India celebrates the anniversary of its independence Saturday, marking nearly seven decades since it secured a hard-earned separation from Britain, on Aug. 15, 1947. That date also marks the partitioning of India, dividing the country into India and Pakistan, which later split further into Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Here are photos marking the occasion, from history and in more recent times. This year, the country is ratcheting up its security as Indian nationals prepare to celebrate, in the wake of attacks that have been blamed on militants from the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, from Punjab and Kashmir, regions in the country's north.
“These kind of threats always exist during Independence Day, so we have taken all anti-terror measures to deal with them,” said Mukesh Kumar Meera, the joint commissioner of police, as NewsAsia reported. “Our force is ready to counter any kind of militant attack.”
In 1947, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian flag above the Red Fort in Delhi, the country's capital. The prime minister has done the same every year since. Below, the fort in 2010.
Nehru delivered a famous speech on Indian Independence Day in 1947 at New Delhi's Parliament House.
In 2014, India Prime Minister Narendi Modi delivered a speech from the Red Fort, flush from the victory of his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, in general elections. This year, many wonder what his speech will promise, as proposed economic reforms have lagged and he deals with accusations of corruption in his government.
Independence Day can be a colorful affair.
Celebrations and performances are held across the country. Various districts and cities hold parades, screen films, and even hold bike rides.
— Gurjusjit Singh (@GJJSingh) August 14, 2015