Did India get Independence on 15th August 1947? This is not a very simple question that can be answered with a straightforward Yes or No. We normally expect a declaration by the Occupying Power that they are granting independence to the country they have ruled. Alternately the country that had been occupied should announce that they are free, though this is not normal as it is the occupier who has to declare that the occupied country is free.
This issue has come to the fore with actor Kangna Ranaut calling Independence of India on 15th August ,1947 was ‘ Alms’ and not Independence.
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut on Saturday defended her comments on India’s freedom and independence, and said she’d return her Padma Shri award if proven that she disrespected martyrs, freedom fighters in her recent statement.The actress has been receiving a lot of heat and criticism for her comments where she said that India attained freedom in 2014 when the Modi-led government came to power and described the country’s Independence in 1947 as “bheek”, or alms.
Ranaut was speaking at the TimesNow Summit 2021 on Wednesday when she made the comments that kicked off a controversy on the Internet with many requesting the Centre to take strict actions against the actress and take back of her Padma Shri award which was given to her recently.https://m-economictimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/m.economictimes.com/magazines/panache/kangana-ranaut-defends-are-india-got-freedom-in-2014-remark-says-will-return-padma-shri-if-proven-she-insulted-martyrs/amp_articleshow/87683619.cms?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16370678962870&_ct=1637067931193&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fm.economictimes.com%2Fmagazines%2Fpanache%2Fkangana-ranaut-defends-are-india-got-freedom-in-2014-remark-says-will-return-padma-shri-if-proven-she-insulted-martyrs%2Farticleshow%2F87683619.cms
Seems that she is not far off the mark. See the letter by the Indian Prime Minister to British Crown.The tone and the language is that of the Servile,Slave!
Of more relevance is the question whether the occupier, in the case of India, The British Monarch/ Queen, should have announced that He/ She has annexed the territories.In the case of British and the countries occupied by them, neither it was declared as occupied ,nor the occupied countries have been granted independence. Legally and technically British Royals never annexed or occupied any country including India!Nor had the granted independence to them!Therein lies the cleverness of the British.
British crown entered India, not directly, but through the East India company. India .The company was helped, aided and abetted by the British Monarchy through the Parliament to grab lands and Kingdoms in India. Adminstration was carried out in the name of the British crown , by a governor general.This development came later when British Parliament appointed Governor General ,on the ground that the East India company did not manage things properly in India.So technically the areas coming under the British were called Dominions. And they are administered’ , not ‘ Ruled’ but British Crown had Suezrnity!
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This is the kind of double talk British adopted. In this sense, technically , India did not get Independence on August 1947. What it got was Transfer of Power’.Then India became a member of Commonwealth , one among the Nations that were ruled by the British.
Im providing necessary Excerpts from sources on the points mentioned above as follows with Links.
Parliament continued to control the East India Company by extending its charter for only twenty years at a time.
Those granted in 1793, 1813, 1833 and 1853 successively whittled away the Company’s commercial rights and trading monopolies.
Its last remaining monopoly over the China tea trade was abolished in 1833. Parliament allowed the Company to maintain its political and administrative duties in India, but the charter of 1813 included a clause asserting the Crown’s undoubted sovereignty over all of the Company’s territories and required it to open up India to Christian missionaries.
The 1833 Charter Act invested the Board of Control with full authority over the Company and further increased the power of the governor-general.
Successive governors-general – particularly Marquess Wellesley (1798-1805), and the Marquess of Hastings (1813-23) – continued to add territory to the Company’s holdings in India through conquest and alliance.
By 1856, with the annexation of Oudh, all the Indian subcontinent up to the Himalayas, and much of Burma, was ruled directly by the Company itself or by local allied rulers.
In 1857 the Indians rose in revolt against high-handed and oppressive Company rule – particularly its insensitivity towards their religions – and it took excessively brutal action by the Company’s army to regain control of its possessions.
Following this failure of governance, the British state formally took over the East India Company’s rule in India.
End of Company rule
The Company lost all its administrative powers following the Government of India Act of 1858, and its Indian possessions and armed forces were taken over by the Crown.
Rule of the country shifted from the directors of the Company to a Secretary of State for India advised by a council, whose members were appointed by the Crown.
The Crown also directly appointed the governor-general, or viceroy, and provincial governors in India. The East India Company itself was formally dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1874. Thus began the British Raj, direct imperial rule of India by the British state.https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/legislativescrutiny/parliament-and-empire/parliament-and-the-american-colonies-before-1765/east-india-company-and-raj-1785-1858/
The term dominion means “that which is mastered or ruled”. It was used by the British to describe their colonies or territorial possessions.
Use of dominion to refer to a particular territory within the British Empire dates back to the 16th century and was sometimes used to describe Wales from 1535 to around 1800: for instance, the Laws in Wales Act 1535 applies to “the Dominion, Principality and Country of Wales”. Dominion, as an official title, was conferred on the Colony of Virginia about 1660 and on the Dominion of New England in 1686.The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire. “Dominion status” was accorded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State at the 1926 Imperial Conference to designate “autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations”. India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) were also dominions for short periods of time. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as “autonomous communities within the British Empire”, and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence. With the dissolution of the British Empire after World War II and the formation of the Commonwealth of Nations, it was decided that the terms Commonwealth realm and Commonwealth republic should formally replace dominion for official Commonwealth usage. This decision was made during the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference when India was intending to become a republic, so that both types of governments could become and remain full members of the Commonwealth, and the terms also recognised the full autonomy of the dominions and full sovereignty of independent republics.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion
An Act to make provision for the setting up in India of two independent dominion states, to substitute other provisions for certain provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, which apply outside those dominions, and to provide for other matters consequential on or connected with the setting up of those Dominions..The 1947 Indian Independence Act [1947 c. 30 (10 & 11. Geo. 6.)] is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan. The Act received Royal Assent on 18 July 1947 and thus India and Pakistan, comprising West (modern day Pakistan) and East (modern day Bangladesh) regions, came into being on 15th August.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Independence_Act_1947
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