Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” on the eve of India’s Independence, towards midnight on 14 August 1947, echoes in my head.
We have come a long way from midnight to the Millennium, as today we commemorate our 72nd birthday. Our Independence Day is a celebration of India’s democracy that has given every imaginable caste, creed, culture, and cause, the chance to break free of their bondage’s.
The conviction of “unity in diversity” was the catalyst in getting us freedom. From more than 100 years of suffering through subjugation, inequality and exploitation emerged the freedom fighters who lived and died dreaming of a free nation. This freedom has come after paying a hefty price. Every breath that we take in our free country is a gift bestowed on us by the martyred brave hearts. This is why we must not forget neither our past nor the ones who gave us our present, believing in this cause.
Regardless of abysmal opinions of the pessimists, India’s growth story is applaud worthy. The colonial rule bequeathed us with a shattered economy, widespread illiteracy and shocking poverty. Today, after more than seven decades of independence, India has now come closer to being an independent force to reckon with, rising from its shambles.
The economic reforms came to India’s rescue, post launch of the policies of liberalisation and privatisation. Ever since we have witnessed growth in all sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, services, education, healthcare, science and technology. From Mangalyaan to Chandrayaan and now planning for Aditya, ISRO’s probe mission to the Sun by 2019-20, we have announced to world that we have arrived.
The freedom to choose, the freedom of speech, in fact, the freedom for me to write this column, as trivial as it may sound is actually the biggest gift that we have. Gandhiji had said, “The highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest measure of discipline and humility. Freedom that comes from discipline and humility cannot be denied”. Let us not forget the price that extraordinary men and women paid for this. This tree of freedom needs our sustained care and nourishment.
Let us all pledge not to take this freedom for granted. As Nehruji said, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny… At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,”