Indians mark Independence Day every year on August 15 with flag hoisting, patriotic songs and cultural programmes to commemorate its freedom from the British colonial rule.
This year, India will celebrate its 73rd Independence Day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the Red Fort.
Here are some facts about Independence Day:
1. The Indian Independence Act passed by the British parliament on July 5, 1947, was based upon the Mountbatten plan of June 3, 1947. The act mentioned the date of independence as August 15, 1947.
2. The date August 15 was also chosen by the last viceroy and first governor-general of India Lord Mountbatten as it was the same day in 1945 Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces at the end of the World War II.
3. The Indian national flag has gone through a lot of changes in the past before its current form. It was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947, and became the official flag on August 15, 1947.
4. Hubli-based Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha is the only institution designated to supply the national flag for the entire country by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and in conformation with the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
5. Jana Gana Mana was written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911 and officially adopted as India’s national anthem in 1950
6. The Mughal-era Red Fort has seen Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, unfurling the national flag 17 times. He was followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi, who got the honour 16 times.
7. In 2012, Manmohan Singh became the third Prime Minister to hoist the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the ninth time in a row after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
8. Singh’s predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hoisted the tricolour from the Red Fort six times from 1998 to 2003.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also addressed the nation on August 15 six times so far.
10. In 2017, Modi spoke for 96 minutes, in the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian Prime Minister.
11. Bahrain, North Korea, South Korea, Liechtenstein and Republic of Congo are the five other countries which also celebrate their Independence Day on August 15.
12. Google has been commemorating India’s Independence Day since 2003 with a special doodle on its India homepage.