The countdown for the freedom had started much earlier. But it was on February 26, 1947 when the British made an important announcement by mentioning their intention to quit India by June 1948. Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the viceroy of India and was given responsibility of transferring the authority from British to Indian hands. The enthusiasm of the Indians had increased tenfold with this declaration.
With the already laid foundation, India was awaiting the formal announcement. With the advent of the midnight on August 14th 1948 the whole nation gathered up to welcome the glorious moment of the Nation. And with the last stroke of the midnight, India had put her first step onto the path of the much awaited freedom. The freedom which took 300 years for India to became an independent nation.
A special session of the Constituent Assembly was held in New Delhi on the 14-15 August, 1947.
The 'Independence meeting' began at the Council Chamber of Parliament building in New Delhi at 11 p.m. on August 14th, 1947. The session was chaired by the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr Rajendra Prasad. The opening song, ' Vande Mataram', was sung by Mrs Sucheta Kripalani at 11.05 p.m.
Jawaharlal Nehru passed the resolution on behalf of the Congress, followed by Chaudhuri Khaliq-uz-Ziman, leader of the Muslim League Party. It was determined that "After the last stroke of midnight, all members of the Constituent Assembly” will dedicate themselves "to the service of India and the people."
And finally the resolution passed and it was time to take the Oath of the Dedication. The text of the oath is as follows:
“At this solemn moment when the people of India, by their suffering and sacrifice have secured freedom and become martyrs of their destiny I .........., a member of Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain its rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full willing contribution to the promotion of the world peace and welfare of mankind." All the members stood up and took the oath together.
At the crack of the dawn of 15th August, Indian as a nation woke up to see the first sunray of freedom. It was the time to celebrate the triumph on behalf of numerous martyred souls. The celebration of the Independence Day began at 8:30 a.m., with the swear words at the Viceregal Lodge (now known as the Rashtrapati Bhawan). The new Government was sworn in the central hall (now Durbar Hall). Two large National Flags along with the Governor General's deep blue flag were majestically hung at the backdrop of the hall wall which was facing the distinguished gathering. For the first time, the Tricolor flag of independent India proudly hoisted on the flag mast of the Council House at 10:30 a.m.
The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru hosted the Tricolor flag marking the end of the British colonial rule. And hence a new journey had begun.