Liberated from France on 16th August 1962, French Colony of Pondicherry celebrates “De Jure” Day today!
French India or the Etablissements Francais Dans l’Inde was the French settlements in India which were separated geographically. They were originally acquired by the French East India Company beginning in the second half of the 17th century.
France was the last of the major European maritime powers of the 17th century to enter the East India trade. In 1816, after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, the five establishments of Pondichéry, Chandernagore, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and the lodges at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode, and Surat were under France.
The French stayed in India for almost 138 years. After the independence of India in 1947, France, one after the other, started to give away her colonies. The lodges in Machilipatnam, Kozhikode, and Surat were ceded to India in October 1947.
To determine the future of other colonies, an election was conducted. According to the result of the election, the other colonies were decided to merge in the Indian Union. Governance of Chandernagore or Chandrapur was ceded to India on 2 May 1950, then it was merged with West Bengal state on 2 October 1954.
On 1 November 1954, the four enclaves of Pondichéry, Yanam, Mahe, and Karikal were de facto transferred to the Indian Union and became the Union Territory of Puducherry. The de jure union of French India with India did not take place until 16th August 1962 – fifteen years after the Independence.
Image Courtesy: http://www.worldofcoins.eu
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