This morning, as I woke up to the sounds of our National Anthem and National Songs, with a puffed chest and a high head, I sit down to write this post, remindful of the words Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said in his famous “Tryst With Destiny” speech of August 14, 1947, arguably one of the best speeches ever delivered.
I believe that time has come for us, Indians, to make a new tryst with destiny. And hence today, I, a humble nobody in this profound Nation, would like to deliver, my own “Tryst With Destiny” speech.
“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and on August 15th, 1947 we adjudicated to redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.Today, time has come that we made another tryst with destiny, a tryst to raise this beautiful nation of ours into greatness, untold and unseen ever in the history of mankind, and to make ourselves grow in a manner befitting to be called as the citizens of the new India we have pledged to build.
A moment came then, which came but rarely in history, when our nation, long suppressed, found utterance. And today, when our nation speaks, the world listens, intently. The power of speech and the weight of words that our nation has earned in the world dais, should now be used to lead the world out of blinding fear and terror, into peace, brotherhood and tranquillity. To do our part in making this world a better place to live for all peace loving mankind.
The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. But with celebration of the past glory, comes the realisation of the challenges that lie ahead, challenges which will define the course our nation takes, driving into the future. Challenges like internal security, law and order, national integrity, balancing the expectations of the poor with the aspirations of the rich, the burden of the inflation with the necessity of growth, education, health, employment and the basic amenities like Bijli, Pani aur Sadak . And today when we hold our head high while singing the Jana Gana Mana watching our beautiful Tricolour flutter, we must ask ourselves this question-- Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future? The future that beholds, is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.
Freedom and power has brought responsibility. Responsibility to augment our nation’s true image, and deliverability. To increase this Republic’s strengths from pole to pole and end the weaknesses which threaten to make this Democracy’s pillar hollow and weak, making it unable to sustain the expectations of her people and the vision of her true leaders.
The ambition of the greatest man of our previous generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, even today, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work, as citizens and leaders of this great Democratic Republic, will not be over. On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the father of our nation, who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but even our succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest. We also think of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.
This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to keep building the noble mansion of free India, strengthening it from pole to pole, where all her children may dwell. And I believe, one day we will finish our job, with perfection, and with excellence.
The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our Endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to strengthen a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to keep creating social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
Today, this 15th day of August, 2010, we must conglomerate our strength, call on our brevity, to fight, fight for making this nation a shining star in the galaxy of the world. And pledge, to no longer walk toe to toe with the world, rather lead it from the front, whenever and wherever possible. To give equal opportunity to all deserving candidates, everywhere, regardless of the fact whether its a Muslim or a Hindu, Brahmin or Dalit, Man, Woman or Transsexual.
As a citizen of India, when I am reminded of the challenges that lie ahead of my Motherland, my limbs start to tremble, but my soul stands, unfazed by the majesty of the mess to be settled, dust to be blown and the dirt to be cleaned. I am reminded of a Victorian poem, which asks me to stare straight and move ahead towards the storm, and fight, fight for what is right and what that has to be done. I would like to take this opportunity to share this poem to all my readers:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
My fellow citizens of India, today is the 64th anniversary of a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the World. When a new star had risen, the star of freedom in the east, a new hope came into being, a vision long cherished materialised. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed! Thank You, God bless You, and may God bless the Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic of India.