Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. On 23rd May 2019, as the world watched, Bharat became truly free of colonial shackles.
A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Bharat and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history, Bharat started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength.
We end today a period of ill fortune, including a false dawn on 15 Aug 1947, and Bharat discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, and opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
The brith of this new era brings responsibility. The responsibility rests primarily upon the Parliament, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of Bharat, but the common citizen has no small role to play in the journey towards reclaiming our civilizational legacy.
Before the birth of true freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Many of the pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we shall take today. The service of Bharat means the service of the millions who suffer & aspire, and reclaiming the irreplaceable civilizational roots we had forgotten. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and colonial consciousness. As long as there are tears and suffering and cultural amnesia, so long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for Bharat, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart or dominate the other. Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World which is witnessing violent clashes due to a handful of supremacist ideologies that wish to conquer us all.
To the people of Bharat, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of a truly free, prosperous and confident Bharat where all her children may dwell.
(The above is a slightly modified version of Bharat’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘tryst with destiny’ speech delivered in the Constituent Assembly, New Delhi, August 14, 1947, on the eve of the attainment of Independence. We believe this new version conveys the feelings of New Bharat and is something that PM Modi can consider delivering in Parliament after his historic win in the 2019 LS elections.
After a long period of colonization, imposed by both external and internal elements, the journey of regaining the true Idea of Bharat and our glorious civlizational roots starts in earnest today.)
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.