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India prepares for Independence Day celebrations, recounts horrors of partition

The country celebrates the 77th anniversary of its independence from the British Empire on August 15

Preparations are underway in New Delhi ahead of the 77th anniversary of the country’s independence. Security measures have been bolstered for Independence Day on Tuesday, and full dress rehearsals involving the armed forces took place at the capital’s historic Red Fort over the weekend.

Ahead of the nationwide celebrations marking 76 years of freedom from colonial British rule, Indian Railways has organized ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ exhibitions at stations in New Delhi.

The photographs and exhibits commemorate the partition of the country in 1947, when the political borders of the Indian subcontinent were redrawn by British rulers on religious grounds, giving rise to India and Pakistan.


The concept of Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, which was first observed on August 14, 2021, was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate the victims and suffering of people as a result of the partition. The move is regarded as one of the most significant events in the history of the Indian subcontinent, impacting the lives of more than 20 million people, with up to one million lives believed to have been lost during that time. 

Around 1,800 individuals from various backgrounds and regions of the country have been invited to join the celebrations at the Red Fort on Tuesday. This aligns with the vision of the Modi government, emphasizing the importance of public engagement and participation, often referred to as ‘Jan Bhagidari’, or people’s involvement. The special guests include more than 400 heads of Panchayats, or village councils, and hundreds of people from the farming and construction communities, as well as primary school teachers, nurses, and fishermen. 


The Indian government has also launched the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, urging citizens to bring the tricolor flag home as a symbol of their dedication to nation-building. The initiative aims to evoke a sense of patriotism among the populace and enhance awareness of the significance of the Indian national flag. As the national capital is gearing up to host a meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) leaders next month, the floral embellishments at the Red Fort include the G20 logo.

This year’s Independence Day will culminate the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations, which were launched by the prime minister in Ahmedabad in his home state of Gujarat in March 2021. The celebrations mark the country’s progress into ‘Amrit Kaal’, which is Modi’s vision for transforming India into a developed nation by 2047.

According to the Hindustan Times, the prime minister’s speech from the rampart of the Red Fort is expected to provide a walkthrough of his vision for the next 25 years.  During this time, the country is expected to see the benefit of welfare initiatives introduced by the Modi government over the past nine years. The PM may speak about progress in critical sectors, with a specific focus on advancements in social development as well as sensitive matters such as the abrogation of Article 370 and its impact on the Kashmir region and the development of the northeast region, which has been marred by ethnic violence, given New Delhi’s efforts to integrate it with Southeast Asian and ASEAN economies.

August 14, 2023 at 11:49PM


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