule affected India’s social, economic, cultural, religious factors which forced people to revolt against the British rule.
The Revolt of 1857
The first major revolt against British rule happened in 1857. The main reason for the revolt was that the Britishers used to discriminate Indian soldiers against British soldiers. They made cartridges for rifles made with beef and pork, which was against the religion of Hindus and Muslims. More than 800.000 people including civilians were killed during the revolt which made the British government took over East India Company. This revolt inspired many generations to fight against discrimination and domination of Britishers.
The biggest revolt against the Britishers was started by the ‘father of the nation’ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The next decades were marked as a constant struggle between India and Britishers. Gandhiji led many nonviolent protests against the British empire that included Satyagraha and fasting. The Kheda Satyagraha and Champaran Satyagraha were some of the early movements to fight against the rights of Farmers and other peasants. The non-cooperation movement against the British empire marks one of the most devastating days in Indian Independence history. To fight against the movement, in 1919, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered an open fire on a peaceful gathering of men, women, and children in Jallianwala Bagh. This sent shockwaves across India and received strong criticism and protest all over. Non-cooperation movement was a huge success under the leadership of Gandhiji. People stopped paying taxes and stopped purchasing British goods.
Gandhiji was not the only one who revolted against Britishers. Subhash Chandra Bose started the revolution of Azad-Hind force. On the suggestion of Hitler, he traveled to Japan to build his army to fight against the Britishers. He attacked and captured Andaman and Nicobar Islands but soon after world war 2 impacted the force. Many soldiers were arrested and blocked after that.
Quit India Movement
Indian leaders and revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Subhas Chandra Bose, Vijayalaxmi Pandit, Chandrasekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sarojini Naidu, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and many more took part is the freedom struggle against Britishers over different periods. After all the struggles and battles, Gandhiji launched the quit India Movement which is considered to be the biggest revolution against Britishers. Quit India movement lead to the arrest of many Politicians including Gandhiji. In the year of 1943, the British Government gave the hint to provide complete independence to India which resulted in the release of 100,000 political leaders.
In the year of 1946, the Labor government, the exchequer of Britain though of ending their rule over India because of their exhaustion of capital post world war 2. British rule at that time caused Hindu-Muslim violence in Bengal and Punjab. This made Britishers to give up their rule as they could not cope up with the violence.
Millions of people belonging to different religious groups tramped across the newly build border to find places to reside. This took around 250,000 to 500,000 lives. Finally, in the midnight of 15th August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru announced complete independence from British rule with the famous speech of ‘’tryst and destiny’. But the communal clashes between the religious group of Hindus and Muslims lead to partition between India and Pakistan.
How Do Locals Celebrate Independence Day in India
Every year, 15th August is celebrated across India by all the proud Indians. In August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India, hoisted the Indian National Flag above the Lahori gate of Red Fort in Delhi and addressed the nation. It marked the beginning of a tradition that still runs today.
The local government conducts flag hoisting across India but the main venue is the Red Fort in Delhi. The celebrations start every year with the unfurling of the tricolored national flag by the Prime Minister of India. This tradition is followed by the televised speech mentioning sacrifices of freedom fighters, the current success of the nation and plans. Post flag hoisting, there are several cultural and patriotic programs by children from schools. People in thousands go to the red fort and witness the flag Hoisting tradition and sweet in the red fort.
Indians start celebrating Independence Day around one month in advance. Kite flying is the best way to celebrate Independence Day especially in Northern and central cities of India. People get up on their roofs, fly kites in the air and try to cut as many kites as possible. Locals enjoy this game as a competition to cut as many kites as possible from other people. It is a very fun activity to do and it is quite common to witness kites all over the sky.
Local Indians also typically visit several public places and parks to attend the speech of local leaders and witness the hoisting of the Indian Flag. Leaders talk about the struggle; battles India had to attain independence and make promises to people for a better future. This is usually done early in the morning. People distribute sweets and wish each other Independence Day.
The rest of the day is spent with families and friends. Most of the activities and shops are closed on this day, therefore people go to public parks to do a picnic or watch movies. Some also spend their day watching historical movies on television.
Travel Advice from the Locals during Independence Day
Independence Day is a great time to visit India. It is advised to book hotels and flights in advance. There are several things you can do on this day. It is where you can witness people from different castes, religions, and societies stand together as one nation and celebrate the freedom they have today. Independence Day is celebrated all across India and there is no particular place where there are no celebrations.
New Delhi is the best place to visit during Independence day.
Several government buildings and offices are lightened up with tricolors of the Indian flag. You can also see people hoisting Indian flags around the cities and distributing sweets. It is recommended to witness the biggest flag hoisting ceremony in Red Fort Delhi by Prime Minister of India. There are several cultural and patriotism programs happen all around Delhi. People also play kite flying competitions, it is advised to witness this with some local people at their home.
Other places to experience Independence Day are Jhansi, Amritsar (Jallianwala Bagh), port Blair, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
Tips to Travel to India for Independence Day
Book your hotel, flight tickets in advance. There might be several ceremonies that took place across cities, so traffic and road blockages are common. If you are planning to visit Red Fort, visit two hours before the ceremony started as it might get very hectic due to long lines and heavy checking. It is better to book a tour or contact a local who can help you enjoy the ceremony as well as kite flying. Most of the local markets and food stalls are closed this day except for shopping malls. It is a national holiday therefore government offices and banks are also closed on this day.
Overall Feeling of Independence Day in India
India like any other country is struggling with a lot of internal disputes and conflicts. India is a huge country with people from many religions and cultures. 15th August every year brings the feeling of patriotism, country-love, sense of freedom and holiday spirit for the people of India. People enjoy the spirit of independence by attending flag hoisting ceremony and flying kites in the sky. People carry Indian flags with them and wear Traditional clothes.
On this day, every person stands together to not to be called from their religion names but as an Indian. Overall feeling in India on Independence Day gives the sense of unity, respect, love and togetherness to people. This day reminds them of their fundamental rights and freedom and makes them a proud Indian.