Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Independence Day Speech

As I stand under the halo of the tricolor, a proud Indian, I am reminded of Pandit Nehru’s words.
The appointed day has come -the day appointed by destiny-and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle; awake and vital as the Golden Bird readies to take flight again. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.
Today our nation has come to be governed by a breed of rulers rather than people in the service of the country. As Barry Goldwater once said-
“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed”.
It is time once again for us the people of this great nation to reestablish our authority and restore the lost sheen of the largest democracy of the world.
The system has come be to become the villain for us, in all our ills. What is the system? The system is you and I. The system is the youth of this nation. The system is the occupiers of those arm chairs in plush homes.
Hillary Clinton said on her visit to New Delhi “We share a common trait of rolling up our sleeves to get things done”. Roll up your sleeves dear friends to stir up action that has drowned in rhetoric as words.
How will this be achieved you may ask. The answer lies in the eyes of the children and young adults like those of my brethren seated before me. We make the majority of the people that is considered by the world as the bedrock of knowledge. It is for us to bring about a transformation in our own mindsets. Politics in this nation has been for too long concerned with Lutyen’s Delhi. It is for us to bring Dharavi and Chandini Chowk to Parliament and Raisina Hill, to form the mind and soul of the Government of India.
You may again ask yourself but how. The answer is I can and I will. As Adlai Stevenson said “What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility ... a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime”.
Dear friends Prime Minister Nehru said in the Constituent Assembly declaring Indian Independence on the eve of Independence Day in 1947-
“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”.
There shall be another tryst with destiny and now we shall redeem our pledge not just substantially but wholly and in full measure.
Jai Hind!