2ndlook

Quick … When Did India Become Free

Posted in British Raj, History, India, politics, Propaganda by Anuraag Sanghi on November 30, 2007

When did the British really lose India. Much before August 15th, 1947. That is for sure.

Indian Independence became a reality some 125 years after Tipu's last effort and fall of Seringapatnam. Contemporary British engraving.  |  Click for image.

Indian Independence became a reality some 125 years after Tipu’s last effort and fall of Seringapatnam. Contemporary British engraving. | Click for image.

Quick easy question …

When did India become a free country.

Candidates

August 15th 1947. Wrong! The British walked away from a bankrupt colony on this day.

January 26th 1950. Wrong again! A unique nation in the history of the world was born.

The Top Contender is 8th August, 1942, when Gandhiji told the British to ‘Quit India”.

An all time front runner is January 26th 1943, when Subhash Chandra Bose declared Independence in Germany and selected Jana Gana Mana as India’s national anthem.

Choose 25 December, 1941! You cant go wrong.

On 25th December, 1941, the first 15 recruits joined the Azad Hind Fauj (or the Indian National Army). Raised by Subhash Chandra Bose from Indian POWs captured by Germans, they left the next day for Frankenburg, for the first training camp of the Azad Hind Fauj. After a warm send off from Indian residents at Berlin office of Free India Center.

February 27th 1931, the legend of Chandrasekhar Azad was born and Chandrasekhar Tiwari died – killing himself with his last bullet rather than be taken prisoner by the colonial British Administration.

1929 – April 8th, was the day when Bhagat Singh threw leaflets (with an fireworks device) in Delhi Central Assembly, protesting against an ordinance permitting repressive measures by the colonial administration.

The boycott of Simon Commission by Indian negotiators sounded the death knell of the British Raj in India  |  Cartoonist - David Low (1891-1963) Published - Evening Standard, 11 Feb 1928  |  Click for larger image.

The boycott of Simon Commission by Indian negotiators sounded the death knell of the British Raj in India | Cartoonist – David Low (1891-1963) Published – Evening Standard, 11 Feb 1928 | Click for larger image.

Can we consider December 1, 1927, when Indian polity refused to negotiate with Simon Commission.

After the boycott of the Simon Commission, from 1927, and the death of Lala Lajpat Rai (Nov 17, 1928), it was clear (especially to the British) that their days were numbered.

Britain enacted The Government of India Act, first in 1919 and then in 1935.

April 8th 1944, could be another candidate where a small INA contingent with the Japanese captured (briefly) Kohima.

Before the answer, some other historic examples.

American War Of Independence against the British carried on for 1775-1783. The agreed date is 4th July, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was made.

14 July 1789 – A crowd of Parisians, stormed the Bastille prison – which held only 7 prisoners. This sparked off the French Revolution. The French emperor, Louis XVI’s execution happened more than 3 years later on January 21, 1793. Only in 1804, 5 years later was Napoleon I, crowned as Emperor of the French.

Or is it that India is still not a free country.

There are lakhs of under trial prisoners languishing in Indian jails. Hundreds are killed in “encounters’ by police. More than 10,000 laws (most of them, oppressive, colonial laws) on every conceivable subjects (and some imaginative also) chain Indians, make them habitual law breakers and engender corruption on a horrific scale.

By any global scale these are small numbers. But by Indian historical precedents, these are big injustices.

Or is that we have become a free country

We want free roads, free electricity, free train rides, free bus journeys, free service.

The funny part is that the word free (meaning “no cost”) does not exist in Sanskritic languages. मुफ्त is a “free” import.

Freedom does comes at a price. Jefferson says it is eternal vigilance.


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