India celebrates its 72nd Independence Day on August 15, 2018. India gained independence from the British Raj on August 15, 1947, making it an important day in the history. India is truly a secular and diverse country with different religions, languages, caste, and creed living in a harmony. We all have read our freedom fighters’ struggle and sacrifice for freedom. But that are several interesting events in independent India that have helped to shape our Indian policy. As we celebrate 72nd Independence Day, let us take a flashback over the many events that shaped our policy, after Independence on August 15, 1957.
1947: India gains its liberty and became a free country at midnight between August 14 and 15.
1948: Nathuram Godse, a right-wing advocate of Hindu nationalism, assassinates Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi on January 30.
1949: The Indian Constituent Assembly adopts Article 370 of the Constitution. Article 370 of the Indian constitution is an article that gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
1950: The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. The last Governor-General of India Chakravarti Rajagopalachari reads out a proclamation announcing the birth of the Republic of India.
1951: The first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru presented the First Five-Year Plan to the Parliament of India. The plan mainly focused on the development of the primary sector.
1952: India holds its first general elections. The polling was held between October 25, 1951, and March 27, 1952.
- The second five-year plan presented to the Parliament of India that focused on rapid industrialisation.
- Babasaheb Ambedkar passed away in December after months of illness.
- Jammu and Kashmir approve its own constitution.
- Second general elections are held in India.
1959: The 14th Dalai Lama flees to India. His shelter is seen as a trigger for the 1962 war with China.
1960: Following violent protests, the Bombay state is split into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- The Sino-Indian War, also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict, occurred between China and India. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. In the war, India lost a border war with China. The Indian army lost over 1300 army men and injured 1,047.
- The state of Nagaland is formed.
1964: Nehru passes away on May 27, the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack. After Nehru’s death, Gulzarilal Nanda is sworn in as acting Prime Minister.
1965: The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. Both the countries suffered heavy casualties.
- The state of Punjab is divided into three other states – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan meet in Taskent along with the Soviet Union Prime Minister Kosygin, and signs ‘Taskent Agreement’. On the same night, Lal Bahadur Shashtri dies in sleep, of cardiac arrest.
- Following the death of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Gulzarilal Nanda once again becomes the acting Prime Minister.
1969: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is founded.
1971: India fights the third war with Pakistan. East Pakistan is divided from Pakistan, Bangladesh is born as an independent nation.
- The state of Meghalaya is formed, under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971.
- The Simla Agreement is signed between India and Pakistan on July 2 in Simla, Himachal Pradesh.
1974: India conducts nuclear tests at Pokhran.
1975: The Congress government imposes ‘Emergency’.
1977: Emergency ends. The first non-Congress government elected at the Centre.
1979: Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
- The BJP is formed after internal differences in the Janata Party result in the collapse of the Janata government in 1979.
- Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s son, dies in a plane accident. Due to this, Indira’s elder son Rajiv Gandhi feels increasing pressure to enter politics.
1983: Kapil Dev led Indian cricket team wins the World Cup.
- Operation Blue Star is launched to drive out Sikh extremist religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers from the Golden Temple, Amritsar.
- In the same year, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her two bodyguards. Following Indira’s death, her son, Rajiv takes over.
- On December 2 and 3, the Bhopal disaster, also referred as the Bhopal gas tragedy took place at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the incident.
- On June 23, Air India Flight 182 was destroyed with a bomb, killing 268 Canadian citizens, 27 British citizens, and 24 Indian citizens. Canadian law enforcement determined that the main suspects in the bombing were members of the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa. The attack was said to be a retaliation against India for Operation Blue Star.
- The first budget by Rajiv Gandhi’s government seeks to liberalize trade sector.
1987: The state of Goa is formed.
1988: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visits China to meet Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Gandhi becomes the first Prime Minister in 34 years to do so. Both the leaders agree to ensure peace in the border areas.
1989: Outbreak of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
1990: Cauvery tribunal is formed to resolve the water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
1991: Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated during the election campaign by a suicide bomber sympathetic to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers in Southern India.
1992: The Babri Masjid in demolished. The mosque is believed to be built on a piece on the birthplace of Lord Rama – Ram Janmabhoomi, sparking nationwide communal riots.
1993: Series of bomb blasts disturbs the city of Mumbai, killing over 250 people and injuring 700.
1994: Beauty queens Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai wins the Miss Universe and Miss World titles respectively.
- Indian Airlines flight IC-814 hijacked by Harqat-ul-Ansar. After seven days of negotiations with the Indian government, the hostages are released in exchange of militants Maulana Masood Azhar, Syed Umar Sheikh and Mushtaq Latram Jerger.
- The Kargil War, also known as Kargil conflict, took place between May and July in the Kargil district of Kashmir and other areas along the Line of Control (LoC).
2000: The states of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand are formed.
2001: Five terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attacked the Parliament of India on December 13. The attacks took a toll of 14 lives – 6 Delhi Police personnel, 2 Parliament Security Service personnel, 1 gardener, and 5 terrorists.
2002: Communal violence breaks out in Gujarat. A coach of Sabarmati Express is set on fire at Godhra railway station.
2005: Right to Information Act implemented.
2007: Pratibha Patil becomes the first woman to be elected President of India.
- On August 11, Abhinav Bindra wins the gold medal in the men’s 10 m air rifle shooting event. It was the first ever medal for India at the Beijing Games.
- 10 members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) carry a series of coordinated bomb attacks and shooting at prime locations including Taj Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Leopold Café.
- After 28 years, The Indian Cricket team wins the World Cup.
- Social activist Anna Hazare stages a 12-day hunger strike in Delhi in protest at state corruption.
2012: A 23-year-old is brutally gang-raped by six people in a moving bus in Delhi. The victim died 13 days after the incident.
2013: On June 16, Uttarakhand witnessed devastating floods and landslides killing over 6,000 people and leaving thousands homeless.
- Ending the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Narendra Modi becomes the 15th prime minister.
- India’s 29th state Telangana is formed.
- US President Barack Obama has attended India’s Republic Day parade in Delhi, becoming the first US head of state to do so.
- The anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party headed by Arvind Kejriwal wins a stunning victory in Delhi state election.
- India and Bangladesh sign a historic territory swap deal allowing residents to choose where to live.
2016: The Modi-led government announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced on July 1.
- India creates history by launching 104 satellites by ISRO’s vehicle the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- Punjab government announces free education to girls from nursery to Ph.D. in all government institutions.
- Indian Women’s Cricket Team enters World Cup finals. Even though India lost to England at the Lord’s stadium, the team and the match changed the face of women’s sports in India.
- Men’s Hockey team wins 2017 Asia Cup.
- Manushi Chillar becomes Miss World.
- The Supreme Court bans the practice of Triple Talaq.
- India national under-19 cricket team wins Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand beating Australia in the final.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government faces the no-confidence motion brought against it by the Congress-led Opposition. After a 12-hour marathon debate, the BJP defeats the motion.
- The year so far has proved worst as minors being the victim of sexual assaults. The Kathau rape victim was an 8-year-old, while the Surat victim just 11, the list goes on and on.