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Something worth knowing: On Independence Day !

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Something worth knowing: On Independence Day !

~~Why 15th August?~~

Every year after 1930, Congress-minded Indians celebrated 26 January as Independence Day as the Purna Swaraj resolution was passed on this day. But the British chose to leave India on 15 August 1947. The date was selected by Mountbatten as it was the second anniversary of Japanese surrender to allied forces in The Second World War. 26 January was then chosen as the Republic Day.

~~Gandhi On 15th August~~

On 15th August 1947, a man who held a mammoth part in Indian Independence was sad. Independence had brought partition, riots and bloodshed too. Mahatma Gandhi had observed 24 hour fast on 15th August 1947.

~~The Largest Mass Migration of The World~~

The population transfer during partition of India was the largest mass migration of people in history. The refugees came to India was around 80 lakhs.

~~The Forgotten Hero: Sardar Tarlok Singh~~

Huge migration during partition had its own problems. The land resettlement was the one. Migrants had left their lands in newly formed state- Pakistan. And the scenario was: Against 2.7 million hectares abandoned by Hindus and Sikhs in West Punjab, there were only 1.9 million hectares left behind by Muslims in East Punjab. For the distribution and resettlement of land the Rehabilitation Secretariat was formed which had at its peak 7000 working officials in Jullundur ! The head of secretariat was Sardar Tarlok Singh. Tarlok Singh, a graduate of London School of Economics, has resolved this complex problem of land distribution by his two innovations: Graded cut and Standard acre. And by November 1949, Tarlok Singh and his men made 2,50,000 allotments of land !! This was the biggest land resettlement operation in world!

~~Heroes of Integration~~

World believed at some time that the partition of India will not stop with Pakistan. It will end up in 3 to 4 states in place of British India. But the integration of nearly 554 Princely states was done so smoothly and comprehensively that Indians quite quickly forgot that this was once not one country but 500. And the Heroes of this staggering achievement were: Sardar Patel, V. P. Menon and Viceroy Mountbatten.

~~Bullock Cart and Indian Ink~~

For the first general election, Election commission of India decided to use the Party Symbols in elections unlike the Western democracies. The symbols were drawn from daily life and thus were easily recognizable by great mass of illiterate people at that time. The second innovation was the variety of indelible ink developed by Indian scientists which stayed on voter’s finger for a week.

Source: India after Gandhi By Ramachandra Guha

Post written by – Sanket Varma

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