"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
(Speech on Indian Independence Day, 1947)
History of Independence Day
On the eve of India’s independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru famous speech “Tryst with Destiny” marked the beginning of a free India with words symbolizing hope and triumph.
India got its independence from the clutches of British rule on 15th August 1947. It was this day when India’s tricolor flag was unfolded by Pandit Nehru on the barricades of the Red Fort at Delhi. Each and every patriotic soul watched with excitement and paid tribute to thousands of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for India’s freedom.
The Independence Day of India is a moment of delight and grandeur but to achieve it the nation had to put up a long battle for over two centuries against the British Empire. At last on 3rd June 1947, the last British Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, declared the separation of the British Empire in India into India and Pakistan. The announcement was made under the terms of the Indian Independence Act 1947.
On 15 August 1947, India attained freedom from the British Rule. Every year, August 15 is celebrated as the Independence Day in India. This national festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country.
The Independence Day of any country is a moment of pride and glory. On this special occasion, rich tributes are paid to the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives and fought to free their motherland from the clutches of the oppressors - British who ruled the country.
The British, had initially come for trade but gradually took over the total administration of the country.
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.
At the stroke of midnight, as India moved into August 15, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, read out the famous speech proclaiming India's independence.
The moment ended three centuries of British colonial rule. The land was no longer the summer retreat of British sahibs who fancied spices, shikar, elephants and snake-charmers.
Independence was also the end of nearly a century of struggle for freedom, battles, betrayals and sacrifices. It also created a situation where we were responsible for ourselves.
But it wasn't a period of unqualified joy. For a lot of people, in spite of a new era promised by independence, partition was a painful reality and so was the bloodshed that accompanied it.
That was 60 years ago. Much has changed; the struggle for freedom lives on in history books and memoirs, and on the tombstones of valiant martyrs.
Politics has undergone a personality change from fiery idealism to a pragmatic cynicism. Karma drives the nation on its way forward, and population has crossed the billion mark.
But, come August 15, and the people put their troubles behind them for a while, as they stand up as a nation for the National Anthem. Along with the soaring cadences of the anthem, the hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow are renewed in political speeches and replays of the deeds of those who earned us our freedom. Independence Day is an occasion to rejoice in our freedom and to pay collective homage to all those people who sacrificed their lives to the cause. But it is more than that. It also marks the coming together of more than 400 princely states into one nation - India....