Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s famous speech “Tryst With Destiny” announced the Independence of India on 15 August 1947. But, surely there are certain things about the Independence day which you might not be aware of. Let’s Check it.

1.WHY 15th AUGUST? The Date of Independence was chosen to satisfy Mountbatten’s conceit.

Every year on 15 August we celebrate our Independence Day with all our heart and joy, but never gave a thought that WHY 15 August was chosen as the big day. The answer lies within the vanity of the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten. When he was asked why did he choose 15 August as the date of Independence, here is what he had to say-

“The date I chose came out of the blue. I chose it in reply to a question. I was determined to show I was the master of the whole event. When they asked: had I set a date, I knew it had to be soon. I hadn’t worked it out exactly then – I thought it had to be about August or September and then I went to the 15th of August. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender.”

It was on 15 August 1945 Japan surrendered to British in second world war after being devastated by two nukes. The date had a personal appeal for Mountbatten as he had been Supreme Allied Commander of South-East Asia Command and had accepted the Japanese surrender himself in Singapore.

2. Partition actually took place after two days of Independence.

Partition is the bitter price that India had to pay for Independence. It is often misunderstood that partition took place as India got its Independence, but the reality is different.

The task to draw the line between India and Pakistan was assigned to Sir Cyril Radcliffe and he had the boundary ready by August 9, 1947. But, Mountbatten refused to publish the map till August 17. On the morning of August 15, 1947, when India was free of British Raj the people of Punjab stood in a dilemma as they didn’t know to which country they belonged to. India or Pakistan.

The reason for this delay was obvious as the British didn’t want to owe any responsibility of any kind of killings or massacre as it was obvious that the partition will lead to an inevitable slaughter of human life and humanity.

3. On August 15, 1947, India was not Independent but a Dominion of King George(VI).

The call of “Poorna Swaraj” was given by the Congress party and since then it became the call of every Indian, complete Independence it meant. When on August 15, 1947, Pandit Nehru announced the Independence of India it actually became a Dominion- a constitutional monarchy with King George VI as its head of state.

India became a republic and abolished the monarchy on January 26, 1950, and the Constitution of India came into action. Pakistan remained the dominion of state till 1956.

4.Pakistan too achieved Independence on August 15, not 14.

We all know that Pakistan celebrates its Independence day on August 14, a day prior to ours. But, the fact is Pakistan gained its independence on August 15, just like India.

The Independence of India Act is quite clear when its states that “as from the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, two independent Dominions shall be set up in India, to be known respectively as India and Pakistan”.

In Pakistan, however, this date was changed to August 14 in 1948. Some think this was because Mountbatten delivered the King’s message of independence in Karachi on August 14, 1947. Others postulate that it was because of August 14, 1948, was extremely holy in Islam (it was the 27th day of Ramzan). Or maybe, Pakistan just wanted to be a day ahead of India.

5. Britishers left India with huge Affection and Hail.

British troops departing for the UK were given a very warm send off in Mumbai as well. Mountbatten estimates that there were “several hundreds of thousands” in reception with chants of “England Zindabad” and “Jai England” for, what was until the previous day, a colonial army of occupation.

Source- Internet

Overwhelmed by this reception, Mountbatten writes, “The 15th of August has certainly turned out to be the most remarkable and inspiring day of my life.”

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