The History

As the Freedom Dawns...
India Independence Day - August 15 - Swatantrata Divas Independence Day Also called Swatantrata Divas (Hindi) Observed by Indians Type National Date August 15 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 formal announcement. 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.

The Flag [Tiranga]
Born on July 22, 1947 in the Constituent Assembly on the eve of the Independence, the Indian national Flag is a horizontal tricolor. When the adhoc Committee on the Flag adopted it as the National Flag of free India, Jawaharlal Nehru made a memorable speech and concluded saying : "...this flag that I have the honour to present to you is... a flag of freedom, not only for ourselves, but to all people, who may see it.." A band of deep saffron is at the top, white in middle, and dark green is at the bottom. The three bands of colors are in equal proportions. While in the center of the white band is a wheel in navy blue. This wheel is an adaptation from the sculpted wheel, called Chakra, the wheel of law, appearing on the abacus of Sarnath Capital of Asoka, the ancient Indian emperor. It has 24 spokes and the diameter approximates

the width of the white band. With all these things the width and length of the Tricolor is supposed to be in the proportion of 2 to 3. The design of the Tricolor has been adopted by the constitutional Assembly of India on 22nd July, 1947. The flag was designed as a symbol of freedom. Its use and display are, however, regulated by a code.
Saffron

White Green

Significance of the Tricolor:
Each of the three colors in our Tricolor has a special significance. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation.

The white, is meant for purity and truth. While the green is for faith and fertility. The navy blue wheel in the center of the white band signifies which denotes continual progress of the country and its blue wheel signifies the continuity of the nation's progress which is deemed to be as boundless as the blue sky above and as fathomless as the deep blue sea that keeps its hands and feet washed.

The Emblem of India

The state emblem of India is an adaptation from the Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, near Benares in the north Indian province of Uttar Pradesh. It features 3 lions and the 4th being hidden from the view. The wheel appears in relief in the center of the abacus with a bull on the right and a horse on the left and the outlines of the other wheels on the extreme right and left. Inscribed below the abacus in Devnagari script is: "Satyameva Jayate", meaning, 'Truth Alone Triumphs'. This is a quote from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of

the Vedas. The four lions (the 4th being hidden from view) symbolize power, courage and confidence rest on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals - guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. The abacus rests on a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life.

The Anthem of India
The Constituent Assembly adopted the Indian national anthem from a song written and composed by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on January 24, 1950. Before this Vande Mataram written by Bankim Chandra Chattapadhya was the National Anthem of India. Later Constituent Assembly of India,( Vol.XII, 24-1-1950) opined: "The composition consisting of words and music

known as Janaganamana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations as the Government may authorise as occasion arises, ..."

Only the first of the five stanzas was designated as the anthem. The anthem goes: Jaana Gaana Maana Adhinayaka Jayehe Bharata bhagya vidhata; Punjaba Sindhu Gujarata Maratha, Dravida Utkala Banga, Vindhya, Himachala, Jamuna, Ganga, Ucchhala Jaladhitaranga; Taba Shubha Naame Jaage Taba Shubha Ashish Maage Gaye taba jaya gaatha.

Jaana Gaana Maana Adhinayaka Jayahe Bharata bhagya vidhata; Jaya he Jaye he Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya he.

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The English rendition of the song goes like this: Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, Dispenser of India's destiny. Thy name rouses the hearts of the Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, and Maratha, Of the Dravid, and Orissa and Bengal. It echoes in the hills of

Vindhyas and, Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Jamuna and the Ganges and is chanted by the waves of the Indian sea. The pray for the blessings, and sing by the praise, The saving of all people waits in thy hand. Thou dispenser of India's destiny, Victory, victory, victory to thee.

The Symbols of India

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National Emblem
The national emblem comes from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka. Ashoka ruled the land from 272 BCE to 232 BCE. The original sculpture shows four lions on a pillar with an elephant, horse, bull, and lion separated by a lotus on the base. A Dharma Chakra (wheel of law) is also carved into the stone. The emblem was adopted on January 26, 1950 by the Indian Government. The official symbol now shows three of the four lions with the Dharma Chakra in the center of the base and a bull and horse on either side. The base is also engraved with the phrase "Satyameva Jayate" in the Devanagari script of India. This simple phrase represents a powerful idea for the Indian people: "Truth alone triumphs".

National Animal
Tiger (Panthera Tigris, Linnaeus) is the national animal of India. Tiger is also known as the lord of Jungles. The tiger is symbolic of India's wildlife wealth. The rare combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger great respect and high esteem. India is home to nearly half of the total population of tigers.

National Bird
The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), is the national bird of India. The peacock symbolises qualities like beauty, grace, pride and mysticism. Peacock is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fanshaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck. The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers they spead out in display at the onset of the monsoons. The female is brownish in color, slightly smaller than the male, and lacks the train. Peacocks have a harsh voice, which is a stark contrast to their beauty. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a beautiful sight. Peacock is the sacred bird of the India, protected not only by the religious sentiment but also by parliamentary statute.

National Calendar of India
The national calendar of India is based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as the first month and a normal year of 365 days. The national calendar of India was adopted on March 22nd 1957. Dates of the Indian national calendar have a permanent correspondence with the Gregorian calendar dates- 1 Chaitra normally falls on 22 March and on 21 March in leap year. The national Calendar of India is used along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes(i) Gazette of India, (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio, (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and (iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.

The Indian Tricolour
The Indian flag is rectangular in shape and is made up of three horizontal breadths of Saffron, White and Green. The Saffron stands for courage nad sacrifice, White for purity and Green for fertility. There is a wheel with 24 spokes in the middle of the white coloured portion of the flag. The wheel represents the Dharma Chakra.

National Flower
Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera) is the National Flower of India. On the virtue of being a sacred flower, it occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial. The Lotus symbolises divinity, fertility, wealth, knowledge and enlightenment. The flower grows in murky waters and rises on a long stalk above the surface to bloom. It represents long life, honor, and good fortune. Lotus is also symbolic of the purity of heart and mind.The lotus holds additional significance for Hindus, as it is a symbol of God and used often in religious practices. According to the popular Indian thought, there is the last and final lotus - Charan Kamal or lotus feet of the Almighty. It was this depth of thought that made the founding fathers of modern India enshrine the lotus in the Constitution as the National Flower.

National Fruit of India
Mango (Mangifera Indica) is the National fruit of India. In India, mango is cultivated almost in all parts, except the hilly areas. Mango is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India, we have hundreds of varieties of mangoes. They are of different sizes, shapes and colors. Even in our mythology and history there are stories of mangoes- the famous Indian poet Kalidasa sang its praise. Alexander the great, along with Hieun Tsang savored the taste of mangoes. The great Mughal king, Akbar is said to have planted over 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga (modern Bihar). The mango is eaten ripe and is also used to make pickles.

The National Tree of India
The National tree of India is the banyan. This huge tree towers over its neighbors and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees, easily covering several acres. It sends off new shoots from its roots, so that one tree is really a tangle of branches, roots, and trunks. The banyan tree regenerates and beats all other tree in its longevity. It is thought to be the immortal tree. Its size and leafy shelter are valued in India as a place of rest and reflection, not to mention protection from the hot sun! India has a long history of honoring this tree; it figures prominently in many of the oldest stories of the nation.

National Game of India
Hockey, which has been played in India ince time immemorial, is the National Game of India. There was a golden period of Indian hockey when hockey stalwarts of India ruled the game. On the international scenario there were no competitors to match the magic of Indian hockey players. The unmatched excellence and incomparable talent of Indian players became folklore. The ball-juggling feats of players like Major Dhyanchand made people think that Indian players used some underhand means. The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 successive gold medals in the Olympic Games.

Facts of India Here are some amazing facts that will make you more proud to be an Indian. Read on ...
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India never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history. Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software, according to a report in Forbes magazine, July 1987. The India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. W orld’s first u n iversity w as estab lish ed in T ak sh ila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects there. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast

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regaining its rightful place in our civilization.
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India was the richest country on earth until the British invaded in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by In dia’s w ealth . Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun in the 5th century - 365.258756484 days. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. The word navy is also derived fro m S an sk rit ‘N ou’. The value of "pi" was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians. According to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source for diamonds to the world. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers

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as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of 12).
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Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism, physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century old suspicion in the world scientific community, that the pioneer of wireless communication was Prof. Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 surgical equipment were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

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Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India. When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindh Valley, known as the Indus Valley Civilization. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC. Spiritual science, Yoga and most of the religions were found in India and the teachings spread all over the world by Indian Mystics and the Saints. The World's First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara temple at Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The shikhara is made from a single ' 80-tonne ' piece of granite. Also, this magnificient temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola India is.......the Largest democracy in the world, the 6th largest country in the world AND one of the most ancient and living civilizations (at least 10, 000 years old). The game of snakes & ladders was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called 'Mokshapat.' The ladders in the game represented

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virtues and the snakes indicated vices. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. Later through time, the game underwent several modifications but the meaning is the same i.e good deeds take us to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.

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