World ? Asia ? India ? Delhi

Indian Independence Day

15 Aug 2009 (annual)
Cost: Free
A solemn speech by the Indian Prime Minister from the ramparts of Delhi's ancient Red Fort is one of the highlights of Indian Independence Day.
India gained independence in 1947 after centuries of British rule and years of bloody turmoil. The troubles of a colonial state were compounded by the multiplicity of religions in the Indian sub-continent, making the process a long and painful one. This is a time as much for mourning as celebration, as the end of British rule involved the partition of the country which resulted in mass migration and horrific bloodshed.

More than ten million people are thought to have migrated during partition, of which at least 250,000 were murdered by opposing religious factions. Masses of people were killed as they tried to cross the borders. The slaughter in Delhi itself was also particularly bad. The 15 August is therefore an incredibly important and sombre day for the whole of India.
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