India Independence Day Special
India Independence Day SpecialReuters

Happy Independence Day!

[Watch Live Coverage of Independence Day Celebration at Red Fort]

As India gears up to celebrate its 69th year of independence from the British on Saturday, it's time to remember those who fought tirelessly for the freedom of the country and those who shaped its destiny in the subsequent years with their vision and wisdom. 

The illustrious list of freedom fighters is indeed long and includes Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru and Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

[Also Check: Rare Pictures of India's First Independence Day]

Their zeal and conviction inspired many people to participate in the freedom struggle that eventually led to the British leaving India, enabling the country to formally declare independence on 15 August, 1947.

The freedom fighters gave many slogans that motivated lakhs of Indians to join them in the freedom movement.  Some of these slogans are worth recalling on the eve of Independence Day:

  • 'Vande Mataram (Hail to the Mother(land))': Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
  • 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan; Long Live Youth, Long Live Farmer': Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • 'Jai Hind': Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
  • 'Swaraj Mera Janamsiddha adhikar hai, aur main ise laker rahoonga (Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it)': coined by Kaka Baptista and adopted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  • 'Satyameva Jayathe (Truth alone will win)': popularised by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
  • 'Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live the Revolution)': coined by Muslim Leader Hasrat Mohani and stands synonymous with Bhagat Singh
  • 'Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, Ab hamare dil mein hai': a patriotic poem by Bismil Azimabadi and used as slogan by Ramprasad Bismil

Besides, there are also inspirational quotes of not just freedom fighters, but also subsequent leaders who led India post independence.  

  • "If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland." – Chandra Shekhar Azad
  • "In A Democracy , The Well Being, Individuality And Happiness Of Every Citizen Is Important For The Overall Prosperity, Peace And Happiness Of The Nation." – APJ Abdul Kalam
  • "Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."  Jawaharlal Nehru
  • "Get up, we have no time to lose. Take up your arms! We shall carve our way through the enemy's ranks, or if God wills, we shall die a martyr's death. And in our last sleep we shall kiss the road that will bring our Army to Delhi. The road to Delhi is the road to Freedom. Chalo Delhi (March to Delhi)."  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
  • "Mother, I bow to thee! Rich with thy hurrying streams, Bright with orchard gleams, Cool with thy winds of delight, Green fields waving , Mother of might, Mother free. Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease, Laughing low and sweet! Mother I kiss thy feet, Speaker sweet and low! Mother, to thee I bow." – Bankim Chandra Chaterjee
  • "Revolution is an inalienable right of mankind. Freedom is an imperishable birth right of all. Labor is the real sustainer of society, the sovereignty of the ultimate destiny of the workers," – Bhagat Singh
  • "Every citizen of India must remember that...he is an Indian and he has every right in this country but with certain ...duties." – Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel
  • "For some days, people thought that India was shaking. But there are always tremors when a great tree falls." – Rajiv Gandhi
  • "If Pakistan has any ideas of annexing any part of our territories by force, she should think afresh. I want to state categorically that force will be met with force and aggression against us will never be allowed to succeed." – Lal Bahadur Shahstri
  • "Poverty is multidimensional. It extends beyond money incomes to education, health care, political participation and advancement of one's own culture and social organisation." – Atal Bihari Vajpayee
  • "At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength."  Jawaharlal Nehru
  • "If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India."  Max Mueller (German scholar)
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