Independence Day celebrations all across India see the Tricolour being hoisted, parades being hosted and various cultural programmes taking place. And of course, not to mention, Kite Flying! But do you remember, from all those (kinda boring) history lessons what our country endured in order to gain freedom? In fact, India’s Independence Day in 1947 was historic in more ways than one. So, here are some super interesting facts about Indian Independence which you must know.
1. Another year under the British rule
As we all know, India was declared independent in 1947. However, this was not what was supposed to happen. The original plan of Independence was for the British to transfer power by June 1948.
2. Why on the 15th of August?
Though unofficially we got our independence on July 18, 1947, however, 15 August was officially decided as India’s Independence Day because of Lord Mountbatten. The Last Viceroy and first Governor-General of India insisted on this date because he apparently considered it to be a lucky date since it was on this day that the Japanese had surrendered to him at the end of World War II, 2 years earlier.
3. The Declaration
India was officially declared independent at the fifth session of the constituent assembly. It was done in the Constitution Hall, what is now the Parliament house.
4. The Women of India
Mumbai based educationist and freedom fighter, Hansa Mehta, was the one who presented the new flag of India to the nation on behalf of the women of the country. The flag was accepted by Dr Rajendra Prasad, after which the session was rounded off by singing the first verses of Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara and Jana Gana Mana (which btw, wasn’t yet declared to be our national anthem.)
5. The first Prime Minister of India
We all know Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of our country. But he wasn’t always the first choice. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the one who had the majority of votes. But Mahatma Gandhi requested Sardar Patel to let Nehru be the PM.
6. The unfurling of the Indian Flag
The first public hoisting of the Indian flag happened in the afternoon at Princess Park near India Gate. More than half a million people had gathered there to watch the ceremony. But do you know this was not the first time our tiranga was unfurled? The National flag of India was first unfurled on August 7, 1906, at the Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta, and it had horizontal stripes of red, yellow and green.
7. The Traditional Flag Hoisting
The first hoisting of the India national flag on the ramparts of the Red Fort was done by Prime Minister Nehru on the morning of the next day, August 16. This has now become a tradition that we all look forward to every Independence Day! Isn’t it?
8. Indian National Anthem
Did you know that at the time of independence, we officially didn’t have a national anthem? Jan Gan Mann, while it was written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911, was actually officially adopted as the Indian National Anthem in 1950!
Also, just FYI India shares it’s Independence Day with other countries such as South Korea, Bahrain, and the Republic of the Congo too!
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