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75th Independence Day: 10 important facts about India's freedom struggle

NEW DELHI: India is all set to commemorate its 75th Independence Day on August 15 this year with the theme 'Nation First, Always First'.

The Indian government is celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav program in view of 75 years of Independence and is dedicated to the people of India.

India was under British rule from 1858 to 1947. The British East India Company controlled India from 1757 to 1857.

On August 15, 1947, India earned freedom from 200 years of British colonial control. The freedom fighter's huge courage and sacrifice ousted the British to free the nation on August 15, 1947.

With just a few days to go for the 75th Independence Day, let's revisit history and know about several interesting facts associated with India's Independence:

1. The first struggle for independence was in 1857, very famously called the Sepoy Mutiny or the Indian Rebellion of 1857 was led by Mangal Pandey. Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Tatya Tope, and Nana Sahib were the others who led the resistance against British soldiers in 1857.

2. Then came the Swadeshi Movement in the 1900s. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and JRD Tata founded the Bombay Swadeshi Co-op Stores Co. Ltd. to promote Swadeshi goods and boycotted foreign goods. Mahatma Gandhi described it as the soul of swaraj (self-rule).

3. The Indian national flag with three horizontal stripes of red, yellow, and green was hoisted on August 7, 1906, at Parsee Bagan Square in Kolkata. The first variant of our current national flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya in 1921. The current flag with saffron, white and green stripes with the 24-spoke Ashok Chakra was officially adopted on July 22, 1947, and hoisted on August 15, 1947.

4. The Quit India Movement, also known as the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British rule in India.

5. India did not have an official national anthem at the time of Independence. The song 'Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata', composed in 1911 by Rabindranath Tagore, was renamed 'Jan Gan Man'. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on January 24, 1950.

6. The boundary line between India and Pakistan, also known as the Radcliffe Line was demarcated by British barrister Sir Cyril Radcliffe on August 3, 1947. It was officially published only on August 17, 1947, two days after India got its independence from the British.

7. The name India was derived from the river Indus. It bears testimony to the great Indus Valley Civilization that flourished between the river's tributaries.

8. India got Independence at the 'stroke' of midnight on August 15, 1947. Korea, Congo, Bahrain and Liechtenstein also share their Independence Day with India on this day.

9. India's national song 'Vande Mataram' composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was part of his novel 'Anandamath' written in the 1880s. Vande Mataram was adopted as the national song on January 24, 1950.

10. India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the tricolour at the Red Fort at midnight on August 15. In his famous Independence Day speech, he said, "Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now that time comes when we shall redeem our pledge. At the stroke of today's midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."

 

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