Puducherry Liberation Day in India Date in the current year: November 1, 2024

Puducherry Liberation Day in India Puducherry Liberation Day is an official holiday in the Indian union territory of Puducherry. It is celebrated annually on November 1 to commemorate the day when former French India was de facto transferred to independent India and became its union territory.

The city of Pondicherry (Pondichéry in French), now known as Puducherry, is situated on the southeast coast of India. It was the settlement around which French colonial possessions on the Indian subcontinent grew. A trading settlement was set up here in 1674 by the French East India Company, which had been established a decade prior by First Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Colbert.

In 1693, Pondicherry was captured by the Dutch, who fought for dominance in the region with the French and the British. Following the end of the Nine Years’ War and the signing of the Peace of Ryswick, the Dutch Republic returned Pondicherry to France in accordance with the provisions of the peace treaty.

In the 18th century, it was the United Kingdom that tried to take Pondicherry from France, and not unsuccessfully at that. The British first captured the colony in 1761, during the Seven Years’ War. The war ended two years later with the victory of Great Britain and Prussia over Spain and France. According to the terms of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, France lost most of its possessions in India, but got Pondicherry back.

The French East India Company was dissolved in 1769, and the French crown took direct control of its Indian colonies. Over the next decades, Pondicherry traded hands several times between the British and the French in the course of wars that followed the French Revolution.

The British besieged Pondicherry and took control over it in 1793. They were supposed to return it to France under the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but the consequent pace lasted only one year, which wasn’t enough for France to re-establish its administration in French India. As a result, Indian colonies were returned to France in 1816, after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1947, British India gained independence as two separate nations: India and Pakistan. The following year, the governments of India and France signed an agreement that gave the inhabitants of French India the right to choose their political future and the status of their territory.

The first municipal elections in Pondicherry were held in 1948. Six years later, members of the municipal council voted in favor of joining India. Following negotiations, the Indian and French governments agreed that France’s remaining possessions in India would be transferred to the Indian Union.

Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahé and Yanam de facto joined India on November 1, 1954, merging into the union territory of Puducherry. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Puducherry Liberation Day. It is an official holiday marked with flag raising ceremonies and various cultural events.

Another holiday celebrating Puducherry’s transfer to India, De Jure Transfer Day, is observed on August 16, because the formal agreement between India and France was signed on this day in 1962.

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Puducherry Liberation Day in India, holidays in India, observances in India, holidays in Puducherry, French India