Updated on September 11th, 2019
The 73rd Indian Independence Day is just round the corner and the nation is gearing up for the celebrations. Independence Day is celebrated every year on August 15 with much pomp and fervor and the Prime Minister unfurls the ‘tiranga’ or the tricolor on the Red Fort among dignitaries and esteemed guests.
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After a long and tough struggle against slavery at the hands of the British, India finally achieved emancipation at the stroke of midnight on 15th August, 1947, making it the most eventful day in the history of the country.
The day is celebrated every year with great joy and fervor to commemorate this grand event. While many facts are known about the Indian Independence Day, some are yet to be unraveled.
1. India gained independence at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 2017. Korea, Congo, Bahrain and Liechtenstein also share their independence day with India on this day.
2. August 15 was chosen by the last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten on a whim. He chose this date as it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the Second World War. The date had a personal appeal for Lord Mountbatten as he was the Supreme Allied Commander of South-East Asia Command and had accepted the Japanese surrender himself in Singapore.
3. The Indian National Anthem is ‘Jana Gana Mana’ which is written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. The Indian National Anthem was actually written to pay homage to King George V.
4. The National Song of India is ‘Vande Mataram’ which is a poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870s and included in his 1881 novel Anandamath. The song’s first two verses are adopted as the National Song of India.
5. The Indian Struggle for Freedom started in 1857 with the Sepoy Mutiny led by Mangal Pandey and the 1857 revolt that was waged against the British forces led by Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Tantya Tope, Bahadur Shah Zafar and Nana Sahib.
6. The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had not decided which dominion to join that is India or Pakistan. Pakistan believed that J&K should belong to their side since the majority population was Muslim but the Hindu Maharaja finally agreed to join India in October 1947 giving rise to the conflict which is ongoing till today.
7. Bal Gangadhar Tilak along with Sir rattan Jamshed Tata conceived the Bombay Swadeshi Co-op Stores Co. Ltd. in favour of Swadeshi goods and boycotting the foreign goods in early 1900s. The store is known today as the Bombay Store.
8. Jana Gana Mana was chosen as the National Anthem instead of Vande Mataram because Jawahar Lal Nehru thought it would be easier for the band to play.
9. Cyril John Radcliffe drew the boundary between India and Pakistan, he was a British lawyer and Law Lord. He had no complete information about the geography of India and divided the boundary without knowledge of the demography of the region.
10. The name India was derived from the river Indus and bears testimony to the great Indus Valley Civilization that flourished between the river’s tributaries.
11. The first time ever when the national flag was hoisted was on 7th August, 1906 and the venue of the fateful event was at Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta. It was designed with three horizontal stripes of red, yellow and green colors, with eight white lotus flowers in the red strip, a white sun on the left and white crescent with star on the right in the green strip.
12. The country had no official National Anthem at the time its achieved independence. Jana Gana Mana, which was universally accepted as the Indian National Anthem was written back in 1911, in its Bengali version.
13. At the time India became independent on 15th August, 1947, Gandhiji was in Calcutta. He offered prayers all through the day and fasted in protest of the communal hatred which the country was witnessing on a widespread scale.
14. Goa was declared as a Portuguese state after India attained independence in 1947. The state was later annexed to the country on 19th December, 1961 after being invaded by Indian troops.
15. Hindi is not the national language of India; rather it is the country’s official language, as stated by article 343 of the Indian Constitution.
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