73rd Independence Day- Why India celebrates Independence Day on 15 August
The call for Poorna Swaraj:
In 1929, when Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress President gave the call for ‘Poorna Swaraj’ or total independence from British colonial rule, January 26 was chosen as the Independence Day.
Congress party continued to celebrate it 1930 onwards, till India attained independence and January 26, 1950, was chosen as the Republic Day – the day India formally became a sovereign country and was no longer a British Dominion.
How did August 15 become India’s independence day?
Lord Mountbatten had been given a mandate by the British parliament to transfer the power by June 30, 1948. If he had waited till June 1948, in C Rajagopalachari’s memorable words, there would have been no power left to transfer. Mountbatten thus advanced the date to August 1947. By advancing the date, he said he was ensuring that there will be no bloodshed or riot.
Based on Mountbatten’s inputs the Indian Independence Bill was introduced in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1947, and passed within a fortnight. It provided for the end of the British rule in India, on August 15, 1947, and the establishment of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, which were allowed to secede from the British Commonwealth.
Why Mountbatten chose August 15, 1947?
Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender.