Was August 15 specifically handpicked by Lord Mountbatten to hand over independence to India in the year 1947? Well, there are theories doing the rounds
Bengaluru: As schoolchildren, we all jumped in joy when our schools celebrated the most important day of August 15. We were all told, or, rather, are being told that India won her independence on August 15. Though there is no contesting this fact, have we ever wondered why August 15 was chosen as the day for the relinquishment of British hold on India?
Well, one theory that has been in existence for yonks is that it was Lord Mountbatten, the Last Viceroy of India who preferred this date as the handing over of reins back to India.
But why did he cherry-pick this date specifically?
Well, that is a story in itself. Mountbatten was the commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.
When he was the commander of the Allied Forces, Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces under him on August 15, 1945.
So Mountbatten considered it to be a very lucky day for him in his career.
Later, in the year 1947, he was sent to India as its viceroy with a specific intention to hand over independence. So it is said he wanted the same date of August 15 as a redux in his military accomplishments.
And to the fact as to why midnight was handpicked for the transfer of power: Well, when the date was set, it is said Indian astrologers were not happy with the date as it was allegedly inauspicious. So they worked upon a plan, keeping in mind the different notions related to concept of days as per the English time and Hindu calendar. They suggested midnight of August 14, as a day, as per the English starts at midnight, and a day, as per a Hindu calendar starts at sunrise.
However, MyNation doesn’t vouch for the authenticity of these schools of thoughts.
When we tried speaking to historians about the issue, some pleaded ignorance while others dismissed it as theories and nothing beyond that.
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Last Updated Aug 14, 2019, 6:11 PM IST