Independence Day


Independence Day (1947): August 15, 2023

On 15 August 1947 India became independent from the British Empire following the Independence Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and his message of nonviolent resistance. The handover of power was overseen by Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India and raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi in honour of the celebrations.

These photos show the events surrounding the first Independence Day in 1947.

Lord Mountbatten discusses his plan for the partition of India and transfer of power with Indian leaders at Viceroy’s House, New Delhi, on 2 June 1947.”Mahatma Gandhi said: “From tomorrow [15th August] we shall be delivered from the bondage of the British rule. But from midnight today, India will be partitioned too. While, therefore, tomorrow will be a day of rejoicing, it will be a day of sorrow as well. It will throw a heavy burden of responsibility upon us. Let us pray to God that He may give us strength to bear it …. ””

Here is Jawaharlal Nehru delivering the ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech in the Constitution Assembly of India, 14-15 August 1947

““Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s “Tribute to Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives in Freedom Struggle” in an article in The Bombay Chronicle on 15 August 1947: “Today when we are witnessing the fulfillment of our life’s ambition and participating in the victory that has crowned the nation’s struggle for freedom, it is our first duty to pay homage to the memory of those whose sacrifices have contributed so much to this glorious conclusion of that struggle. Let the nation honour their memory in the rejoicing which freedom has brought in its train.””