Here is a brief story of the events that led up to Indian Independence Day – 64 years ago today.

The freedom struggle to drive the British out of India gained tremendous momentum from 1930 onward. In 1942, the Congress headed my Mahatma Gandhi passed a resolution to start a “Quit India” agitation against the British rule.  The struggle was conducted in a nonviolent manner advised by Mahatma Gandhi.  Britain tried to suppress the agitation ruthlessly but could not succeed.  Britain realized that it was no longer possible to rule over the Indian people and they released all of the arrested leaders unconditionally. Prime Minister Winston Churchill vehemently protested the ending of British rule in India.  

In 1945 as the Second World War was ending in Europe, Clement Attlee, the labor leader, became Prime Minister.  Mr. Attlee decided to give independence to India and appointed Lord Louis Mountbatten as the Viceroy of India.  He worked tirelessly meeting various political parties.  The Muslim League headed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted India to be partitioned to create a Muslim dominated country Pakistan. All the Indian leaders agreed to this partition and Lord Mountbatten decided to transfer power and declared India independent on August 15, 1947. 

Since the transfer of power to the Indian leaders in a ceremonious manner took place at midnight, it was called Freedom at Midnight which is also the title of a book on the subject.  Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India and he continued in this position for 16 years until he died in 1964.

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