Pune, Aug 14 : On the eve of Independence Day on Thursday, the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) has been gifted some rare and hitherto unseen film footage of the historic Simla Conference 1945, an official said here on Wednesday.
The 12-minute film, shot as a home video in an 8-mm format by a Royal Indian Navy officer, William G. Taylor, captures historical moments of the Simla Conference attended by top national leaders of the time, including Mahatma Gandhi.
"The footage has been sent from UK-based Miss Margaret South, daughter of late William G. Taylor, to the NFAI, for preservation," said NFAI Director Prakash Magdum.
The epoch-making Simla Conference 1945 was a meeting between the then Viceroy of India, Lord A.P. Wavell, in the hill station of Simla - capital of Himachal Pradesh.
Attended by several political stalwarts of the era, including Mahatma Gandhi, Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalachari, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah - later the Founder of Pakistan - among others, it was intended to lay the foundations for India's Independence.
However, the Wavell Plan to grant freedom to the country had collapsed due to several historical reasons including differences between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, elections in the UK and a change of government there, and the then prevalent global political situation.
Overcoming various obstacles and owing to a variety of factors, India finally secured Independence from British rule on August 15, 1947.