De Jure Transfer Day 2024

16 August 2024
Puducherry    Regional holiday

De Jure Transfer Day is a regional public holiday that falls on August 16th. It is observed in the union territory of Puducherry. It marks the day when the union territory of Puducherry finally merged with the Republic of India in 1962. As this day always follows Indian Independence Day on August 15th, it creates a two-day holiday break in Puducherry.

When India became independent from Britain in August 1947, there were still parts on the subcontinent that remained under European jurisdiction such as Goa and Puducherry. When the European powers first reached the Indian subcontinent and looked to impose colonial influence in the 16th century, it was the East India companies of England and Holland who started establishing trading posts and settlements. France was a little late in establishing this control with the French East Indian Company establishing a presence in several locations around the coast of India in the 17th century.

In 1674, Pondicherry became a French colony of the French colonial empire. Pondicherry later joined with the other French colonies at Chandernagor, Mahé, Yanam, Karaikal and Masulipatam to form French India. French India was ruled from Pondicherry as its capital.

The territories of French India were transferred to the Republic of India de facto on November 1st 1954, and de jure on August 16th 1962. This de jure which means in law transfer is marked on August 16th every year. The four French coastal enclaves became the present Indian constituent union territory of Pondicherry which was later renamed as Puducherry. The de facto merger is also celebrated on November first each year. On this day, the chief minister of this union territory addresses the inhabitants. They also pay tribute to the freedom fighters of Puducherry and celebrate their freedom fom the French rule.