India became an independent nation on August 15, 1947. It was on this day that India’s prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech…
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. 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. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. …. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.”
Although India was now a free nation, it did come at a price. The country was now divided into India and Pakistan and the violent riots had left both countries scarred, as millions of people belonging to different religious groups had traveled across the newly drawn border to find places to reside. It is during this time that between 250,000 to 500,000 lives were lost.
Ever since that monumental day, every year on this day, people across India celebrate their freedom from British colonialism that had lasted over two hundred years with great enthusiasm. On this day tributes are paid to the freedom revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Sukhdev who sacrificed their lives to gain freedom for India.