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Today, India is one of the fastest developing nations of the world. It is a country where people of different religions, caste, creed, culture, and beliefs live together, peacefully. India hails as the biggest democratic country of the world that became independent on 15th August 1947. Before that, India was under the rule of the British government for more than 200 years. To celebrate the freedom of India from British rule, we celebrate Independence Day every year on 15th August. This day is a reminder of the bloodshed and sacrifices made by our great freedom fighters. It fills every Indian citizen with a feeling of patriotism and gratefulness towards soldiers, who guards the nation’s boundaries day and night from external threats.
It was in the 17th century that British arrived at India as traders under the guise of East India Company. Several prosperous kingdoms in India were at constant war with each other. The British used the policy of divide and rule to conquer territories. Soon they succeeded to make the Indian subcontinent their colony as the Indian kings accepted them as their masters. From there on, the Indians suffered a miserable fate. They were treated as slaves and weren’t even considered humans. In the year 1857, Indian kings and Indian soldiers revolted against British Rule, and the first war of independence broke out. The British Army crushed the revolt. Later leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Chittaranjan Das, Dadabhai Naroji, Annie Besant led the freedom movement. Our freedom fighters showed a lot of courage and faced torture, imprisonment, and even death. Freedom fighters like Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad were hanged or killed for their revolt. Later the freedom movement was led by the Indian National Congress led by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu and many others fought until the very end. Their unwavering resolution gave inspiration for the 20th century’s mass protests, marches, and movements against the British government. Subhash Chandra Bose formed the Indian National Army and attacked the British Army. Their hard work, sacrifices, and determination finally pay off when on 15th August 1947, India was declared independent of British Rule. Initially, there were a total of 562 princely states that came together to form modern-day India.
As India got its freedom on 15th August 1947, it is also referred to as the birth of Independent India. It was on this day, that out first prime minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the tricolour flag at the Red Fort in the national capital, New Delhi for the very first time. Independence Day is one of the three national festivals of India, besides Republic Day (celebrated on 26th January) and Gandhi Jayanti (celebrated on 2nd October).
This day is celebrated throughout the country with an intense feeling of patriotism. A week before the festival, Indian markets are filled with tricolour flags, kites, and other accessories. Markets look like a blend of the three colours – Saffron, White, and Green. In New Delhi, the national capital of India, the honourable prime minister of India hosts the national flag at Red Fort followed by his speech to the nation. After that, the National Anthem of India is sung by everyone in unison. This day is celebrated by every Indian citizen, business, or organisation. Government buildings are decorated in the hue of tricolour. Inside the offices, it is common to see people wearing tricolour ethnic dresses. Cultural programs like dance, plays, debates, music and singing are organised in school, colleges, organisations and residential societies to celebrate the occasion. Later, the kids indulge in the competition of flying kites in the sky. Kites of every colour, shape, and size can be spotted in the sky. On this day, the sky looks like a beautiful spectrum of colours.
In the USA, the Independence Day of India is celebrated as India Day on 15th August. It is interesting to know that many countries like South Korea, North Korea, Congo, Bahrain, and Liechtenstein, also got their independence on 15th August in different years and therefore, celebrate their Independence Day on the same day as India.
This day is not just a festival of celebrating our freedom and remembering the sacrifices of our heroes. It is also a day of pondering over the progressive future of the country. It is celebrated throughout the country with a deep feeling of pride, nationalism and patriotism. Our youth represents the future of our nation, and so, it is essential for them to know the history of the Indian freedom movement and the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. It also makes them aware of their responsibilities towards the nation. This day reminds us to lead our independent country to a better future.