Freedom Day or Independence Day?

Ever wonder why we call 15th August “independence” day? My interpretation when I first heard this English term was, “on 15th August 1947 the British became independent from India”, because before that day, they depended on India for cotton, silk, indigo, metalware, jewelry, perfume, paper, grains, spices, labor, and many other commodities and services. I was soon “corrected” and it was explained to me that before 15th August 1947, WE were dependent on the British. I could never figure this out. Clearly “independence” and “swadhinta” are two different words? Shouldn’t we call it “liberty day” or “freedom day”? How did “independence” work in its way into the jargon? Or was that the parting shot of imperialism?

That is from an email from a friend. Hmm.

Author: Atanu Dey


5 thoughts on “Freedom Day or Independence Day?”

  1. Makes sense. I also don’t understand people saying “Happy Birthday India” on 15th of August. The idea of India was certainly not “born” a mere 60 years ago, as the United States was, on July 4th, 1776.


  2. This comment is not related to the post above. Atanu, I am a regular reader of your blog and in the past we briefly had communication over mail also. One idea of yours which I dont subscribe to is your bashing against religions which essentially found there existence by a person viz. Islam and Christianity.I do believe that by default people have good intention and they are conditioned to become what they become gradually. any religion , irrespective of its origin teaches things which are good, perhaps its wrong interpretation creates extremists (which are readily present in Hindu religion also). Well this is to bring the following link to your notice >


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