De Jure Transfer Day in Puducherry Date in the current year: August 16, 2024

De Jure Transfer Day in Puducherry De Jure Transfer Day is a public holiday in the Indian union territory of Puducherry, celebrated annually on August 16. On this day in 1962, France officially transferred its former colonies in the Indian Subcontinent to the Republic of India.

Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry (Pondichéry in French), is a union territory in southern India. It consists of four districts, each an enclave: Puducherry district and Karaikal district are enclaves of the state of Tamil Nadu, Mahé district is an enclave of the state of Kerala, and Yanam district is an enclave of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The earliest mention of the municipality of Puducherry dates back to approximately the 2nd century AD; a marketplace named Poduke is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greco-Roman manuscript listing ports and coastal landmarks. In the 4th century, the region became part of the Kingdom of Kanchipuram. During the following centuries, it was controlled by various dynasties and political entities including the Chola dynasty, the Kingdom of Thanjavur, the Pandya dynasty, the Sultanate of Madurai, the Vijayanagar Empire, and the Sultanate of Bijapur.

In 1674, the French East India Company set up a trading post at Puducherry, which soon became France’s main settlement in the Indian Subcontinent. It was captured by the Dutch in 1693 but returned to France by the Treaty of Ryswick six years later.

After Puducherry, France took control over Mahé in the 1720s, Yanam in 1731, and Karaikal in 1738. During the Anglo-French wars, which were a part of the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War, Puducherry changed hands frequently. It was returned to France by the 1973 Treaty of Paris signed at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War.

In the late 18th century, Puducherry was briefly captured by the British, who took advantage of the French Revolution. France returned its Indian possessions in 1814. When the British Empire gained control of the Indian Subcontinent in the late 1850s, France was allowed to retain Chandannagar, Karaikal, Mahé, Puducherry, and Yanam. The settlements remained a part of French India until 1954.

Following India’s independence in 1947, discussions arose on the status of French India. In 1948, France and India reached an agreement that gave the inhabitants of French India the right to choose their political future. French municipalities in India held municipal elections and were granted autonomy by the French government.

In 1950, the India government gained de facto control over Chandannagar, which became a part of the state of West Bengal in 1954. On November 1, 1954, Karaikal, Mahé, Puducherry, and Yanam were de facto transferred to India. However, it took almost eight years for the French parliament to ratify the transfer. Puducherry and other enclaves were de jure transferred to India on August 16, 1962 and formed the Union Territory of Puducherry on July 1, 1963.

The anniversary of the official transfer is celebrated in Puducherry as De Jure Transfer Day. Since this state holiday is observed right after Indian Independence Day, the union territory has a two-day holiday break.

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