Unseen Comprehension Passages Set III – 
Read the following passage:
Happy Independence Day!
For India, August 15 is a day of her re-birth, a new start. At the midnight hour of August 15, 1947, the British rulers handed the country back to its Indian leaders, ending a remarkable struggle that lasted years. It was on this historic date, that sovereign India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahrlal Nehru, unfolded the tricolour flag of the nation on the ramparts of the Red Fort. The day is significant in the history of India as bringing an end to the British colonial rule in India.
The exploitation by the British In India led to revolutionary calls for independence and sparked a phase of non-cooperation movements followed by civil disobedience.
The enduring leader and national symbol for all these movements was Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi-the Father of the Nation. The next decades were marked with constant struggles between the Indians and the British for freedom. Many movements and acts were carried out by the Indian National Congress, freedom fighters and the people of India.
In the year 1946, Britain thought of ending their rule over India because of their exhaustion of capital, post World War II. The British Government announced, during the early 1948. This approaching independence could not decrease the Hindu-Muslim violence inn Bengal and Punjab. This led to Louis Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of India to prep-one the power hand-over date, owing to the fact that the unprepared British army not cope with the increased violence in the, country. In the month of June in 1947, prominent Indian leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Abul Kalam Azad, Master Tara Singh and B.R. Ambedker agreed for a partition of India along religious outline. The Sikh and Hindu areas were marked as India, while the Muslim dominated areas were transferred to Pakistan.
Millions of people belonging to different religious groups tramped across the newly drawn border to find places to reside. The violence that accompanied the partition took away around 250,000 to 500,000 lives. Finally, at midnight of 15 August 1947, pandit Jwaharlal Nehru proclaimed India’s independence by reading out his famous speech known as “Tryst with destiny”. During this speech, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we will redeem out pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes, but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. We end today, a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.”
Now, answer the following questions:
- How many years of independence will India be celebrating this year?
- What is so special about this Independence Day 2017?
- What do you mean by the word sovereign? Is India a sovereign country? Why/Why not?
- What values do we learn from the freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, B.R. Ambedkar and many others who fought for independence, so selflessly?
- Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru concluded his speech by saying that ‘We end a period of ill fortune, and India would would not have ended? What kind of government would have existed in India Under such circumstances?