Pakistan Independence Day on August 14 could be considered a double day of liberation. Muslim Indians also fought to be free of British rule and later re-armed to battle for their own nation-state, present day Pakistan — once part of the Indian subcontinent. After the British put down the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Crown assumed full control during the British Raj period. This lasted until Pakistan’s independence in 1947. The Mountbatten Plan split Pakistan (comprised of West and East Pakistan) from India, creating an independent Muslim nation. In 1971, East Pakistan gained its own independence, becoming known as Bangladesh. Today, West Pakistan is known simply as Pakistan.
The main Independence Day ceremony ceremony is organized in Islamabad, where the national flag is hoisted at the Parliament and Presidency buildings. This is follow up by the national anthem and widely circulated and televised speeches by the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Pakistan Independence Day is a National Holiday in Pakistan.
HISTORY OF PAKISTAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
The creation of Pakistan is an astounding one, and quite a unique occurrence in modern history.
Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh were originally part of one giant territory called the Indian subcontinent. Ever since the religion of Islam was introduced and embraced in the subcontinent, peace was disturbed due to clashes and the oppression of Muslims by Hindus. To safeguard the Muslim minority, intellectual thought and philosophies were set into motion after the War of Independence in 1857.
The circumstances were not in favor of the Muslim community but, with courage and faith, the downtrodden Muslims residing in the subcontinent were successful in actualizing their dreams of freedom. In 1906, the All-India Muslim League was founded and, on October 1 the same year, the first delegation of 36 Muslim leaders presented their demand to the viceroy of India at Simla for a separate state for Muslims.
The concept of Pakistan and liberation for Muslims would have remained a pipe dream, had it not been for one man’s superhuman efforts and struggle to make it a reality. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a barrister and politician, who later on became the father of the nation of Pakistan. Jinnah was the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 onwards, until Pakistan’s independence.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal was another visionary who propelled the idea of the separation of Muslims from India. In his presidential address on December 29, 1930, at Allahabad, Iqbal proposed the idea. The Allahabad Address is now revolutionary in history. The name ‘Pakistan’ first appeared in a pamphlet called “Now Or Never” in 1933.
It was quite a big day in history. Prominent Muslim leaders from all over India attended the session, and there was finally a legitimate solution to the centuries-old struggle of Muslims to gain sovereignty and freedom. On February 20, 1947, the turning point happened when British Prime Minister Clement Attlee made an announcement to grant India complete self-governance by June 1948. After multiple consultations with the British government and Congress leaders, the last viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, released the ‘June Plan.’
Both India’s Congress and the Muslim League welcomed Mountbatten’s plan. In July 1947, the British parliament introduced the Indian Independence Act. Separate provisional governments were established for Pakistan and India on July 20. Finally, the great subcontinent of British India was partitioned into the two countries of India and Pakistan on August 14, 1947.
The partition was full of bloodshed and carnage. Since the inception of the idea of a separate nation for Muslims, Hindu brutality intensified and there was great opposition to Jinnah and the rest of the Muslim leaders’ ideas to create a sovereign identity for Muslims. Lineages and families were destroyed and tales of partitions are still collected and archived today.
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” ― Muhammad Ali Jinnah