1947- A Celebration of Independence
On June 15, 1947, the British House of Commons passed the Indian Independence Act, or Mountbatten Plan, which divided India into two dominions, India and Pakistan. It called for each dominion to be granted its independence by Aug. 15 of that year.
On the night of Aug. 14, thousands of Indians gathered near government buildings in Delhi for the official ceremony celebrating independence. Jawaharlal Nehru, who would become the first prime minister of India, addressed the crowd an hour before midnight.
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially,” he said. “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.”
When the clock struck midnight, India began its first Independence Day celebration and its first day free of the British Empire. “The formal ceremonies, carefully rehearsed, had to be abandoned; in their place was a spontaneous exhibition of joy and happiness which made August 15 an unforgettable day,” wrote Indian newspaper Fauji Akhbar.
“Delhi's thousands rejoiced,” wrote Time. “The town was gay, with orange, white and green. Bullocks' horns and horses' legs were painted in the new national colors, and silk merchants sold tri-colored saris.”
Wishing you all a very happy and proud INDEPENDENCE DAY