Puducherry Liberation Day 2024

1 November 2024
Puducherry    Regional holiday

Puducherry Liberation Day is a regional Indian public holiday observed in the union territory of Puducherry on November 1st each year. This holiday commemorates the transfer of the territories of French India to the Republic of India on this day in 1954.

When India gained its independence from Britain in August 1947, it didnt mark an end to European colonial on the subcontinent as there were still regions under European control such as Goa (Portuguese) and Puducherry (French). As part of the European colonial push into the Indian subcontinent, the French arrived during the 17th century, when the French East Indian Company (La Compagnie française des Indes orientales) established a presence in several locations around the coast of India.

In 1674, the municipality of 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. The territories of French India were transferred to the Republic of India de facto (in fact) on November 1st 1954. In August 1962, the de jure (formal in law) transfer took place, with four coastal enclaves becoming the present Indian constituent union territory of Puducherry. The de jure transfer is celebrated in Puducherry with a public holiday on August 16th.

The rest of India gained independence from the British Empire on 14 August 1947. And though Puducherry was “liberated” in 1954, it was almost a decade longer until the state legally merged with India on 16 August 1962. On Liberation Day there are public events and an emphasis on the history of the referendum vote for independence. Almost all members of the colonial council, and all of the elected ones, voted to merge with India instead of to stay under French rule.