The countdown had started much earlier. It was on February 26, 1947, when the British Government made an important announcement of policy. It declared, its intention to quit India by June, 1948, and appointed Lord Mountbatten Viceroy of India to arrange for the transfer of authority from British to Indian hands. This momentous declaration had already evoked hearty enthusiasm all over India. Mountbatten assumed office on 24th March, 1947, and on 3rd June broadcast the famous declaration laying down the method by which the power will be transferred.
So, the groundwork was already done. It was only an waiting for the
As the midnight approached on August 14, 1947, the whole nation had geared up to greet the glorious moment of their nation's history. And with the last stroke of midnight the waiting was over. India put her first step out of the 300 years of British colonial rule as an Independent nation.
The pangs of heavy losses was there, though . For, the much-sought-after-freedom had come after so many sacrifices and loss of lives that it left a deep scar on the soul of the nation. Yet, indeed, it was a moment of celebration for all Indians.
A special session of the Constituent Assembly was held in New Delhi on the
14-15 August, 1947.
The 'Independence meeting' began at the Council Chamber of Parliament building in New Delhi at 11 p.m. on August 14th, 1947. The session was chaired by the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr Rajendra Prasad. The opening song, ' Vande Mataram', was sung by Mrs Sucheta Kripalani at 11.05 p.m.
Jawaharlal Nehru moved the resolution on behalf of the Congress, seconded by Chaudhuri Khaliq-uz-Ziman, leader of the Muslim League Party. It was resolved that "After the last stroke of midnight, all members of the Constituent Assembly" dedicate themselves "to the service of India and he people."
Finally, the resolution was moved to take the Oath of the Dedication. The text of the ran:- " At this solemn moment when the people of India, by their suffering and sacrifice have secured freedom and become martyrs of their destiny I .........., a member of Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain its rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full willing contribution to the promotion of the world peace and welfare of mankind." All the members took the oath standing.
The resolution was carried out unanimously. This was followed by the historic speech of Mr. Nehru , the first prime minister of Independent India.
It solemnly declared the Independence and the continuance of India as a part of the British Commonwealth. Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the first Governor General of new Indian Dominion.
As the 15th dawned on the subcontinent, India woke up to freedom. A red letter day was born for the nation. It was time to celebrate. To celebrate the triumph of numerous martyred souls. Indeed, it was a day of fulfillment, the day of a new beginning, a birth of a sovereign nation.
The dawn of Independence day began at 8:30 a.m, with the swearing in ceremony at the Viceregal Lodge (now known as the Rashtrapati Bhawan). The new Government was sworn in the central hall (now Durbar Hall). Two large size National Flags along with the Governor General's flag in deep blue with the Star of India were majestically hung in the backdrop on the wall of the hall facing the distinguished gathering.
The Tricolor proudly went up for the first time against a free sky of Independent India on the flag mast of the Council House at 10:30 a.m.
The first Prime Minister of the India unfurled the tricolor against a clear warm sky, symbolically marking the end of the British colonial rule. And a new journey had began.