India will celebrate its 75th Independence Day on Sunday. The day marks the attainment of freedom from the 200 years of British rule and pays tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the freedom struggle. The theme for this year’s Independence Day is ‘Nation First, Always First.’
The Indian freedom movement was a long struggle that involved nationwide protests, satyagraha, exercises to completely boycott the British Raj and many unsung efforts. The movement saw the emergence of a number of iconic leaders and fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose, and many uncountable names.
As India inches forward towards the dawn of another Independence Day, let us know some lesser-known facts about the day.
India did not have a national anthem at the time of Independence
At the time when we attained Independence in 1947, India did not have an official national anthem. The song ‘Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata’ was originally composed in 1911 by Rabindranath Tagore but was renamed as ‘Jan Gan Mana’ and adopted as the official national anthem by the Constituent Assembly of India on 24th January 1950.
India’s national song Vande Matram was lines of a novel
The national song of India, ‘Vande Matram’, written and composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was actually a part of one of his own novels ‘Anandamath’. The novel was written in the 1880s.
M Karunanidhi demanded PMs to hoist the national flag on the day
Until 1973, the Governors of the respective states hoisted the national flag on Independence day and from 1974 the tradition was taken up by the Chief Ministers of the respective states. However, it was Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, who played a major role in initiating the tradition of prime minister hoisting the national flag. He wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, highlighting the different practices followed in Delhi. This suggestion was accepted by the Central government.
Five more countries celebrate Independence Day on August 15
North Korea, South Korea, the Republic of Congo, Bahrain, and Liechtenstein also celebrate their Independence Day on August 15.
Indian flag is manufactured and supplied at only one place
The Indian National tricolour is manufactured and supplied from only one place in India, which is The Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS), located in Dharwad, Karnataka. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the national flag is manufactured only with hand-spun and handwoven cotton khadi.