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India got freedom on August 15, 1947, from the clutches of the oppressing British rule after about 200 years of slavery. In India, the largest democratic republic in the world, Independence Day is a national public holiday celebrated across all the states of the nation. As the whole country gears up to celebrate the 73rd Independence Day on August 15, 2020, here are some highly interesting facts about Independence Day.
Mahatma Gandhi could not celebrate the first Independence Day in Delhi
Even as the country celebrated the hard-won freedom on August 15, 1947, the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi was away from the celebrations fasting to end the Hindu-Muslim riots happening in Bengal.
The origin of the tri-color flag
The tri-color flag, which is the national flag of India, is based on the Swaraj Flag, which was developed by a freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya, who was a farmer from Machilipatnam.
India’s national anthem was adopted three years after the independence
India did not have an official national anthem at the time of independence. Jana Gana Mana was written way back in 1911. However, it was adopted officially and accorded the status as the national anthem of India on January 24, 1950.
Why was August 15 chosen for India’s independence?
It was Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy and the first Governor-General of the country, who chose August 15 to declare the independence of India. He was given the powers by the British Parliament to transfer the power to Indians by June 1948. However, he preponed it to August 15, 1947, to avoid bloodshed and riots. It is said that he chose this day since the date also commemorates with the second anniversary of Japan surrendering to the Allied Forces.
Pakistan got its independence a day before India
Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14 so that the last British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten could attend the ceremony. Since Mountbatten, as the last Viceroy of undivided India was required to grace the Independence Day ceremonies in both the countries, this decision was taken.
Five other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15
Though securing their independence in different years, five other countries celebrate their independence on August 15 along with India — including Bahrain, North Korea, South Korea, Republic of Congo, and Liechtenstein.
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