Independence Day is annually celebrated on 15 August, as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. India still retained King George VIas head of state until its transition to full republican constitution. India attained independence following the Independence Movement noted for largely nonviolent resistanceand civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC). Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British India was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan; the partition was accompanied by violent riots and mass casualties, and the displacement of nearly 15 million people due to religious violence. On 15 August 1947, the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. On each subsequent Independence Day, the prime minister customarily raises the flag and gives an address to the nation.
The holiday is observed throughout India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. There is a national holiday, and schools and government offices distribute sweets, but no official work is done.
European traders had established outposts in the Indian subcontinent by the 17th century. Through overwhelming military strength, the British East India company subdued local kingdoms and established themselves as the dominant force by the 18th century. Following the First War of Independence of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858led the British Crown to assume direct control of India. In the decades following, civic society gradually emerged across India, most notably the Indian National Congress Party, formed in 1885.The period after World War I was marked by British reforms such as the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, but it also witnessed the enactment of the repressive Rowlatt Act and calls for self-rule by Indian activists. The discontent of this period crystallised into nationwide non-violent movements of non-cooperation and civil disobedience, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
During the 1930 s, reform was gradually legislated by the British; Congress won victories in the resulting elections. The next decade was beset with political turmoil: Indian participation in World War II, the Congress’ final push for non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism led by the All-India Muslim League. The escalating political tension was capped by Independence in 1947. The jubilation was tempered by the bloody partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.