Independence Day 2018: Rare and unseen photos of our freedom struggle

By: Diamond Diwan

Published On: August 14, 2018

On India’s 72nd Independence Day, here’s a trip down memory lane from our freedom struggle. Have a look! 

It is the 72nd anniversary of our freedom. The first class compartments of our trains aren’t pre-booked on the basis of our skin colours, there are no man-made famines choking the life out of our people (the Bengal Famine 1943-44) and all our jewels are where they are supposed to be. 

While we may criticize our Nation’s progress, there is no denying the fact that we have come a long way from where we used to be. Freedom of speech can be seen in the multiplying amounts of stand up comedians commenting on politics as well as the youth taking to the streets and carrying out marches, in demand for justice. Child marriages have decreased, and India is fast emerging as one of the largest and youngest world economies.

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So let’s celebrate our freedom by not carving hearts on the stone walls of Elephanta caves and peeing in pretty alleyways of Bandra. Let’s respect our leaders’ contribution to our lives and hold up our side of the bargain.

1: The meeting of great minds - Rabindranath Tagore meets Einstein and Helen Keller on separate occasions. 

rabindranath-tagore-albert-einstein-india

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

...Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

rabindranath-tagore-helen-keller

2: “I am such a lunatic, that I am free even in jail.” 

Words by a mere 23-year-old who died or rather, lived, for his country. 

Bhagat Singh needs no introduction. This is the last known picture of him, taken while he was jailed.

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Bhagat Singh’s chilling Death Certificate

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3: The infamous trip of the Beatles provided them a nest where they are said to attain a musical purity. Collectively, they wrote 40 songs in Rishikesh from February to April in 1968, including Happy Rishikesh and the monkey song (there were a lot of monkeys there!). 

beatles-tour-india

4: Lord Mountbatten saluting the Indian Flag. One lesser known fact about him is that he was a great Shivaji fan and even went on to say, “Had Shivaji been born in England, we would not only have ruled earth but the whole universe.”

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5: Mahatma Gandhi - No Independence Day blog is complete without him. 

More than 2 million people are said to have attended his funeral. Below, we can see a man climb up an electric pole to see the last rites of Gandhiji’s funeral.

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A young Gandhi in South Africa in 1900

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6: When India and Pakistan were ONE: 

A small spice stall in Lahore in 1946, when it was still a part of India.

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7: Anna Hazare became a national icon during the anti-corruption movement at the age of 76. He is a former Indian Army soldier (picture below) who fought in the Indo-Pak War of 1965. 

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8: Farewell to British Troops: The Times of India front page on August 18, 1947 in Mumbai. 

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9: Below, Jawaharlal Nehru interacts with participants of the Quit India Movement. 

Fun fact: It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and not Nehru who was preferred by the people as well as the authorities for the position of Prime Minister of India. He only withdrew on Gandhi’s request as Nehru would not have accepted a second place position leading to tension within the country.

Quit-India-Movement

10: Gandhi, Bose and Vallabhai sharing a laugh. Wonder what these great men were talking about..

Fun Fact: It was rumoured that Bose didn’t die in a plane crash in Taiwan, as was declared officially. Instead, a conspiracy theory that went viral suggested that he had been captured by the Russians and exiled in the 1950s and that the Indian government kept it a secret to avoid affecting Indian and Russian relations.

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11: Nehru and Indira Gandhi try out the subway in Moscow:

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Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin sharing a scenic view in Switzerland.

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13: Subhash Chandra Bose met Hitler as he believed that only an armed uprising could free India from the British rule. The Nazi leader later wrote in his book -

Mein Kampf, that he, “as a German, would far rather see India under British domination than under that of any other nation.”

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14: A Sikh carrying his wife on his shoulders during the Partition.


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15:  The first flag hoist of an Independent India


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Jai ho!


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