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Indian Independence Day

National and Public Holidays in India National Holiday in India

India

When is it?

This holiday is always celebrated on 15 August.

It marks the date in 1947, when India became an independent country.

History of the holiday

The British established their first outpost on the Indian Subcontinent in 1619 at Surat on the northwestern coast.

By the end of that century, the East India Company had opened three more permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta.

The British continued to expand their influence in the region until, by the mid nineteenth century, they had control over most of what is present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In 1857, a rebellion in northern India by mutinous Indian soldiers, led the British Government to transfer all political power from the East India Company to the Crown. The British began controlling most of India directly while administering the rest through treaties with local rulers.

In the late Nineteenth Century, the initial moves were taken toward self-government in British India by the appointment of Indian councilors to advise the British viceroy and the establishment of provincial councils with Indian members.

In 1920, Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress political party into a mass movement to campaign against the British colonial rule. The party used both parliamentary and nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation to achieve independence. Other leaders, notably Subhash Chandra Bose, also adopted a military approach to the movement. The movement culminated in the independence of the subcontinent from the British Empire and the formation of India and Pakistan.

Thus, on 15 August 1947, India became a dominion within the Commonwealth. Friction between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition British India, creating East and West Pakistan. India became a republic within the Commonwealth after promulgating its constitution on 26 January 1950, which is now the Republic Day holiday.

National Flag

Indin FlagThe Indian national flag is a horizontal tricolor of saffron, white and green. The wheel in the centre is a representation of the chakra, which appears on the abacus of Ashoka's pillar.

The flag was approved on 22 July 1947 and presented to the Indian nation on 15 August 1947 when Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, raised the flag at Lahore Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi.

The colour saffron, represents courage, sacrifice and renunciation. The white denotes truth and purity and the green stands for life, faith and chivalry. The wheel symbolises unceasing motion and progress.

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