India celebrates this Independence Day as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotshav’ to commemorate its 75 years of independence. On this day, August 15, 1947, India became independent, and the British colonial rule ended. On the night of August 15, 1947, the first prime minister of Independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, said, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, India will awake to life and freedom when the world sleeps.” These words aptly captured the struggle and happiness of newly independent India as it finally managed to free itself from the clutches of British rule.
The first prime minister hoisted the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in Delhi to mark the occasion. This act of celebration became a symbolic gesture and remains till today. On this day every year, on August 15, India celebrates its Independence Day, and PM hoists the flag on the rampart of the Red Fort. The day is celebrated with much passion all over the country and abroad with flag-hoisting ceremonies, drills, cultural events, and the singing of the Indian National Anthem. As the country celebrates its 75th Independence day this year, let us explore the history and significance of this day.
History. The Battle of Plassey was fought on June 23 1757, Victory for the East India Company of the British in the Battle of Plassey was the start of nearly two centuries of British rule in India. For an event with such earth-shattering consequences, it was an astonishingly insignificant military encounter because the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal credited much to betrayal for which the British were notorious.
The East India Company ruled India for 100 years, after which it was replaced by direct British rule in the wake of the Indian uprising of 1857.
The European and the British traders, to begin with, came to India for business drives. The Industrial Revolution in Britain led the way to the increase in demand for raw materials. Simultaneously, they also needed a market to sell their finished goods. India provided such a platform to Britain to fulfil all its requirements.
The eighteenth century was a time of interior supremacy fight in India, and with the decreasing power of the Mughals, the Britishers were provided with the picture-perfect opportunity to create their hold over Indian Territory.
They controlled the sale of raw materials and accepted these at low prices; however, the Indian weavers had to buy them at excessive prices. Hefty duties were forced on Indian goods, inflowing Britain to shield their industry. Numerous investments were made to expand the transport and communication system in the country to smoothen the easy transfer of raw materials and finished goods. English education was also made known to create a class of educated Indians who would support the British in governing the country and reinforce their political authority. All these measures helped the British to establish, consolidate and continue their rule over India.
Exploitation. There was nothing positive in the British rule of our country. India had to suffer disgraceful humiliation on a colossal scale and continual violence of a kind India had never suffered before. In a nutshell, British rule was an era of obscurity for India, all over which it agonised by numerous manufactured famines, wars, racism, maladministration, deportation of its people to distant lands and economic exploitation on an unprecedented scale. A vexed Indians even stipulates a symbolic apology and public act of contrition from the British for all the damage they had caused to the nation. They looted India with impunity. Whatever they did had their selfish motive and was against the poor Indians. They also perfected mastred a policy of divide and rule, breaking treaties to initiate wars and plunder the country. According to one estimate, India’s share in the global GDP was around about 27% in 1700 AD, and it was 3% in 1947.
The uprising against the British rule. The British colonial rule had a significant influence on all segments of Indian society. When the British subjugated India and controlled its economy, they confronted a tense confrontation from the people. There was a succession of civil uprisings. These rebellions were led by rulers whom the Britishers overthrew, ex-officials of the conquered Indian states, penurious zamindars. It led the way to bring people together besides having different ethnic, religious and class backgrounds. They came together to fight against British rule.
Unfortunately, these rebellions were unsuccessful before the British armed forces, but they paved a future challenge to the British Raj in India. The first war of Independence of 1857 was a big challenge to British rule. It was directed by the sepoys and supported by ordinary people.
The Indian independence movement was a sequence of historical events with the eventual goal of winding-up of British rule in India. The movement spanned from 1857 to 1947. The first nationalistic revolutionary movement of Indian independence emerged in the land of Bengal.
Renaissance, the French Revolution, American Revolution, Russian Revolution had promoted nationalism in the world. An anti-colonial movement led to the rise of Nationalism in India in the 19th century. The contemporary social and religious reform movements also contributed to the rise of feelings of nationalism.
The revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdeo, etc., chose the path of the aggressive movement against the British government. Gandhiji started the mass movement in India against British policies. He was the leader who could encourage and involve all sections of society in this movement.
With the advent of Europeans in India, a struggle for independence dawned upon India and its people. East India Company officially started dictating India with Regulating Act of 1773. India’s struggle for independence is known to the masses and makes an essential chapter in the evolution of India as a free nation.
Conclusion: Independence Day is significant as it commemorates the valour and spirit of the freedom fighters who fought for the nation’s independence from British rule. The day is recognised as that of national pride and honour. Indian nationalism was established throughout the Indian independence movement, which crusaded for freedom from British rule. Indian nationalism is an illustration of territorial nationalism, which is all-encompassing of all of the people of India, despite their diverse ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds.
The wisdom of collective fit in came partially with the experience of amalgamated struggles. Nonetheless, there were also a diversity of cultural processes through which nationalism apprehended people’s imagination. History and fiction, folklore and songs, popular prints and symbols all played a part in nationalism.