Freedom At Midnight – Reasons Behind Independence Day And Republic Day

We all know that India got its freedom from the British at the midnight of 15th August 1947. But do you know why exactly only on that date and no other date was chosen. Well by the end of 1945 the World War II had come to an end, leaving the British physically and financially weak. They were in no position to run their own country leave alone its colonies. On June 3, 1947, the British had announced that they would grant India its freedom on August 15,1947. The said date was chosen by Lord Mountbatten the last Viceroy of India. Subsequent to the announcement of this date, there was a huge hue and cry in India as this day was supposed to be very inauspicious. Various requests were made by Indians to have it on an alternate day but Lord Mountbatten was adamant to transfer the powers on the said date as this would make him happy.

It was on 15th August 1947, that the Japanese had surrendered before the British. Lord Mountbatten felt this was the best way to snub the Japanese all through their lives. Therefore an alternate solution had to found to the same. The Astrologers then suggested that we celebrate freedom at midnight because as the British a new day begins at 12 am but as per Indians a new day begins only after sunrise. The he astrologers had insisted that the speech of acknowledgement of transfer of power be done within the 48 minutes window (referred to as “Abhijeet Muhurta”) which lasted between 24 minutes before and after 12:15am i.e between 11:51pm & 12:39am. Shri. Nehru had to deliver a speech only within that time frame and an additional constraint was that the speech had to end by 12 AM, so that the holy conch (Shanka) be blown to herald the birth of a new nation at the stroke of midnight hour.

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