74th Independence Day: Why Pakistan gained its independence a day before India and what are the main reasons behind it?
On August 15, 1947, India got its independence from the British Raj at the cost of two separate nations-- India and Pakistan. The two countries gained their freedom together but Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day a day before India on August 14, 1947, as a Muslim dominant nation while India emerged as a secular nation. Muhammad Ali Jinnah emerged as the founder of the Muslim nation Pakistan. Partition was followed by large scale violence, displacement, riots and loss of lives.
The then Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, returned all the power to India after the Indian Independence law came into effect. The Independence of India came at the cost of creation of Pakistan. As per the Indian Independence Act of 1947, two independent countries will be formed in India-- India and Pakistan from August 15, 1947.
Why Pakistan celebrates Independence a day before India?
1- Pakistan celebrates Independence a day before India as Lord Mountbatten transferred his powers to Pakistan on August 14, 1947, so that Pakistani officials can attend India's Independence program in New Delhi on August 15, 1947.
2- It was 27th day of Ramadan on August 14, 1947, and is considered as a culinary day as per Islamic Calendar. This is another reason why Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14.
3- Pakistan was formed out of Independent India and not from British India and India gained Independence on August 15, 1947.
4- Some people are of the view that India's time is 30 minutes ahead of Pakistan. India gained its Independence on August 15, 1947, at 00:00 IST. Thus, when Pakistan got its independence, it was 23:30 at that time in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14, 1947, a day before India's Independence.
In the year 1971, East Pakistan became independent as present-day Bangladesh while West Pakistan is now present-day Pakistan.
1- On September 11, 1948, Jinnah lost his battle against TB, 13 months after Pakistan gained its independence.
2- As per several reports, it is said that the first two Independence Days were celebrated on August 15 in Pakistan but later on, Pakistan started celebrating it a day before.
3- The first commemorative stamp of Pakistan has mentioned August 15 as its Independence Day in the year 1948.
4- In Pakistan, on every Independence Day, a radio message of Jinnah is played on August 14, but it mentions August 15 as its Independence Day.
After the partition, the Dominion of India is known as the Republic of India and the Dominion of Pakistan is known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The partition displaced around 10-12 million people along religious lines, witnessing large-scale violence at the cost of lives of millions of people. Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the first Prime Minister of Muslim dominated nation, Pakistan while Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of a secular nation, India.
Geographical Partition of India and Pakistan
The then Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten came up with a '3 June Plan' or 'Mountbatten Plan' to divide British India between the two new dominions on the basis of the following points:
1- Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in Punjab and Bengal legislative assemblies would meet and vote for partition. If a simple majority of either group wanted partition, then these provinces would be divided.
2- Sind and Baluchistan were to make their own decision.
3- The fate of North-West Frontier Province and Sylhet district of Assam was to be decided by a referendum.
4- India would be independent by 15 August 1947.
5- The separate independence of Bengal was ruled out.
6- A boundary commission to be set up in case of partition.
As princely states were not British possessions, but on 3 June Mountbatten advised the princely states against remaining independent and advised them to join one of the two new dominions-- India and Pakistan.
Lord Mountbatten wanted to fulfil the Muslim League's and Congress' demands and at the same time wanted to retain maximum possible unity. Thus, Mountbatten's formula fulfilled the demand of the Muslim League for a separate country and Congress' position on maximum possible unity.