Today is August 15. It’s the day when India achieved its status as an Independent Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Yes, I know many of you have been made to believe that India became independent on August 15 and have since your childhood celebrated this day as Independence Day, but it is a fact that India didn’t gain Sovereignty till 26th Jan 1950.
This day resulted from the Indian Independence Act 1947 passed in the British Parliament on 18th July 1947. The language of this Act is very clear and states in no uncertain terms that out of what was British India, two independent “dominions” are being carved out. Out of the two, the territories that will fall under India shall be the territories "under the Sovereignty of His Majesty." (Section 2, Indian Independence Act 1947)
A link to the Indian Independence Act 1947 is provided here for the reference of my friends: http://www.scribd.com/doc/50557902/Indian-Independence-Act-1947
Accordingly, on the appointed day of August 15, 1947, the Constituent Assembly of India “assumed” the power for the governance of India and also endorsed the recommendation that Lord Mountbatten be Governor-General of India. The same was declared on the midnight of August 14, 1947.
The link to proceedings of Constituent Assembly of India dated August 14, 1947 is provided here for the reference of my friends: http://22.214.171.124/LssNew/constituent/vol5p1.html
Thereafter, on August 15, 1947 as the Constituent Assembly met again, now as the Governing Authority of new India, amongst the reading out of congratulatory notes from leaders around the world, the new Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten gave a speech in which he conveyed the message of the His Majesty the King of England. There again, through Lord Mountbatten it is made clear:
“I have a message from His Majesty the King to deliver to you today. This is His Majesty's message :-
"On this historic day when India takes her place as a free and independent Dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations, I send you all my greetings and heartfelt wishes…”
The link to proceedings of Constituent Assembly of India dated August 15, 1947 is provided here for the reference of my friends: http://126.96.36.199/LssNew/constituent/vol5p2.html
However, the direction towards achieving our sovereignty was set on this day. India’s status as an Independent Sovereign nation was imminent. And the same was achieved with the adoption of Indian Constitution on January 26, 1950.
August 15, 1947 is important for India because this is the day when Indians gained Self-Rule through the long awaited Independent Dominion status. And that set the direction for impending Sovereignty which was gained on January 26, 1950.
Happy Independent Dominion Day!