FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE HINDU
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in an Independence Day message to the nation, has appealed to the people “as citizens of a great country” to live up to that high standard. Explaining the task ahead, Pandit Nehru says they should endeavour “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.”
The following is the text of Pandit Nehru’s message:
The Appointed Day has come-the day appointed by destiny, and India stands forth ‘again after long slumber and struggle-awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning point Is past, history begins a new, for us, the history which we shall live and act, and others will write about. It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materialises. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed. We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrow-stricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.
On this day our first thoughts go to the Architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we, but succeeding generations, will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.
Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death. We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike. 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. 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 co-operate, 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.
MESSAGE TO OVERSEAS INDIANS
In a message to Indians overseas. Pandit Nehru says:-;
‘To-day is a fateful moment in history for India, for all Asia, indeed for the entire world. After long years of suffering and sacrifice, India attains her freedom and independence. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East. A new hope fills the world. “On this day of liberation the motherland sends her affectionate greetings to her children abroad. She calls them to her service and to the service of freedom wherever they might be. Every Indian abroad is a representative of India and must ever remember that he has the honour of his country in his keeping. That is a proud privilege and responsibility. None of India’s children, wherever they be, may submit to anything which is against national self-respect or against the cause of freedom. They must preserve their own freedom at all costs and respect the freedom of others.