66 Years of Independence

15 August holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. This marks the day when we put an end to over a hundred years of British rule and made a step towards independence. At midnight our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru made his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech to announce India’s independence. This speech summarizes everything that independence means for our 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.”

What is most striking about our independence is that it came out of wholly non violent agitation. Championed by the Father of our Nation, Gandhiji (known simply as Mahatma meaning ‘Great Soul’), our measures of resistance included non-cooperation, a move to use only Swadeshi goods, and satyagraha. Incredible as it seems, these non-violent protests bore fruit and India achieved independence on 15 August 1947. 66 years after Independence, India still upholds the values of non-violence (ahimsa).

Today we salute those who laid down their lives for our country, who died so that we could live as free individuals, proud of our country’s legacy, people who gave up their futures, so we could have ours.

A special mention must go to our brave soldiers who stand guard at the borders, braving the incredibly hostile climate. People who give up their sleep and comfort so that we can have ours. We salute you brave Jawans.

And to every single of the crores of Indians living in our country or abroad, Happy Independence Day. Be proud to be an Indian.

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