Indian Independence Day is celebrated throughout the subcontinent country on August 15 every year. This date was when independence came into effect.
On August 15, 1947, at the stroke of midnight, India was declared independent from the British Empire, which was also known as the Raj.
It was accountable to London as part of British colonial system that operated for 100 years after the trading organisation, the UK based East India Company, gradually took over with a private army after the native Mughal Empire crumbled.
During the Raj, the UK invested hugely in infrastructure such as railways and mines and developed a legal and educational system which helped transform India.
But to maintain its rule over the many religions and cultures, Britain’s colonial chiefs had to spend a fortune on the Indian Army.
Resentment grew towards this status quo because it was felt taxes and other revenue that was raised in the country could be better spent on improving its own citizens’ lives – many of whom were impoverished.
This spurred the political movement called the Indian National Congress in 1885 which evolved into the independence movement.
Among the leaders were Mahatma Gandhi, who became a prominent pro-independence figure.