he fifteenth of August is a Red-Letter day in our calendar because it is one of the most important dates in the history of our country. It was on this day, forty years ago, that India became what it is today, that is, a free and independent country, which is ruled by our people and not by the people from other nations.
For many centuries before 1947, our nation was ruled by foreigners and outsiders; first by the Turks from the Middle East, then by Mughals and then by English Men from Great Britain. The foreigners and outsiders used to rule our country for their good, and to get rich by using our nation’s wealth and natural resources, not for the good and welfare of us Indians.
For a long time, our people did not understand the evils of foreign rule and kept silent. It was only during the rule of the British, under the influence of Western Education, that the educated Indians began to understand the blessings of freedom and self-rule. The British were wise rulers and did not discourage the spread of education and the progress of ideas of political freedom. It was an English Man (Mr. A.O Hume) who founded the Indian National Congress in 1885 and gave a start to the freedom movement. Since then, this movement grew stronger and stronger, till it became a truly National Movement in 1919 when Mahatma Gandhi assumed the supreme leadership and launched a non-violent, non-cooperation on a large scale. Mahatma Gandhi, his close followers and thousand of other Indians made countless sacrifices and suffered many hardships in the cause of freedom until the British Government decided to withdraw its control and handed over power to the Indians on the 15th August 1947. It is that great and important event that we celebrate as Happy Independence Day on every 15th of August.
While we are celebrating, we must also remember, with all respect, affection, and thankfulness to all those great people, especially Mahatma Gandhi, to whom we owe our freedom because many of them sacrificed their own lives so that other Indians can live in peace and liberty.
Another thing to remember is that our freedom is quite different from the freedom of other countries. All other Nations which overthrew foreign rule did so by causing Blood shed. Our freedom was won through principles of truth and non-violence under the wise and saintly leadership of the Mahatma.
Let us all today be worthy of the sacrifices made in the past by our leaders and let each of us work and serve in the spirit of true patriotism so that we help to bring about the future of which our leaders dreamed on 15 of August 1947.