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What Does Independence Day Mean To Us In 2020?

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Independence Day Of India- August 15, 2020

Independence Day in India is celebrated on August 15th every year. Independence Day is a hallmark celebration for the citizens of India as it commemorates the day when the country finally achieved Freedom from British rule in 1947. It took many years of relentless struggle and sacrifices by freedom fighters to declare the nation free from British supremacy. Apart from Independence, the day also signifies the partition of India into two separate countries, India and Pakistan.

The day is celebrated as a national holiday throughout India. All companies, banks, educational institutions and government establishments shut their offices to take part in the day’s proceedings. Flag hoisting ceremonies, speeches by dignitaries and parades are held to celebrate the day. This article is an excellent read up on Indian Independence Day 2020. Let us discuss its history, significance, celebrations and quote famous sayings that are earmarked for the day. Relevant FAQs are addressed towards the end of this article.

Representational image.

Indian Independence Day: History

India celebrates 74th year of Independence on August 15th 2020. The East India Company made India as their settlement after they won the Battle of Plassey in the year 1757. World War 1 brought a bleak situation to India. The British took over complete control of the country and established their laws and regimes for the nation. All government orders were scrutinised by the British. Indians were suppressed and exploited for years together and were meted out the most inhumane treatment by the British.

This agitated a revolution in Indian minds, and the call for freedom and liberation from this oppressive rule soon became a reality. The struggle for Indian Independence under the leadership of eminent freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Abdul Kalam Azad, and more, took the country in a sea of revolt. Countrymen, including men, women and children made many personal sacrifices and gave up their elite jobs to fight for India’s Freedom.

Netaji Subhas Bose with Mahatma Gandhi at an Indian National Congress meet. Image source: Wikipedia

The country saw many great movements like the Civil Disobedience movement, Salt Satyagraha, Quit India movement, Dandi March, and Jallianwala Bagh massacres before the call for Freedom substantiated.

Mahatma Gandhi stressed on the importance of Freedom for every human being and actively took over the reins of the freedom movement. He inspired every person to come out in the open and peacefully protest against British rule. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the tricolour flag for the first time at Red Fort, New Delhi on the midnight of August 15th, 1947 and gave the historic Tryst with destiny speech that marked the way to India’s Freedom and Independence from British Rule.

The British officially accepted India’s Independence with official handover duties from Lord Mountbatten and moved all their men and artillery back to their soil. Independence Day marks the most remarkable day in India’s history. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was made the first Prime Minister of Independent India.

Importance of Independence Day 2020

The road map to India’s future was carved with the blood and sweat of thousands of freedom fighters who gave their lives for the nation. Looking at India’s progress as on today, it is evident that the country has made inroads into every field of science, technology and development. India aims to be a superpower along with the developed countries in the near future.

Indians have created global milestones in the field of education, space programs, military forces, medical sciences, highways and infrastructures, engineering and technology fields. All this was possible because India, as a country, made significant progress from being a weak agrarian economy to a developing nation. The power of Freedom enables a country to envision its path to glory and success by writing its vision through hard work and dedication of its citizens.

Representational post.

On the midnight of August 15th in 1947, our country did not have an official National Anthem to be sung on occasion. Rabindranath Tagore authored India’s National Anthem as early as 1911, but India’s constitution officially accepted it only in the late 1950’s. Independence Day is a day of sacrifice and gives out a strong message to the youth of India. We all tend to take Freedom for granted. We have not achieved this Freedom out of the sheer grant.

It was a long struggle and loss of plenty of lives before the sun rose on Indian soil. The sacrifice and toil of thousands of people, our ancestors, should not go for a waste. We have to teach our next generations about the importance of Freedom and the liberties that it brings along with it. We need to preserve and respect our Freedom. We should also inspire the younger generation to join the armed forces and serve the country.

Indian Independence Day 2020 Celebration

At the arrival of the Prime Minister at the Red Fort, the formal salute from the Guard of Honour is presented by the chiefs of the Indian armed forces. The Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian National flag at the Lahori Gate inside the Red Fort campus to commemorate the Indian Independence Day. Simultaneously, the flag hosting is coupled with 21 gunshots fired in the air and the rendition of our National Anthem.

The flag hoisting ceremony is immediately followed by a speech delivered by the Prime Minister. This is the PM’s address to the nation. This event is then carried forward by the display of various cultural programs. Some of the highlights surrounding the day’s proceedings include march pasts, parades, tableau displays of multiple states, events by paramilitary wings, extraordinary and well-rehearsed performances by school-going children.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech from the Red Fort to mark the country’s 68th Independence Day in New Delhi on August 15, 2014.

These celebrations are carried out in all the states across the country. Chief Ministers of respective states hoist the National Flag in their state capitals and celebrate the day with similar proceedings. Schools provide a rich diversity of celebration with a plethora of cultural events and performances by children. Schools encourage healthy competitive spirit by organizing competitions like patriotic essays, poetries, discussion and debates.

Many public places play patriotic songs to mark the day. In some states, the spirit of Independence is celebrated with kite flying events and competitions. Most of the public places are decorated in tricolour on account of Independence day. The customary Beating Retreat Ceremony is carried out every year at the Wagah Border in Amritsar.

Indian Independence Day Quotes

Some of the best inspiring quotes on Independence Day are given below:

  • Mahatma Gandhi has famously said “Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”
  • Subhash Chandra Bose said, “Our nation is like a tree of which the original trunk is Swarajya, and its branches are Swadeshi and Boycott.”
  • Bhagat Singh said, “The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting stone of ideas.”
  • Jawaharlal Nehru said, “The service of India means the service of millions who suffer. It also means the ending of poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity.”
  • Narendra Modi said, “We have a new resolve, a new resolution, a new enthusiasm and a new vitality to take the country to newer and greater heights.”

Conclusion

The country celebrates Independence Day every year with great zeal and enthusiasm. However, the sacrifices of our freedom fighters to attain us this Independence would be more fruitful if we dedicated ourselves to our nation. We can contribute in small ways to develop a healthy and progressive society. We can help by providing education to the poor and the needy. We can add to the country’s wealth by enrolling bright minds into government services.

The country shall move ahead on par with developed nations when discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion, community and caste are thrown into the backyard. Religious harmony and brotherhood alone can create a beautiful India to live in. Children and young adults should be encouraged to lead the country through their nation-building skills. We have to create a new movement of change to see our country progress in all directions.

A child holds the Indian flag as he watches a ceremony to commemorate India’s 60 years of independence at the government secretariat in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do we celebrate Independence day in India?
India attained freedom from British rule on the midnight of August 15th 1947. IT was a long struggle for the people fo India before they gained complete Freedom. This day is celebrated as Independence Day.

2. How many years of Independence day?
India celebrates 74 years of Independence on August 15th 2020.

3. What is the difference between Republic day and Independence day?
Independence day marks the day when the country achieved freedom and independence from British rule. Republic Day marks the official day when the constitution draft was finally accepted and put into implementation within the state.

4. What is Independence Day?
All human beings are bestowed with certain fundamental rights that allow them to live free, according to their choice. Independence Day marks the closure of British rule in the country and revoking Indian practice throughout the country starting from August 15th 1947.

5. When is Independence Day
Every year Indian Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th.

Happy Independence Day!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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