‘A Tryst with Destiny’. What do you think these words mean or represent? No, it’s not a book and neither is it a story. It’s a speech, a speech of the beginning of an independent India, a speech that marked the long-fought-for freedom of the country, a speech from where India rose to the position that it is today with its head held high.
Instruments of India's Freedom Struggle
“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. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. 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.”
These were the first words ever spoken as soon as India held into its hands, its independence, as the trophy from the ongoing war. That is not just what makes these words special. These words were a part of the first-ever speech given in independent India on 15th August, at midnight. The list doesn’t end here. These words were spoken by the first ever Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
The then PM's speech was not just addressed to the people in front of him, it was addressed to a new country, a newly united population with the power and control in one’s own hands.
“At the dawn of history, India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike, she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength.”
These words in the speech indicate that Nehru Ji began his speech keeping in consideration whatever India as a country and its people have been through for centuries. The country strived to take the reins of power into its own hands for so many years, until one day, it was time to end the misery.
“We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again.”
By the time India gained its independence, it wasn’t much more than ruins. A lot of people lost their precious lives, and a lot more than that were injured in the process. People lost lands, houses, relatives, parents, children, and whatnot. Everything was haywire with no scope of improvement whatsoever for many years to come.
Yes, the country had been released from the poking iron chains of the Britishers but, by this time, it wasn’t even left with any more blood to be spilled to regain its consciousness. In other words, India had nothing in terms of its economy.
“Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom, we have endured all the pains of labor and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those 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 fulfill 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.
The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labor and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any of them to imagine that it can live apart.”
It was then that Nehru Ji included this in his speech, making his and every other official head’s intentions clear with the population as well as with the newly independent country. He wanted India’s people to get united despite every division there was and get knee-deep in helping the country develop. The result of which can be seen very clearly in today’s time with the speed at which India as a country is climbing the stairs of success. Finally, Nehru Ji, asking for help from each and every citizen of India in every way they could contribute, ended his speech with the purest form of golden words.
“And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal, and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.”
A Tryst with Destiny is a pure form of gift that was given by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to his motherland as her first son. It not just depicts what needs to be done but also portrays how India as a motherland, deserves to be treated.
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