A few gems from Indian history: Watch archival footage

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2015 11:05 IST
Lord Mountbatten and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru photographed during the Independence Day Celebrations at India Gate, New Delhi on August 15, 1947. (HT Photo)

Ever wondered what people did on the day India attained freedom? Other than Delhi, where the leaders of the freedom struggle were present to take the nation forward, what was happening in other parts of the country on August 15, 1947?

Almost all of us have seen the footage of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's sombre Tryst with Destiny speech which goaded Indians to work hard and bear the responsibilities and burdens of the newly-freed nation. But out on the streets it was a fun-filled affair.

UK newsreel archive company British Pathé’s archive, which is available on YouTube, includes dozens of clips from August 1947. The full British Pathé’s collection consists 90,000 videos or 3,500 hours of historical footage shot between 1896 and 1976.

In the Pathe footage, we can see heroes of the freedom struggle - Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu, etc - as well as the last viceroy of British India and the first governor-general of independent India Lord Louis Mountbatten.

And in another, Lord Mountbatten along with Lady Pamela Mountbatten are mobbed on the way to the ceremony of transfer of power transfer. They, along with their daughter, are also seen struggling to get through the crowds. There is a general scene of fun and fair with children milling about the crowd where a performing bear and monkeys and snake charmers are also present.

There are others as well which show historic moments leading up to the independence of India.

Here is a compilation:

India's Independence Day, 1947

Cabinets India Mission (1946)

India and Pakistan Gain Independence (1947)

Cabinet meeting in India (1946)

Lord Mountbatten sworn in as Viceroy Of India (1947)

Lord Mountbatten leaves India (1948)

Mahatma Gandhi's fast (1930-1939)

Cabinet mission at work for India's Independence (1946)

Gandhi is - here! (1931)

Mahatma Gandhi in Europe for London conference (1931)

Sir Stafford Cripps on India (1942)

India Takes Over (1947)

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