…and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge…”
One day after I have celebrated the 60th anniversary of my own nation‘s birth and independence from colonial rule, I cannot refrain from quoting, once again, Nehru’s inimitably beautiful words spoken at India’s independence (a day after Pakistan’s in 1947, and therefore 60 years ago today), as a way of expressing congratulation to my sisters and brothers in that country ineluctably and inexorably forever twinned to my own:
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 success 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?
Nehru’s speech continued here.