Minutes before India gained independence from the British rule, the first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru addressed the Indian Constituent Assembly in the Parliament. His infamous speech 'Tryst with Destiny' is still engraved into the heart of the soul of the nation. But did you know, India wasn't supposed to get independent until 1948? In other words, Nehru might not have known he needed to make this speech almost a year before. Is this why the term 'destiny' seems even more fitting here? We may not know.
However, as India celebrates 75 years of Independence this year, here are reasons, why August 15, 1947, was chosen as the day the nation attained freedom.
Independence in the 1930s?
India's collective desire to attain Independence first started surfacing in 1929, when Jawaharlal Nehru as the Congress President gave the call for ‘Poorna Swaraj’ or total independence from British colonial rule. It isn't widely known that an actual 'Independence Day' was celebrated from the year 1930 to 1947 on January 26. However, the day is now marked as the 'Republic Day' in the country.
What did Lord Mountbatten want?
Former Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten had been given a mandate by the British parliament to transfer the power by June 30, 1948. However, as per C Rajagopalachari’s memorable words - If he had waited till June 1948, there would have been no power left to transfer. Mountabtten was hence compelled to prepone the date to 1947.
Did partition talks play a part?
Upon taking power in February 1947, Lord Mountbatten immediately began a series of talks with Indian leaders to reach a consensus, but everything was not so simple in the country. With partition talks doing rounds, Nehru couldn't see eye to eye with Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah's demand for a separate nation sparked massive communal riots across India and the situation became uncontrollable every day. Taking cognizance of the situation, the date was then rescheduled to 1947 instead of 1948.
75th year of Independence
World's largest democracy India is celebrating the 75th Independence Day today. On August 15th, 1947 India broke free from the shackles of British rule, through the cooperation of several freedom fighters whose efforts made independence a reality for India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on Sunday on the occasion of 75th Independence Day and expressed the hope that the year of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' will infuse new energy in the country.