Independence Day – Did You Know?
1. The date August 15 was chosen as the day India would be granted Independence by the then Viceroy Lord Mountbatten as it coincided with the anniversary of Japan surrendering to Allied forces.
2. The date coincides with the Independence day of South Korea, Bahrain and Republic of Congo. While South Korea won its freedom from Japan on 15th August 1945, Bahrain from UK in 1971 and Republic of the Congo from France in 1960.
3. The first national flag was hoisted in Calcutta in 1906 and comprised of red, yellow and green colours.
4. The Indian flag was designed in 1916 by Pingali Venkayya. In 1947, the adoption of Ashoka Chakra in the middle was approved.
5. The Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world in both Hindi and English languages.
6. The Constitution mentions Hindi in Devnagri script as the official language of India.
7. The country did not have an official national anthem at the time of Independence in 1947. `Jana Gana Mana` – written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911 - was officially adopted as India`s national anthem in 1950.
8. The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was in Kolkata when India attained Independence. He spent the day fasting and praying.
9. Jawaharlal Nehru gave the first speech on the midnight of August 14 when he wasn`t officially appointed as the Prime Minister.
10. India got its first postage stamp on November 21, 1947. It depicted Meera`s portrait and was meant for foreign correspondence.
11. At the time of Independence, an Indian rupee was made up of 16 annas. It was changed to 100 paisa in 1957.
12. Pakistan was created on August 14 as Lord Mountbatten wanted to attend the Independence Day ceremonies of both India and Pakistan.
(Compiled by Neha Attre)