As India celebrates its 74th Independence Day, today, every part of the country lies witness to the atrocities of colonial rule and the 300-year long, arduous freedom movement. Before this year’s celebrations commemorate the historical day of independence, let’s look into the list of places to visit that are etched in the memory of the significant events along the course of the freedom struggle.
Red Fort, Delhi:
Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Red Fort, a symbol of India’s power, has weathered several onslaughts since the British captured India. The British had taken over the fort and converted it into army headquarters after defeating Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal ruler.
At the stroke of midnight of August 15, 1947, once India gained independence, the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the national tricolor on the fort and delivered a speech addressing the entire nation. This tradition has passed on through the successive prime ministers to mark the day of independence.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar:
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of April 13, 1919, is one of the pivotal events that portray the ruthlessness of the British dominance of India. On the ill-fated day, as Punjab was busy celebrating the Baisakhi festival, British soldiers fired over 1600 rounds of bullets at hundreds of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs at Jallianwala Bagh, near the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The people who had gathered for peaceful protests could not escape their doom as Brigadier-General Dyer’s men blocked the main entrance.
Many died in the stampede, many jumped to their death into the garden’s well in a desperate attempt to escape, while the bullets killed over 1000. This cold-blooded murder invoked nationwide rage and spearheaded radical revolutionary movements. The walls, adorned with bullet-holes and bloodstains, cry out one of the most agonizing chapters of the freedom struggle.
Cellular Jail, Andamans:
We can only imagine the horrors of being deported to the Cellular Jail across ‘kaala pani,’ and the immense torture subjected towards the freedom fighters in the infamous island prison. The silent echoes of the desolate prison give an idea of the painful life the exiles had to lead in the cramped cells. Only three out of the seven wings housing over 696 cells remain intact now. The prison, which once hosted several significant political prisoners, is now a National Memorial visited by tourists from worldwide.
Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmadabad:
After returning to India from South Africa in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi set up the Sabarmati Ashram based on the same principles as that of the self-sufficient Tolstoy Farm of South Africa. This was set up to experiment in farming and animal husbandry. Gandhiji considered the location ideal for a Satyagrahi, who lands somewhere between a British prison and a crematorium, the two exact landmarks bordering the ashram. The ashram is the starting point of several historical movements like the Dandi Satyagraha of 1930. The site now preserves and promotes the memories of the Father of the Nation.
This place lies witness to India’s First Civil Disobedience Movement, Champaran Satyagraha, launched by Gandhiji. The British had prohibited farmers from cultivating food crops and engaging in the cultivation of indigo instead. This is the spot for the famous indigo revolution, which facilitated farmers to gain more control over farming and other compensations, marking the arrival of one of India’s greatest leaders, Gandhiji, in the picture of the freedom movement.
One of the most defining moments in the Indian freedom struggle–the Kakori Conspiracy Case–took place here. The Kakori train robbery involving Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil, took place on August 9, 1925. This was the first instance of British property being looted, and thus, it remains a must-visit place for any patriotic Indian.
Jhansi Fort, Uttar Pradesh:
The valiant freedom fighter, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, is commemorated in this monument. She annexed the neighboring kingdoms of Datia and Orchha who were planning to invade, and indulged in a full-blown war against British imperialism, to save her kingdom. People visit the fort to honor her contribution and sacrifice for the aid of the country.
Aga Khan Palace, Pune:
The beautiful piece of architecture holds a significant place in India’s history of freedom struggle. The palace served as a high-priority prison in British India, and hosted several political prisoners, including Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi, during the Quit India Movement of 1942. Kasturba Gandhi breathed her last at the palace, and her memorial is located in the palace grounds where she lays buried. The palace holds items of everyday use of the Gandhis, and is now known as the Gandhi National Museum.
August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai:
Mahatma Gandhi made the famous speech of ‘Quit India’ at a park in central Mumbai on August 8, 1942, to urge the people to fight against British rule. Formerly known as Gowalia Tank Maidan, the park is now called August Kranti Maidan. The declaration profoundly inspired the masses and led to the imprisonment of about 60,000 Indians. The park now hosts a monument in honor of the historic event.
Barrackpore, West Bengal:
The inception point of the famous Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 lies at Barrackpore. The rebellion starts when Sepoy Mangal Pandey of the Bengal Army refuses to follow British orders due to the discrimination of India sepoys, recent changes in the British army policies, and the introduction of Enfield Rifles whose cartridges were allegedly made of cow and pig fat and had to be bitten off.
The rebellion spread wide across British India and gravely shook British administration. Barrackpore is also the oldest cantonment in India.
These are some of the few sites of freedom movement lying across the subcontinent. Other significant places include Calcutta–the cultural capital of British India, the Gateway of India at Mumbai which bid adieu to the last of the British troops on February 28, 1948, as they sailed out of the Mumbai harbor; Bombay is also the birthplace of the Indian National Congress.
Many places remain scattered in Pakistan (like Lahore) and Bangladesh (like Chittagong) now. They have been telling us the stories of India’s rich history through the ages.
LLP Amendment Bill Passed
The Limited Liability Partnership(Amendment) Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha(Upper House) on July 29, 2021, after the approval of the Union Cabinet on July 28, 2021. Before understanding the LLP Amendment Bill let’s first understand what is LLP.
What is LLP?
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is an alternative corporate business form that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility in a partnership. It is a separate legal entity, which is liable to the full extent of its assets but the liability of the partners is limited to their agreed contribution in Limited Liability Partnership. One of the advantages of LLP is that it can continue its validity irrespective of changes in partners. It is capable of joining into new contracts and holding equity in its name.
In this corporate business form, no partner is liable on account of the independent or unauthorised actions of other partners, thus individual partners are shielded from joint liability created by another partner’s illicit business decisions or misbehaviour. Common rights and duties of the partners within a Limited Liability Partnership are governed by an agreement between the partners. However, the LLP is not reassured of the liability for its other obligations as a separate entity. As it contains components of both a ‘corporate structure’ as well as a ‘partnership firm structure’, LLP is called a hybrid between a company and a partnership.
Which are the countries where the LLP form is functional?
Countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, various Gulf countries and Singapore are the nations where the LLP structure is functional. As per the advice of experts who have studied LLP legislations in various countries, the LLP Act is extensively based on the UK LLP Act of 2000 and the Singapore LLP Act 2005. Both the Acts allow the creation of LLP in a corporate body form which means as a separate legal entity, separate from its partners.
What is the LLP Amendment Bill & what are the key highlights of the bill?
Limited Liability Partnership Amendment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on August 4, 2021. All the members of the Upper House had agreed to pass this bill and have been working towards it since July 29, 2021. The Amendment Bill aims to boost greater ease of living to law-abiding corporates and to legitimize certain provisions of the Act.
Some of the important highlights of the bill are:
- Decriminalize certain offences: As per the Bill, it defines the way of operating the LLP’s provided that violation of these requirements will lead to punishment with a fine varying from 25,000 INR to five lakh INR. The requirements consist of changes in partners of the LLP, change in registered office, filing declaration of account and annual returns & agreement between the partners and an LLP. The bill exacts a monetary fine.
- Punishment on fraud: Under the Act, if a partner or an LLP carry out any forgery activities to their creditors and every individual who is involved in the hoax will be punished with up to two years of imprisonment, along with the 50,000 INR to five lakh INR of fine. The Bill increases the term of imprisonment from two to five years.
- Compounding of offences: The bill amends to provide an officer who will be appointed by the central government, may compound the offences and impose a punishable fine. If the offence was compounded by an LLP or its partners, then in this case a similar offence cannot be compounded within three years.
- Institution of Special Court: This bill enables the central government to establish special courts for assuring active trail of offences under the Act. The special court consists of a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge. They will adjudicate offences punishable with three or more years of imprisonment and a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate for other offences. They will be selected with the accord of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- Opening of Small LLP’s: This Bill contributes to the formation of small LLP’s in which the partners contribute up to 25 lakh INR, turnover for the coming year is up to 40 lakh INR. The government can declare certain LLP as start-up LLP.
- Non-compliance with tribunal orders: As per the Act, non-compliance with an ordinance of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a punishable offence of up to six months imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 INR. This bill removes such offences.
- Adjudicating Officers: As per the bill, the central government may assign adjudicating officers for allotting penalties under the Act. These officers will be central government officers only. Appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating officer will lie in the hand of the Regional Director.
- Institution of Appellate Tribunal: As per the bill, the appeals cannot be made against an order that he’s passed along with the permission of the parties. The Appeals should be filed within the time frame of 60 days of order.
- Standards of accounting: According to the bill, the central government may specify the criteria of accounting and auditing for groups of LLP in meeting with the National Financial Reporting Authority.
These are the salient parts of the amended bill.
India-Bangladesh: Reopen Cross-Border Rail Lines After 56 years
On August 1, 2021, Indian Railways sent the first stone-filled freight train to Bangladesh from Damdim Station of the Northeast Frontier Railway, resuming activity on the Haldibari Chilahati route. The network between Bangladesh and India will improve due to the continuing rail course that snapped in 1965.
After the partition in 1947, seven rail joins were functional among India and then East Pakistan till 1965. The Haldibari-Chilahati rail interface is one of those courses. As indicated by the railway authorities, the main products train to convey stone chips left from Damdim station of Jalpaiguri area in West Bengal on Sunday morning.
It came to a halt at Chilahati station in the Nilphamari region in the early evening. Aside from the Haldibari-Chilahati rail connect, at present, there are four working rail routes between India and Bangladesh. The current operational rail routes are – Petrapole (India)- Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India)– Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)- Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)– Birol (Bangladesh).
This railway interface between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was initiated by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh during the PM level virtual summit on December 17, 2020. Things that can be transported from India to Bangladesh via this railway combining rocks and boulders, food grains, fresh fruits, chemical fertilizers, onions, chilli, garlic, ginger, fly ash, clay, limestone, wood, and lumber, etcetera. From Bangladesh to India, everything is allowed which exported.
“The commissioning of this rail interface will establish the India-Bangladesh rail connection and future trade. Likewise, the revamped rail network to key ports and dry docks will help boost neighbourhood trade and improve the monetary and social well-being of the space,” the high commission said.
The Government of India gave over ten-wide-measure diesel trains as an aid to help Bangladesh Railways. The virtual event was attended by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and their Bangladeshi accomplices Md Nurul Islam Sujon and Dr A K Abdul Momen on July 27, 2020. Feni Bridge (Maitree Setu) interfacing LCS Sub room (Tripura) and LCS Ramgarh (Bangladesh) have been introduced on a virtual stage by both the Prime Ministers on March 09, 2021.
This will fundamentally further develop availability with Bangladesh. The preliminary attempt of the parcel of Indian merchandise from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram had led in July 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic. Bangladesh – India, the connection is presently supposed to be at its best.
The year 2021, regardless of the continuous COVID-19 pandemic, has been seeing a significant level of commitment at political and official levels. Prime Minister Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh from March 26 – 27. He participated in the Golden Jubilee celebration of Independence of Bangladesh, the centenary of the birth of the founding father Benjabandu Sheikh Mujipur Rahman, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of peaceful relations between India and Bangladesh. Both governments are trying different measures to rebuild the railway hub before 1965 and, another connection network existed between India and Bangladesh.
During the visit of PM Hasina to New Delhi in October 2019, the two governments chose to initiate Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and Dhaka-Siliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka transport administration to upgrade people to people contact between both the nations. The path run of Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka was likewise held in December 2019.
In May 2020, the second appendix of the Inland Waters Transit and Trade Protocol (PIWTT) approved two new routes in the India-Bangladesh Protocol (Sonamura Daudkandi on the Gomti waterway, and from Dhulia to Godagiri to Aricha in the current Padma), five new ports of call and two extended ports of call. Sonamura-Daudkandi Protocol Route had also operationalized in September 2020.
Haldibari-Chilahati Rail Link – Connectivity benefits:
The Haldibari-Chilahati route will give travel association with Bangladesh from Assam and West Bengal in India. The rail network will connect the prime ports, dry ports, to help the development. It will boost the financial and social advancement of the area.
Businesses and everyday citizens of the two nations will want to receive the rewards of the two merchandise and traveller train administrations when all trains are anticipated procedure on the course. With the new rail route, individuals from Bangladesh can visit tourist destinations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Dooars in India.
Also, the Karimganj and Mahisashan rail connection between Assam and Bangladesh is to be functional from 2022. The other rail connection between Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) will be operational by the end of the year.
Assam Issues Travel Advisory Due To Safety Concerns
Assam Government on Thursday issued a travel advisory asking its residents not to travel to Mizoram due to safety concerns and asked those already in the state to exercise caution. The travel advisory came after the tension between the neighbouring states, days after the violent border clashes erupted in which seven people were killed.
Advisory issued by MS Manivannan, Commissioner and secretary in Assam’s home and the political department said, “Given the critical prevailing situation, the people of Assam advised not to travel to Mizoram as any threat to the personal safety of people of Assam cannot be accepted”.
A day before the Assam travel advisory, Mizoram issued a public notice stating that “It is hereby notified that there shall be no restrictions on the movement of non-residents of Mizoram traveling through Kolasib district”, followed by the phone numbers of the officers if any problem arises.
Mizoram Police has filed an FIR against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and four police officers, along with two officials connected with the clashes at the inter-state border. On charges of Attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with the violent border clashes.
On the other hand, Assam police Summoned Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K Vanlalvena And six top officials over the alleged role in border tension. K Vanlalvena told reporters on Wednesday, “More than 200 policemen entered a territory and they pushed back our policeman from our own post and they gave firing orders first before we fired. They are lucky that we didn’t kill them all. If they come again, we shall kill them all.”
Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Three districts in the south of Assam Hailakandi, Cachar, and Karimganj share the border with Mizoram’s Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit districts.
On 26 July, border tensions erupted between Both the neighbouring States Assam and Mizoram, in which 6 Assam police personnel and a civilian were dead. Both states are blaming each other for the violence on Twitter, asking the centre to intervene and resolve the situation amicably.
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