Here are 15 highlights of August 15:
- India’s independence movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi. But when the country got independence on 15th August, 1947, they did not participate in its celebrations.
- Mahatma Gandhi was in Noakhali, Bengal, thousands of kilometres from Delhi, on that day, where he was fasting to prevent communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
- When it was decided that India would be liberated on 15th August, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel sent a letter to Mahatma Gandhi. The letter read, “15th August will be our first Independence Day. You are the Father of the Nation, join it. ‘
- Gandhiji replied to this letter, ‘How can I come to celebrate when Hindus and Muslims are killing each other in Calcutta? I will give my life to stop the riots. ‘
- Jawaharlal Nehru’s historic speech ‘Trist with Destoni’ was delivered from Viceroy’s Lodge (existing Rashtrapati Bhavan) on the midnight of August 14.
- Nehru did not become prime minister then. The whole world heard this speech, but Gandhi went to bed at 9 o’clock that day.
- Lord Mountbatten worked in his office on August 15, 1947. Nehru handed over his cabinet list to him in the afternoon and later addressed a gathering at Princess Garden near India Gate.
- On every Independence Day, the Indian Prime Minister hoists the flag from the Red Fort, but this did not happen on August 15, 1947. According to a research paper by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Nehru hoisted the flag from the Red Fort on August 16, 1947.
- According to Campbell Johnson, press secretary to Lord Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of India, the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender was being laid before the allied forces on August 15, which is why it was decided to liberate India on the same day.
- The boundary line between India and Pakistan was not fixed till August 15. It was decided by the announcement of the Radcliffe Line on August 17, which laid down the borders of India and Pakistan.
- India certainly became independent on 15th August but had no national anthem of its own at that time, although Rabindranath Tagore had written ‘Jana Gana Mana’ only in 1911, but the national anthem was formed only in 1950.
- 15th August is the Independence Day of 3 countries other than India – South Korea was liberated from Japan on 15 August 1945. Bahrain gained independence from Britain on August 15, 1971, and France declared Congo independent on August 15, 1960.
- Maharishi Aurobindo Ghosh, who was involved in india’s independence from the British Raj, was born on August 15, 1872.
- On August 15, 1772, the East India Company decided to set up separate civil and criminal courts in various districts.
- On August 15, 1854, The East India Railway introduced the first passenger train from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Hooghly, although it officially started operating in 1855.
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