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
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.