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Monday, August 08, 2005

Tryst with Destiny

Honorable Members of Parliament, members of our esteemed temple of democracy I come here in humility to remind you of the Pledge that this very institution took on the eve of Independence. The 'poetically worded but eschewed in practice' pledge - "Tryst with Destiny"

I would like to remind the Honorable Members:
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 [...]

Honorable Members, our honeymoon with Fate has long been over and we have marched into the next Century, but the pledge which we solemnly agreed to uphold remains forgotten. The Pledge, H'ble Members, is not even marginally redeemed. I seek YOUR assistance as the beacons of democracy, the leaders of my motherland to uphold the basis of our Freedom.

Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India.

H'ble Members, the FatherS of our freedom, the Martyrs of our struggle, have paid the price so that we can breathe the freedom, enjoy it and if I may so say, take it for granted. We have the freedom and by the power bestowed in us, by our Constitution, we have delegated "that" power to you and request you to take up this huge responsibility.

The service of India means, the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

H'ble Members, the Mahatma has passed away. He along with the thousands of his colleagues who sacrificed their lives (and much more) look upon from the Heaven and expect that I, You, We will treasure the gift of their life.

H'ble Members I would also like to take up this opportunity to remind you of the Preamble of our Constitution which we adopted on the twenty-sixth day of November, 1949. The Preamble which boasts of Equality within the secular fabric of India.

You ask why I bring all this up today? Lying before you today, is the Nanavati report on the 1984 Anti Sikh riots. In a few days you will see a similar report on the Bombay riots and Gujarat riots.

Unfortunately we call them "riots". They are not. None of the above mentioned incidents are riots. They are at best "ethnic cleansing" if not "genocide". Out country, our governments, our police forces, our armies, our people.... and most importantly YOU could not / did not stop the above from happening. The future generations will look back upon us (you and me) as the impotent systems or parts of it which could not / did not protect its own subjects. The people who died in the above genocides were ALL Indian Citizens whom me, you, we promise to protect and serve. We failed in our duties to those hundreds of victims who died due to our impotence and inaction. This cannot be undone.

However, we owe it to these victims as much as to us and our future generations to be just. It is our duty to ensure that the criminals (most of whom are Indian citizens) are made to kneel in front of the all too powerful LAW.

H'ble Members, Let me warn you, that in this and other similar reports, which are conjured out of our bureaucracy, will invariably name your political colleagues, your political friends, your political idols, your political enemies, because no genocide of this magnitude can be executed without the political blessings of the governments.

Can I rely on your just behavior that the perpetrators whoever they are will be punished?

Can you promise me that you will not blink once even if the crime is committed by your kin, if not your friends or foes?

Can you assure me that you will not seek political mileage or one-upsmanship out of these reports as that will be the biggest insult to the victims and their bereaved families?

Mind you, that this will not be easy.

Last but not the least, can we FINALLY make up our mind that such heathenish murders will not be tolerated in the SECULAR polity of my motherland. Next time a "big tree" falls the Earth is NOT bound to shake. The earth of my country is strong enough to bear the grunt of many fallen trees. Next time, a building falls; we will not embark upon the jungle rule and unleash the political carnage. Next time, a train catches fire; the people of the country will not take the law in their hands.

Will you stand up to be counted and show the world, that the largest democracy in the world is also the most deep rooted?

Will you ensure that the people of this country will realize that next time they feel their freedom, their faith, their beliefs are being raped, they can turn to you and the judiciary of India to protect them and give them justice?

This hate politics which results in these genocides is more or less imbibed in all of you, all of us. We need to cleanse ourselves of this hatred.

But before ALL that we need to give Justice to the victims. Justice delayed is Justice denied. It was not long back that some terrorists attacked you personally and within a few years we have caught and convicted them, decided to hang them to death.

The report in front of you carries the names of similar terrorists who need to be hanged to death.... Do you have the guts to do that?

I await your decision

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. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.

To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.

And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.



Anonymous said...

Good One - I agree - well written

- KS

Globe_trotter said...

Beautifully written. I hope the not so honorable members read this. But will they? At least we all should.

Kalyani Thakkar said...

We need to do something about it. The MPs cannot ask for a raise without doing their basic jobs

Rakesh said...


We have taken our Freedom for granted. I absolutely agree with you. no doubt about that.

Jyoti said...

Nehru and his high ended words and low ended action...

but that speech is one of the best to remind what we set out to do though the one who gave the speech screwed it up the most

Anonymous said...

This is useless --- not your post @mit, but the whole approach. What is the use of that report? It is just a peice of paper which will not be acted upon...

However I have a hunch and Ms Gandhi (the new one) and Manmohan Singh will act on Jagdish Tytler and have him resign because he is of no use to them now and they want to show a clean image....remember they even asked for forgiveness

But still it is useless... as you say will they be hanged?

Anonymous said...

@mit - you write about the 1984 riots like many others in the blogosphere ... do you even know what the riots were about... did you even experience a bit of what happenned ... did you?

We did --- we know what happened....

- J Singh

Anonymous said...

Good Post

Sunil said...

Some day, amit, some day.

And we should continue to do all we can to see that that day is not that far away.

Minal said...

Hey @mit,
Excellent post, How I wish "Honourable people" read it?

We " The honourable people" do nothing about it, its not in our hands u see!

But we normal, common folk can do something, however little, we should continue do it, till this land becomes a better place to live in for all.

@mit said...

KS - Thanks

Globe_trotter - Thanks for the comments. The reference to honorable was actually sarcastic :-)

Kalyani - you are right. How can we allow them to do that? I just rad some article by Rajeev Shukla on why the MPs should be paid more. What a shame?

Rakesh - We have just been fortunate to be born in the Free country and thus I think do not appreciate the pains people underwent to get there.

Jyoti - Nice Take - I kind of agree that Nehru could not follow most of what we set out for. But I give him credit for some of the things that we acheived. Lots left to be done though.

Anonymous - Not sure - this Report can be a hoax too - I am not happy with their wordings which have given an escape route to everyone.

J Singh - Thanks for your comments. I was fortunate to not experience any of those, but I still have the right to express my anguish over it. As for my connection with this, please read my other post "Partitions"

Sunil Laxman - I hope the same!

Minal Rahate-Sangekar - could not agree more with you.