History of Modern India Part 3
It showed that the religious identity might demolish secularism in the future. Vande Mataram is the essential part of the Hindutva ideology of the Indian nationalist parties. So, these two anthems were sung in the Indian Parliament that night. Nehru took the podium at 11:55 pm.The parliamentarians rang their desks to welcome him. Nehru started his freedom speech.
He said, “at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” When Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech wass over the wall clock struck 12 am… … Shankha was sounded. Shankha is traditionally used to make announcements. It is also a musical instrument. The MPs drowned in emotions. Some of them wept, the others chanted “Long Live Mahatma Gandhi.” When the celebrations were over, Nehru went out.
He arrived at Lord Mountbatten’s home. Viceroy’s residence has now become the Presidential Palace of India. Nehru offered him the governor generalship of India. Mountbatten accepted the invitation. It was a happy occasion for both Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru. Mountbatten brought a bottle of port wine to celebrate the occasion. He raised his cup and said, “to India.” Nehru replied, “to King George VI.” The next day, on August 15, India was a free country.
There were celebrations around the Parliament. Millions of people had gathered around the building. The grounds and roofs of the parliament were packed with the people. Even mounted police were unable to control them. Pandit Nehru himself stood on the roof and asked the people to remain calm. The streets around the parliament were also crowded.
The crowd was enjoying various amusements. Bears and monkeys were entertaining the public. Snake charmers were demonstrating their skills, children were enjoying panghoras. There was a huge crowd looking for amusements everywhere. The police were trying to keep them in check to avoid any disturbance. The Indian cabinet had taken oath at Viceroy’s residence at 8.30 am.
Pandit Nehru had forgotten the list of his ministers at home. Now it wasn’t possible to introduce every minister and his office. Therefore, the swearing-in ceremony was held without formal introductions. But it wasn’t a big problem since all the ministers already knew their positions. The ceremony was held in the main hall that had 2 large chairs in it.
Mountbatten and wife used those chairs when he was viceroy. But now they sat on these chairs as Governor-General and lady Governor-General. He took the oath of office and then administered the oath to Nehru as the PM of India. Thus the new government of India was formally established. The new government received a 21-gun salute after the ceremony. Earlier, every viceroy received a 31-gun salute. But as Mountbatten was a governor general now.
He only received a 21-gun salute. After the ceremony, Mountbatten went out in a chariot with his security. The crowds on the streets saw the chariot and shouted with joy. Thousands of people surrounded the chariot. When Mountbatten and his wife stepped out of the chariot, the Indian crowd greeted them. The couple enjoyed the dance of bears and monkeys and the skill of the snake charmers. He also stood near the swings and shook hands with the children there.
Lord Mountbatten was surely happy. The independence day celebrations were also underway in Pakistan like India. Quaid-e-Azam also took oath as Governor General of Pakistan on the 15th of August. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Government House in Karachi, now the Governor House. It was an open-air ceremony. Quaid-e-Azam was sworn in by Sir Mian Abdul Rashid, India’s most senior Muslim judge. PM Liaquat Ali Khan and the other ministers also took oath.