Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Story behind August 15

We've all read the long drawn struggle for independence. Today I wanted to share a little story on the date 'August 15'.

Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India was given the rather distasteful task of ensuring India got its independence. Politically, he was all for independence. But the aristocrat in him, as a member of the royal family and his romance with India made his heart heavy at the upcoming task. In fact, he met his wife in India!

He had been informed to announce the date of independence somewhere in the end of June 1948. However, as soon as Mountbatten took charge, it became apparent that the people's sentiment was extremely anti-British. He had been charged to come out of India with as much respect he could muster for the British. At a press meet, without any discussion, being a decorated officer from World War II decided that the date on which India should be born should be the date Japan surrendered and declared India will be freed on August 15 1947.

While this was amazing news for all Indians, there was one sect of Indians who were aghast. They were India's astrologers. They claimed it would be better to tolerate the British one more day than on Aug 15. Perplexed, Mountbatten came up with the solution that India would be granted freedom at midnight!

We know of the arduous struggle for independence. But even after independence was within our fingertips, there were so many problems. Princely states which refused to become democratic, poor Radcliffe tasked with splitting India with no time to see where his line would cross in reality. The Radcliffe Line sometimes went through houses, one half in Pakistan and the other in India. Our struggles for independence was consistent, even days after our nation was born, the new government had to grapple with the horrors of Partition,

Our ancestors fought so much for our freedom that had cost us dearly, let us take the responsibility to make India the beautiful country it deserves to be.

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