Tuesday 15 August 2006
On the 15th of August, 1947, India became independent. It was on this historic date that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, unfurled the Indian tricolor on the ramparts of the magnificent Red Fort, symbolically marking the end of the British colonial rule.
An excerpt from Nehru’s splendid speech delivered as the Union Jack was being lowered all across India, and the green, white and saffron flag raised in its place:
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will 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 … We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again. [Jawaharlal Nehru — Speech on Indian Independence Day, 1947]