India Celebrates Independence Day
August 15, 2012 @ 09:00 am
We at MTV wish everyone a Happy Independence Day.
A short, grainy video from 66 years ago today shows the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, standing at the podium in parliament under a whirring fan, dressed in a silk jacket with his signature rose in the buttonhole, and addressing the noisy constitutional assembly.
"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." The speech still resonates in India because it genuinely captured the moment in the way great speeches can.
Today, Independence Day is one of the three national holidays in India (the other two being the Republic Day on 26 January and Mohandas Gandhi's birthday on 2 October) and is observed in all Indian states and union territories. On this day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion. The Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana is sung. The speech is followed by march past by divisions of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces, and parades and pageants showcasing events from the struggle for independence as well as cultural traditions of the country. Similar events take place in state capitals where the Chief Ministers of individual states unfurl the national flag, and parades and pageants follow.
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