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Indian Independence Day


Indian Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th every year. India was declared independent on the 15th of August 1947. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister and Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of the free country. 

Schools, government offices and  and people hoist the national flag through out the country and put them up on the rooftops and the buildings.

The Prime Minister addresses the Nation after the flag has been unfurled recounting the country's achievements of the year, discussing current major issues and future plans for the progress of the country. Recently, kite-flying has become a tradition on this day and people can be seen flying numerous kites of all colors, sizes and shapes symbolizing the freedom.


Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage
Tava shubha ashish maange
Gahe tava jaya-gatha
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he !

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On the 26th of January 1950, India became democratic and is the biggest democracy of the world today. In 1956, India on the basis of languages, was divided into 14 states and 6 union territories. Today there are 25 states and 7 union territories.

Independence day or I-Day is celebrated all over the country with flag-hosting ceremonies. Here is the US too comes a quiet celebration. Don't forget to tell your kids a little bit about our history !

Do's and Don'ts

  • Hoist the Flag at a height in a suitable manner.

  • Do not let small children use the National Flag as a toy.

  • Do not use or buy plastic Flags.

  • Do not use paper Flags to pin up on shirt pockets, etc.

  • Take care to see that the Flag does not get crumpled.

  • Do not use the Flag as a banner or for decoration.

  • Take care to see that the National Flag is not trampled upon or torn.

  • Do not let the Flag fall on the ground.

  • Do not join cloth pieces to resemble the National Flag.

Vande Mataram : National Song of India

It is a mixture of Sanskrit and Bengali. It was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1876. It was the national cry for freedom from British oppression during the freedom movement.

Jana Gana Mana was chosen as the National Anthem of independent India. Vande Mataram was rejected on the grounds that Muslims felt offended by its depiction of the nation as "Mother Durga"—a Hindu goddess— thus equating the nation with the Hindu conception of shakti, divine feminine dynamic force; and by its origin as part of Anandamatha, a novel they felt had an anti-Muslim message. In 1937 the Indian National Congress discussed at length the status of the song. It was pointed out then that though the first two stanzas began with an unexceptionable evocation of the beauty of the motherland, in later stanzas there are references where the motherland is likened to the Hindu goddess Durga. Therefore, the Congress decided to adopt only the first two stanzas as the national song.

"Vande maataraM 
sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM 
SasyashyaamalaaM maataram || 

Shubhrajyotsnaa pulakitayaaminiiM 
pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM 
suhaasiniiM sumadhura bhaashhiNiiM 
sukhadaaM varadaaM maataraM || 

Koti koti kantha kalakalaninaada karaale 
koti koti bhujai.rdhR^itakharakaravaale 
abalaa keno maa eto bale 
bahubaladhaariNiiM namaami taariNiiM 
ripudalavaariNiiM maataraM || 

Tumi vidyaa tumi dharma 
tumi hR^idi tumi marma 
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire 

Baahute tumi maa shakti 
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti 
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi 
mandire mandire || 

TvaM hi durgaa dashapraharaNadhaariNii 
kamalaa kamaladala vihaariNii 
vaaNii vidyaadaayinii namaami tvaaM 

Namaami kamalaaM amalaaM atulaaM 
SujalaaM suphalaaM maataraM || 

ShyaamalaaM saralaaM susmitaaM bhuushhitaaM 
DharaNiiM bharaNiiM maataraM |"



The Prime Minister Of India - Dr. Manmohan Singh

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh unfurling the tricolour flag on the occasion of 60th Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 2006.


Dr. Mammohan Singh

On Independence Day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a philosophical description of India and laid emphasis on maintaining unity despite diversity of religion, caste and language. Addressing the nation from the historic Red Fort, he asked Indian nationals to rededicate themselves to build a new India.

"Today from this historic Red Fort, I appeal to every one of you to rededicate yourself to build a new India.

  • An India that is united in thought, not divided by religion and language,

  • An India that is united in our Indianness, not divided by caste and region,

  • An India that is united in seeking new opportunities for growth, not divided by disparities,

  • An India that is caring and inclusive.

While observing that religions, castes and languages might be different, he said "we are all Indians. In our progress lies the progress of the nation."

"Our fortunes and our nation's fortunes are intertwined. And working together, we can make this fortune a glorious one," he added.

You can watch the webcast of the 2006 Indian Independence Day Celebrations held in New Delhi here.




Here is the famous speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru


Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru, photograph by Yousuf Karsh, 1956.

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. 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. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

At the dawn of history, India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and grandeur of her success and failures. Through good and ill fortune alike, she has never lost sight of that quest, forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of misfortunes and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom, we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons us now.

That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means, the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and poverty and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest men of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

And so we have to labor and to work, and to work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace is said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.

To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.

The appointed day has come -the day appointed by destiny- and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.

It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!

We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrow-stricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.

On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation, who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.

Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.

We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good [or] ill fortune alike.

The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavor? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.

We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.

To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.

And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.


How it all began ?

The Revolt of 1857 shook the very foundation of the British rule in India. The revolt proved a turning point in India's history though it was suppressed by the British. It was the first serious attempt of a large section of the country to throw off the British "Raj". After the revolt the British parliament took over the entire responsibility
of governing India.

Mahatma Gandhi led the civil Disobedience Movement which was launched in the Congress Session of December 1929. The aim of this movement was a complete disobedience of the orders of the British Government. It during this movement that it was decided that India would celebrate 26th January as Independence day all over the country. On the 26th January 1930 meetings were held all over the country and the Congress tricolor was hoisted.

The freedom for India's Independence continued.

"We shall either free India or die in the attempt; We shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery" - Mahatma Gandhi who led the Quit India Movement. The Congress passed the famous Quit India resolution at a session in Bombay. The movement called for non-violent but wide spread struggle for India's freedom. But before the
Congress could start the movement, the government arrested all the major leaders and the Congress was declared illegal. Spontaneous popular revolts broke out through out the country with the battle cry of 'British Quit India'

On 9th December 1946, the Congress started its work of framing the Indian Constitution. The Muslim league pressed its demand for a separate country under the leadership of Jinah.

On 3rd June 1947, under the chairmanship of Mountbatten the Congress and Muslim league leaders met and agreed that India would become free on 15th August 1947 and the country will be partitioned under the guidance of the Red Cliff Mission.

On the stroke of mid-night on 14th August 1947, India became independent and was partitioned. The nation waited with bated breath for the clock to strike the midnight hour heralding the birth of Free India on August 14th - 15th, 1947.

At the special 'Independence meeting' of the Constituent Assembly which began at the Council Chamber of Parliament building in New Delhi at 11 p.m. on August 14th,1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru moved the resolution that "After the last stroke of midnight, all members
of the Constituent Assembly dedicate themselves to the service of India and the people." The opening song, Vande Mataram', was sung by Mrs. Sucheta Kripalani at 11.05 p.m.

Prolonged applause greeted the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr Rajendra Prasad's remarks : "Let us also pay our tribute of love and reverence to Mahatma Gandhi, who has been our beacon light, our guide and philosopher during the last 30 years or more. The President first addressed the House in Hindustani and then in English. After the President's speech the House stood in silence for two minutes in memory of those who had died in the struggle for freedom in India and

This was followed by loud cheers as Mr. Nehru approached the mike....In his stirring speech he said ...."Many 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. 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, then an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of
dedication to India and her People and to the still larger cause of humanity". His speech however did not mention the partition of the

Today, "India Day Parades" and celebrations are held across the US by the Indians residing here. These parades exhibit the richness of the Indian culture, tradition, and values.


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