15th of August 1947 is an important day for all Indians. On that day Indians got freedom from the British. The Union Jack was brought down and for the first time, our National Flag, flew over the Red Fort, Delhi. Achieving independence was not easy. It was achieved by great efforts made by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Tanguturi Prakasam, C. Rajagopalachari and many others.
Many youngmen like Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Alluri Seetharama Raju and Katta Bomman scarified their lives for the cause of freedom. It was an occasion of jubilation for the entire nation. On 15th of August, 1947 people throughout the country celebrated the day in a festive fervor. Throughout the country, houses, offices, streets, temples and all important places were decorated and illuminated. Patriotic songs were on the air throughout the day. Young and old danced in the streets, enjoying the newly won freedom. Sweets were distributed everywhere. We were no longer British subjects but we became free citizens of free India.
Since then, the Independence Day is celebrated every year on 15th August throughout the country. That day is a national holiday for all including workers in shops and factories. Independence Day celebrations are conducted on a set pattern every year. The main function is held at the Red Fort, New Delhi. The Prime Minister takes the ceremonial salute and guard of honour from the three wings of the defence forces. After that he unfurls the National Flag on the ramparts of the Red Fort. National Anthem is sung, and a 21 gun-salute is given.
The Prime Minister addresses the nation. Earlier he pays homage to martyrs at various places like ‘Unknown Soldier’, Rajghat etc. In his address, he explains the policies of the government, what it did and what it proposes to do and wishes all peoples a happy Independence Day.
Similar functions are held at State capitals of every State, where the Chief Minister unfurls the National Flag and the National Anthem is sung. Then the Chief Minister inspects a police parade and addresses a public meeting. At the headquarters of the districts, the district collector unfurls the National Flag, takes the police salute and addresses the gathering. Unfurling the National Flag, singing of National Anthem and addressing the audience take place in schools, colleges, offices and at all other establishments.
Special cultural programmes are arranged for the occasion. ‘Kavi Sammelanams’ and ‘Mushairas’ are also organised. In the evening there is a get together at Rashtrapathi Nilayam and at Governors residences to meet the distinguished and eminent persons. Greetings are exchanged on that occasion.
Independence Day is celebrated by Indian embassies all over the world and greetings are exchanged. Heads of Governments of other countries greet the President, Prime Minister and the people of India on that occasion.
It is a happy occasion for school children. Sports and cultural competitions are conducted to mark the occasion and prizes are awarded to the winners. Sweets are distributed to all. ‘Freedom is our birthright’ said Bala Gangadhar Tilak, the great freedom fighter. They got us the freedom. It is for us to safeguard it by our unity and integrity. It is a day to pay homage to martyrs and stand by the ideals, for which i hey sacrificed their lives.