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Independence Day August 2021

August 15, 2021

The British established their first outpost on the Indian Subcontinent in 1619 at Surat on the northwestern coast.

By the end of that century, the East India Company had opened three more permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta.

The British continued to expand their influence in the region until, by the mid-nineteenth century, they had control over most of what is present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In 1857, a rebellion in northern India by mutinous Indian soldiers led the British Government to transfer all political power from the East India Company to the Crown. The British began controlling most of India directly while administering the rest through treaties with local rulers.

In the late Nineteenth Century, the initial moves were taken toward self-government in British India by the appointment of Indian councilors to advise the British viceroy and the establishment of provincial councils with Indian members.

In 1920, Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress political party into a mass movement to campaign against British colonial rule. The party used both parliamentary and nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation to achieve independence. Other leaders, notably Subhash Chandra Bose, also adopted a military approach to the movement. The movement culminated in the independence of the subcontinent from the British Empire and the formation of India and Pakistan.

Thus, on August 15th, 1947, India became a dominion within the Commonwealth. Friction between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition British India, creating East and West Pakistan. India became a republic within the Commonwealth after promulgating its constitution on 26 January 1950, which is now the Republic Day holiday.

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August 15, 2021
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