Rendezvous With Destiny

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Speech before the 1936 Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, June 27, 1936

It was the above quoted speech that inspired independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Tryst With Destiny,” considered to be one of the greatest orations of all time, delivered on the midnight which gave way to the 15th of  August, 2013, exactly 66 years ago from now. Its opening lines are often remembered during this time of the year:

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 relatively forgotten passage from the same speech goes on:

The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.

We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be.

These words marked the end of a hundred-year-struggle for freedom. Wonder how long it’ll take this time.

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