27 September 2021 22:25

Nation First, Always First: Independence Day of India

Retaliation and uprisings have played a prominent role in Indian history, and they were ultimately responsible for driving the British out of the country

‘Nation First, Always First’ is the theme for this year’s celebration.

On the 15th of August 1947, India declared its independence from the British Empire.
Today is 2021, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the triumph of our liberation fight. Independence Day is important because it honours the valour and determination of the country’s freedom warriors who struggled for independence from British control.

This year, as a result of the epidemic, a large number of online activities are being planned at the national and international levels among Indian nationals living abroad. A popular Independence Day ritual is kite flying, with thousands of kites of all sizes, shapes, and colours filling the sky on this holiday every year.

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To properly celebrate the event, let us first examine the history and importance of this day in history.

Independence Movement: A historical perspective

Beginning in 1757, Following the British victory at the Battle of Plassey, the English East India Company gained control of the nation and started to exert influence. By 1857, the British had gained full governmental control of the Indian subcontinent, which they governed either directly or via subordinate rulers.

They had created an authoritarian administration based on Mughal practice and tradition, backed up by competent civil service and a reasonably effective army. The British had reigned over India for almost two centuries, a period that included the Indian independence movement.

In the midst of World War I, the Indian independence movement was launched under the leadership of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who called for a peaceful and nonviolent end to British rule. For years, the Indian independence movement had gathered momentum, with the demand for poorna Swaraj, or complete independence from colonial authority, resonating in the streets and echoed across the country.

The rise of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose provided the independence movement with a boost in its strength and effectiveness. Finally, the British chose to withdraw from India, allowing the nation to reclaim its independence.

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Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, had been set a deadline of June 1948 for completing the transfer of authority in the country. Mountbatten, on the other hand, determined that the British would go early.

Retaliation and uprisings have played a prominent role in Indian history, and they were ultimately responsible for driving the British out of the country and forcing former Viceroy Lord Mountbatten to declare India free on August 15, 1947, after granting the Indians the authority to do so. On this day in 1947, British-ruled India was divided into two nations, India and Pakistan, which became independent in 1947.

The British were successful in implementing their divide and rule strategy, which resulted in bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus in the aftermath. This turmoil resulted in the formation of a new nation on the eve of August 14, 1947, after violent riots, widespread fatalities, and the relocation of almost 15 million people.

After being presented in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1947, and passing two weeks later, the Indian Independence Bill became law. As a result of the Bill, the British Empire’s authority over India came to an end on August 15, 1947. The partition of India and Pakistan also resulted in the creation of these countries as sovereign states.

The Importance of Independence Day

On 15 August 1947, as India was preparing to become an independent nation, Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first Prime Minister, addressed the nation and unfurled the Indian tricolour at the Red Fort, marking the beginning of the country’s transition into independence. Since then, the custom has been carried forth.

The prime minister of India Narendra Modi will continue delivering a national speech from the Red Fort. Additionally, in the Indian state capitals, a variety of cultural events are made accessible to the public.

Author: Dr Mumtaz Alam is Head of School- Arts and Humanities at the College of Humanities and Education of the Fiji National University. The views expressed are his own and not of this newspaper or his employer. For comments or suggestions, email: [email protected]

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