How do we take the message of Independence Day across to you was the question? Who will be able to deliver the true meaning? What is it that we must know? We found the answer. Here we bring to you extracts from the speeches of few of the greatest children of our country. Through there words, we how to give you an insight into what the Independence that we are about to celebrate.
Lala Lajpat Rai
No Indian who loves his country can look upon the prevailing state of things except with the most excruciating pain and anguish. There are men in the public life of the country, who have given their all in the hope that before they die they may see the Goddess of Liberty ruling over their beloved native land. They have put up with all kinds of humiliations, sufferings, and losses, and sacrificed every comfort and convenience, and even neglected their children for the sake of this, the one single object of their life. Absorbed in this their one passion, they have treated with supreme contempt all kinds of calumnies, libels, and slanders, that have been heaped on their devoted heads by the foreign rulers of the land, and also by some among their own countrymen. They have been followed like criminals, imprisoned and banished like common felons, but have never lost hope. And after all this, they are told most seriously and solemnly, both by Hindus and Mussalmans, that Hindu-Muslim unity is impossible, which means that Swaraj is impossible, or in other words, that they have been pursuing a shadow, a phantom, and living in a fool's paradise and wasting their lives!
All I have to say to Mussalmans is this. For God's sake, don't threaten us with Jehad. We have seen many Jehads! For the last twelve hundred years we have heard that cry every day of our national existence. Yet, Jehads have not succeeded in killing us, and God willing, no threat of Jehad will influence us by one hair's breadth in our determination to continue to live. We are prepared to subordinate our communal life to national life. For united national existence, we would do anything, but we shall not submit, to threats or to coercion. It is true that Muslim distrust of Hindus can successfully block the avenues of Swarajya, but brother Muslims! don't forget that active Hindu hostility may also be productive of some harm to the Islamic world. Away, then, with these threats and distrust. Let us live and struggle for freedom as brothers whose interests are one and indivisible. Let us live and die for each other, so that India may live and prosper as a Nation. India is neither Hindu nor Muslim. It is not even both. It is one. It is India.
To the Hindus, I will say, If there are any among you who still dream of a Hindu Raj in this country; who think they can crush the Mussalmans and be the supreme power in this land, tell them that they are fools, or to be more accurate, that they are insane, and that their insanity will ruin their Hinduism along with their country. For God's sake don't listen to them and don't be guilty of patricide. You have no one outside India to help you. You are like a lonely waif in the world, and your position is extremely delicate. Be sensible, and show your readiness to listen to the dictates of justice, fair play, and patriotism. Be even ready to make sacrifice, if such sacrifice does not stultify you or nullify your desire for nationhood. Give up your pride and listen to reason and common-sense. That is the only way to salvation.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh
"Revolution" does not necessarily involve sanguinary strife nor is there any place in it for individual vendentta. It is not the cult of the bomb and the pistol. By "Revolution" we mean that the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice, must change. Producers or labourers in spite of being the most necessary element of society, are robbed by their exploiters of the fruits of their labour and deprived of their elementary rights. The peasant who grows corn for all, starves with his family, the weaver who supplies the world market with textile fabrics, has not enough to cover his own and his children's bodies, masons, smiths and carpenters who raise magnificent palaces, live like pariahs in the slums. The capitalists and exploiters, the parasites of society, squander millions on their whims. These terrible inequalities and forced disparity of chances are bound to lead to chaos. This state of affairs cannot last long, and it is obvious, that the present order of society in merry-making is on the brink of a volcano. The whole edifice of this civilization, if not saved in time, shall crumble. A radical change, therefore, is necessary and it is the duty of those who realize it to reorganize society on the socialistic basis. Unless this thing is done and the exploitation of man by man and of nations by nations is brought to an end, sufferings and carnage with which humanity is threatened today cannot be prevented.
By "Revolution", we mean the ultimate establishment of an order of society which may not be threatened by such breakdown, and in which the sovereignty of the proletariat should be recognized and a world federation should redeem humanity from the bondage of capitalism and misery of imperial wars. "Long Live Revolution.”
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
Gird up your loins for the task that now lies ahead. I had asked you for men, money and materials. I have got them in generous measure. Now I demand more of you. Men, money and materials cannot by themselves bring victory or freedom. We must have the motive-power that will inspire us to brave deeds and heroic exploits. It will be a fatal mistake for you to wish to live and see India free simply because victory is now within reach. No one here should have the desire to live to enjoy freedom. A long fight is still in front of us. We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr’s death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr’s blood. Friend’s! my comrades in the War of Liberation! Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of you blood. It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has spilt. It is blood alone that can pay the price of freedom. Give me blood and I Promise you freedom.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
"No one would die of starvation in independent India. Its grain would not be exported. Cloth would not be imported by it. Its leaders would neither use a foreign language nor rule from a remote place 7,000 feet above sea level. Its military expenditure would not be heavy. Its army would not subjugate its own people or other lands. Its best-paid officials would not earn a great deal more than its lowest-paid servants. And finding justice in it would be neither costly nor difficult. My only desire is that India should be a good producer and no one should be hungry, shedding tears for food in the country. There is something unique in this soil, which despite many obstacles has always remained the abode of great souls."
Lal Bahadur Shastri
"There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands on the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear the building up of a social democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all other nations. To that straight road and to these shining ideals we rededicate ourselves today.
While the conflict between the armed forces of the two countries has come to an end, the more important thing for the United Nations and all those who stand for peace are to bring to an end the deeper conflict... How can this be brought about? In our view, the only answer lies in peaceful coexistence. India has stood for the principle of coexistence and championed it all over the world. Peaceful coexistence is possible among nations no matter how deep the differences between them, how far apart they are in their political and economic systems, no matter how intense the issues that divide them”.