Twenty-five years ago - on August the 15th 1947 - British rule in India came to an end.
Twenty-five years ago - on August the 15th 1947 - British rule in India came to an end. And with the death of Britain's biggest colonial outpost came the birth of two independent states - India, predominantly Hindu; and Pakistan, mostly Moslem.
This film traces some main events that have influenced India and its people during the past quarter of a century. It shows the popular rejoicing on Independence Day itself; the violent riots that followed; the funeral of Mahatma Gandhi, who died from an assassin's bullet and the people who mourned him.
For seventeen of the past twenty-five years, India's Prime Minister was the distinguished and widely respected Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru. Under him, India as a Republic within the British Commonwealth, steered a course of non-alignment, and independence of the great power blocs. Nevertheless, the young India had her international troubles. She was involved in border warfare with both The People's Republic of China and Pakistan and in 1961, invaded the Portuguese territory of Goa.
Serious fighting broke out in 1965 in the long-standing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. Heavy fighting went on for a month before the Soviet Prime Minister, Mr. Kosygin, called the warring parties together at the conference table in Tashkent. Under Mr Kosygin's chairmanship, the two leaders signed an agreement which ended the fighting. Just hours later, the Indian prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died from a heart attack. This film shows some of the scenes at the historic signing at Tashkent.
In 1972, India changed the history of her region when she invaded what was then East Pakistan. For months, millions of refugees had been pouring into India, fleeing to safety from conditions at home. The total number of refugees topped the eight-million mark before India invaded East Pakistan and helped carve out the new state of Bangladesh.