India's Independence Day is celebrated on 15 August to commemorate its independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation on that day in 1947.
Road to independence
On 3 June 1947, Viscount Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the last British Governor-General of India, announced the partitioning of the British Indian Empire into India and Pakistan, under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947. At the stroke of midnight, on 14 August 1947, India became an independent nation. This was preceded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's famous speech titled Tryst with Destiny.
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance..... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again. ”
The main event takes place in New Delhi, where the Prime Minister hoists the National Flag at the Red Fort and delivers a nationally televised speech from its ramparts. In his speech, he highlights the achievements of his government during the past year, raises important issues and gives a call for further development. The Prime Minister also pays his tribute to leaders of the freedom struggle.
Government Offices are lit up. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs take place in all the state capitals. In the cities around the country the national flag is hoisted by politicians in their constituencies. In various private organisations the flag hoisting is carried out by a senior official of that organisation.
All over the country, flags are given out to citizens who wear them proudly to show their patriotism towards India. Schools and colleges around the country organise flag hoisting ceremonies and various cultural events within their premises, where younger children in costume do impersonations of their favourite characters of the Independence era. They also have a parade.
Families and friends get together for lunch or dinner, or for an outing. Housing colonies, cultural centres, clubs and societies hold entertainment programs and competitions, usually based on the Independence Day theme. Most national and regional television channels screen old and new film classics with patriotic themes on Independence Day.