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Why was 15th August chosen as the Independence Day for India?

Tulika Tandon

Indian Independence Day is observed every year on August 15 since the year 1947 when British left India for good. But do we really know why this date was specifically chosen or what is the reason behind Independence day being observed on August 15? Know it all in the article here. 

It was the Congress President's call for Poorna Swaraj or total independence in 1929 when the day, January 26 was chosen to obtain freedom from the British shackles. In Fact the Congress continued to celebrate this day 1930 onwards  as Independence day and after India became free on August 15, 1947, the country was declared Republic on January 26, 1950. India became a sovereign country free from the Dominion status of Britain since that day. 

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How August 15 became Independence Day of India?

It was till June 30, 1948, that Lord Mountbatten had been given the mandate by the British Parliament to transfer the power to India. However if Lord Mountbatten had waited till 1948, the power would not have been left to be transferred as per Rajgopalachari. 

So Mountbatten shifted the date to August 1947. 

At that time it was claimed by him that the preponing of the date would cause less of a riot or bloodshed. Mountbatten couldn't have been more wrong. The riots broke out and in the worst. Mountbatten then defended saying, wherever the colonial rule ends it has always been in bloodshed. 

Based on Mountbatten's inputs about the conditions in India, the dates were decided. 

Indian Independence Bill was introduced in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1947 just after the review given by Mountbatten. 

It was 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.

Mountbatten said that, “the date I chose came out of the blue. I chose it in reply to a question. I was determined to show I was master of the whole event. When they asked if we had 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 I then went out on the 15th August. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender.”

Japanese Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address for this day. In the radio address, he announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies. 

The Indian Independence Bill gave August 15 as the date of independence for both the countries. 

The first stamp issued by Pakistan mentioned August 15 as its independence day. 

While addressing Pakistan's first Independence Day, Jinnah said, “August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan. It marks the fulfillment of the destiny of the Muslim nation which made great sacrifices in the past few years to have its homeland.”

In 1948, Pakistan made August 14 as its Independence Day. 

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