Independence Day

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"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. 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."

- Jawaharlal Nehru

At the strike of midnight of the August 15, 1947, India shook off the shackles of British Rule and became free. It was a night of celebration all over the country.

It is a red-lettered day, on which the schools and govern ment and private offices remain closed. Early in the morning, the young students sing in chorus the national anthem in accompaniment of flute and drum marching together in processions in the streets. National flags are hoisted in the houses, schools, colleges, and offices.

It is a great day for India. In Delhi Red Fort Parade Ground, millions of Indians from different parts of the coun try gather to listen to the annual speech of the Prime Minister. Many dignitaries at home and also from abroad attend the function.

The tri-colour flag is unfurled by the Prime Minister with the national anthem sung vocally or played on musical instruments. A salute of 31 guns is fired, and from the sky, petals of red roses are showered from the army helicopters in the city streets.The Prime Minister's speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is a major highlight.Delhi’s skyline gets dotted with thousands of kites taking to the sky this day.

Large and coloured processions composed by the people from different Indian States pass by the Red Fort in a disciplined manner. The charming march of the army personnel's and also that of the school boys and girls who sing and dance as they march forward, are special attractions. It is, no doubt, a...
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