Independence Day in India: Unveiling Unknown and Amazing Facts
Every year, on the 15th of August, India comes alive with the spirit of patriotism and unity as it celebrates its Independence Day. This day marks the nation’s freedom from British colonial rule, an event that transformed the course of history. Beyond the familiar festivities and flag-hoisting ceremonies, there are numerous lesser-known and fascinating aspects that make this day even more special.
A Midnight Declaration:
While the 15th of August is celebrated with grandeur, the declaration of India’s independence took place on midnight of August 14, 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, delivered his iconic “Tryst with Destiny” speech at the stroke of midnight in the Constituent Assembly Hall in New Delhi. This historic address marked the official beginning of India’s journey as an independent nation.
Lord Louis Mountbatten played a crucial role in shaping the events leading up to India’s independence. He was the last Viceroy of India and the first Governor-General after independence. Interestingly, Lord Mountbatten’s connection to the British royal family was close – he was the uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and husband to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Forgotten National Anthem:
While “Jana Gana Mana” is the current national anthem of India, it might come as a surprise that “Vande Mataram” was the original choice. “Vande Mataram,” penned by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, evokes a deep sense of patriotism and love for the motherland. Eventually, “Jana Gana Mana” was adopted as the national anthem due to its inclusive nature and universal appeal.
The First Tricolour Hoisting:
Long before India’s independence was officially achieved, the tricolor flag was hoisted on Indian soil by none other than Madame Bhikaji Cama in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907. This event marked an early expression of India’s fight for freedom on the global stage.
The Peacock Call:
It is said that the call of a peacock served as a unique signal to freedom fighters during the Quit India Movement of 1942. The resonating call of the peacock served as a secret communication method, signaling gatherings and activities without raising suspicion.
Largest Human Flag:
India is known for its penchant for setting records, and Independence Day provides the perfect opportunity. In 2017, on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day, a massive human flag was formed by over 50,000 students in Tamil Nadu, creating a breathtaking spectacle that could be seen from afar.
Kite Flying Tradition:
In many parts of India, kite flying has become an integral part of Independence Day celebrations. This tradition symbolizes the freedom and soaring spirit of the nation. The skies are adorned with colorful kites, adding an extra layer of festivity to the day.
Unfurling the Longest Flag:
The Attari-Wagah border, which separates India and Pakistan, witnesses an extraordinary event every Independence Day. Border Security Force (BSF) personnel unfurl an enormous tricolor flag that measures 120 feet in length and 80 feet in width. This display of national pride attracts large crowds from both sides of the border.
A Symbol of Unity:
One of the most remarkable aspects of Independence Day celebrations in India is the unity it showcases. People from diverse backgrounds come together, transcending linguistic, regional, and cultural barriers. The tricolour binds them in a common thread of nationality and identity.
Celebrating Unsung Heroes:
Independence Day is not only about commemorating well-known figures; it’s also an occasion to celebrate the unsung heroes whose contributions often go unnoticed. These are the individuals who, through their small yet significant actions, have played a part in shaping the nation’s destiny.
Independence Day is more than a mere holiday; it’s a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration. As India unfurls its tricolour flag, the nation unites to pay homage to its history, honor its freedom fighters, and renew its commitment to progress. Amidst the spectacular displays of patriotism and the joyous fervor, these lesser-known facts add layers of depth to the celebration. It’s a day to honor the sacrifices, celebrate unity, and look forward to a future guided by the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity.