Independence Day 2022: Why 15th August was chosen as Independence Day?
Independence Day 2022 India is all set to celebrate its 75th Independence Day on 15th August and arrangements are in place across the country to celebrate the historic day. Independence Day marks the day India became free from British rule, and it is also a reminder to the citizens of the many freedom fighters who fought to liberate the country. India has come a long way since gaining its independence and has made great strides in various fields including education and space.
Why was 15th August chosen as the Independence Day of India?
The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the Indian National Flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947. It is a tradition that is followed every year by the Prime Ministers, together with the address to the nation. The tricolor flag flutters high in the sky, indicating that we now live in a free India (Independent India).
So why exactly 15 August was chosen as the Independence Day for India? After many years and months of struggle, hardship and non-violence campaigns during the independence movement, the British Parliament finally gave the mandate to Lord Mountbatten to transfer power by June 30, 1948. But, Mountbatten pushed the date forward and set 15 August 1947 as the date of transfer of power. C Rajagopalachari – independent India’s first Indian Governor General – said the decision to postpone the day was taken because Mountbatten wanted to ensure there was no bloodshed or rioting.
Rajagopalachari had said, “If he (Lord Mountbatten) had waited till June 1948, there would have been no power to transfer.”
Therefore, the Indian Independence Bill was passed in the House of Commons of the British Parliament on July 4, 1947. The bill, which ensured the end of British rule in India and called for the bifurcation of the erstwhile country into India and Pakistan, was passed in a fortnight.
The provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, which transferred the legislative sovereignty to the Constituent Assembly of India, came into force on August 15, 1947.
Lord Mountbatten Freedom, as quoted in Freedom at Midnight, explained why he chose 15 August as the date for India’s Independence Day.
“The date I chose came out of the blue. I chose this in response to a question. I was determined to show that I was the master of the whole event. When he asked if we had set a date, I knew it had to happen soon. I didn’t work well at that time – I thought it would be about August or September and I left again for 15th August. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of the surrender of Japan [द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध में],” said Lord Mountbatten Freedom.