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Panditji Nehru’s Tryst with destiny one of the greatest speech of all times.

On the eve of Indian Independence day on 1947, Nehru gave one of the greatest speeches of all time, that stirred a nation.

Tryst with Destiny 14-15 August, 1947
-Jawaharlal Nehru
With the clock striking the midnight hour on 14-15th August, 1947, India was ‘to
awake to freedom’. The Constituent Assembly to whom power was to be transferred
began its sitting at 11 pm with Smt Sucheta Kripalani singing Vande Mataram. It was
a historic and memorable occasion in the life of the Constituent Assembly.
After an address by the President, Jawaharlal Nehru made his now famous Tryst with
Destiny speech. He called upon the members to take a solemn pledge to serve India
and her people.
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. It is fitting that at this solemn
moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still
larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with
her striving and the grandeur of her successes, 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. We
end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate
today is but a step, an 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 ?
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 labour 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 might fulfil the
pledges we have so often taken and the One we shall take today. The service of lndia 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 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. To the people of India,
whose representatives we are, we 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 free India where all her children may dwell.
I beg to move, sir, that it be resolved that:
After the last stroke of midnight, all members of the Constituent Assembly present on this
occasion, do take the following pledge:
(1)At this solemn moment, when the people of India, through suffering and sacrifice, have
secured freedom, I a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself in all
humility to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain her rightful
place in the world and make her full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and
the welfare of mankind.

Comments

  1. Stella says:

    It is indeed a great and moving speech. But unfortunately – about two decades later, the solemn pledge was broken and forgotten by those in power when innocent Indian citizens (Chinese origin) born and bred in the motherland had their freedom taken as otherwise promised; when they were, without charge, put into Deoli, Rajasthan Concentration Camp because of Sino-India war.

    None of the people detained were spies nor intelligence members; none were of any danger or threats in any form to the motherland – they were only a bunch of ordinary citizens.

    The saddest part is that they not only lost their life-long savings but also their property being confiscated and aunctioned. Some were even deported and died while trekkng along the foothills of the Himalayas.

    It is an irony when “the contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind” was forgotten so soon.

  2. ycl1688 says:

    Hi Stella,

    You are absolutely right, it was the darkest chapter in the overseas chinese history. Yet Nehru know that the territories held by Chinese were rightful one. Politicians are politicians, one wrong move affected a lot of families and lives.

    By the same token John Kennedy gave a great speech ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’ and the best and the brightest adminastration bought in a Vietnam war that shamed the greatest nation on earth and cost 43000 young men lives. All in the name of stopping Communists from spreading.

  3. Stella says:

    The speech sounded honourable, but it was merely in letter with no spirit; a revelation of form over substance.

    The difference with U.S. is that JFK deceived his own countrymen whereas JN used ethnicity of its countrymen to shame his great nation.

  4. ycl1688 says:

    Let us move on and forgive the government action. Only wishing the Indian Republic forever on the march on the Independence Day 2009. And never let sad history be repeated. Let this blog forever on the march. Let us come in as strangers and stay together as friends. This is what life is about.

  5. kenneth says:

    Somebody told me life is short, i have realised it maybe short but the journey is long. it is great 2see that people feel concern for others make me believe that hope and beautiful people does exits in this world, and good will prevail. it is a matter of time.

  6. Sucheta says:

    “When the world sleeps?” Wasn’t he aware of time zones?

  7. mahesh says:

    hi sucheta,

    good spot on……..

    unfortunately, JN is no longer with us; or else we can ask him. maybe, he was talking about IST (but still, Asia was not asleep also) or maybe he did not know of time zones or forgot all about time zones because he was overwhelmed with the results of freedom-fighting to get his speech written out.

    anyway, all said above are “jokes only” and nothing should be taken serious.

  8. amit says:

    hi sucheta & mahesh,

    because of high spirits….

    most likely the writer of the speech was intoxicated and possibly drunk with a few glasses of champagne mixed with booty that he became drousy to think clearly.

    jokes only, do not take this seriously.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Hi amit,
    Im not sure those days champagne was availble, but im sure country liquor was available everywhere. r u awake?

  10. amit says:

    hi sylvia,

    excuse me…when you say that you are not sure yourself if champagne was or was not available then (in those days), how can you state “r u awake” ?

    next time, when you try to outsmart others intentionally or otherwise, pls do some research and post valid facts. also, champagne had been in existence ages ago. are you in your dreams, please go and check it out at the champagne encyclopaedia. maybe u r too young to know what is champagne.

    bottom line, it does not matter if champagne was or was not available then when the comment was openly expressed as jokes only.

    no hard feeling……cheers

  11. Anuja says:

    Today after 60+ yrs of independence do any youth feel like to remember that tryst. Instead do our people want them to remember? The corruption which a child sees from his admission in jr.KG, Will he have any feeling for that sacrifice of our martyrs. Britishers looted us for 150 yrs but today the loot is 3 times more as compared to them. Have a look at swiss bank scandal!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. rinki says:

    I doubt if every Indian ever really cared for or respected their freedom? They are responsible for the situation at hand now, criminals which are also called politicians are the real GODs in India.

  13. sandeep singh says:

    it’s one of the most inspiratinal and patriotic speeches