Growing up, for one of those Independence Day essay writing competition, I had to memorize Nehru’s ‘Tryst with destiny’ speech and that speech has stayed with me to-date. Every year during India’s Independence Day, I invariably get to read about this speech in some article, news or blog post and learn something new about the speech.
‘Tryst with destiny’ speech was delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister of India on the eve of India’s Independence. This speech is considered as one of the greatest speeches of the 20th Century. Ever since my brother-in-law gifted me the book – Speeches that changed the world, I have become a speech buff and in the context of many other speeches I have read, I am able to appreciate the elegance, beauty and honesty of Nehru’s speech.
This is a timeless speech and captures the ethos and core values of the Indian populace. It is very enriching to reflect on this speech 69 years after it was delivered. Here are my top 3 favorite sections of the speech.
Impressive opening that poetically articulates the great awakening of a nation to life and freedom
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.
Affirming Gandhi’s vision as the definition of success for India
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.
Establishing values for nation building and global citizenship
And so we have to labour 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 anyone of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments
Here is the full speech
Tryst with the destiny in news this year – John Kerry’s Independence Day wish to India
“As India continues its tryst with destiny into the 21st century, it will find in the US a willing and able partner in the cause of freedom, democracy and prosperity,”
Happy Independence Day India! Jai Hind!!!