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Independence Day 2019 | Here's How India First Celebrated Its Independence

August 15, 1947, ceremonies began at 8 am, with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his cabinet as well the newly re-designated Governor-General Lord Mountbatten taking oath inside the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Updated:August 15, 2019, 11:06 AM IST
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Independence Day 2019 | Here's How India First Celebrated Its Independence
Jawaharlal Nehru.
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August 15 holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian public as it was on this day, in 1947, that the country got freedom from British rule. The 1947 Indian Independence Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned British India into two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan. After three years, India declared itself a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state by adopting its Constitution on January 26, 1950.

August 15 is also an occasion to remember the struggle and sacrifices of masses and leaders who freed India from the yoke of British colonial rule. So as India celebrates its 73rd Independence Day on August 15, here are some lesser-known facts about the first time the occasion was celebrated in the country:

Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced on 20 February 1947 that the British Government would grant full self-government to British India by 3 June 1948. However, the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the new viceroy in February 1947 changed the British plan. After a historic meeting with the major political parties on June 3, 1947, Mountbatten decided on August 15, ostensibly to mark the second anniversary of Japan's surrender to the British in World War II.

Indian independence was officially declared at the fifth sitting of the Constituent Assembly of India in the Constitution Hall (now the Parliament house) on the intervening night of August 14 and 15. The session began at 11 pm with the recitation of Vande Mataram by freedom fighter Sucheta Kriplani.

This was followed by the President of Constituent Assembly, Dr Rajendra Prasad, delivering his presidential speech which began with the lines “In this solemn hour, of our history when after many years of struggle we are taking over the governance of this country, let us offer humble thanks to the Almighty Power that shapes the destinies of men and nations and let us recall in grateful remembrance the services and sacrifices of all those men and women, known and unknown, who with smiles on their face walked to the gallows or faced bullets on their chests…”

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, also delivered his famous ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech on the eve of India's Independence Day.

August 15, 1947, ceremonies began at 8 am, with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his cabinet as well the newly re-designated Governor-General Lord Mountbatten taking oath inside the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mountbatten made a speech as the Governor- General.

On August 15, 1947, Nehru also unfurled the national flag at Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi, setting a precedent for future prime ministers.

The flag-unfurling was marked by a 21-gun salute.

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