At the stroke of midnight, on August 15, 1947, India achieved freedom from more than two centuries of colonial rule after a multi-faceted struggle for independence comprising both non-violent and violent means.
From Mahatma Gandhi’s marches to Bhagat Singh's bomb in the Parliament, from the sessions of Indian National Congress to the trial of the three soldiers of Netaji’s Indian National Army, the long struggle for freedom culminated in 1947, albeit with the unfortunate partition of the country into India and Pakistan, which saw the largest cross-border migration ever in the world.
Today, on the occasion of our 69th Independence Day, here’s a look at the major headlines of Hindustan Times before and after August 15, 1947. These headlines provide a glimpse into the
Hindustan Times was a weekly at that time and the edition on August 17 (a Sunday) reported on the joy of independence.
The district of Noakhali, now in Bangladesh, witnessed massive communal riots in 1946, killing more than 5,000 people in the region. Just before India attained freedom, there was another communal flare-up in Noakhali, and Gandhiji visited the affected areas.
Jinnah’s farewell and communal tensions
The headlines capture the scenario as India stepped towards Partition. Gandhi threatened to spend his life in Pakistan in light of the violence against minorities and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, delivered his farewell message wishing Hindustan “prosperity and peace”.
“Leaving for Pakistan?”
Read the reports. It gives a glimpse the concerns of Hindus and Muslims caught in the mesh of Partition politics.
The midnight of August 14
The destiny of the nations of India and Pakistan were sealed on the fateful midnight.
Promises of a free India
Colonial imperialism was sent away, and, holding Nehru’s hand, we announced the beginning of a new chapter.
Pandit Nehru addressing people who gathered at the Red Fort on the morning of August 16
Politics over the Tricolour
“The greatest importance should be attached to the fact that the National Flag should be honoured…”