(When India achieved independence, Jawaharlal Nehru made his famous ‘tryst with destiny’ speech. It was a false tryst with adharmic forces. Today, as Ram Janmabhoomi is restored to its true owner, Ram Lalla, with the Prime Minister doing a bhoomi pujan for building a Grand Temple to the Maryada Purshottam, the real soul of India that is Bharat stands reawakened. With due apologies to Nehru, given below is a reworked tryst with destiny speech)
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 auspicious hour, when the Western world that colonised us is still half-asleep, Bharat, that is India, will awake to life and freedom.
A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the false to the true, when a nightmare ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. Today, Ram Lalla, the eternal soul of eternal India, finds his rightful place at the place of his birth and his earthly abode of Ayodhya.
It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Dharma and Bharatiya Sanskriti, and to the larger cause of a Sanatan civilisation, the Dharmic communities 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 which are filled with her striving for achieving the highest ideals of lives lived in the pursuit of truth and light. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad gave us the same mantra: asato ma sadgamaya... tamaso ma jyotirgamaya, mrutyor ma amritamgamaya.
Through good and ill fortune alike Bharat has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals of the rishis and rishikas who gave us the benefit of their exalted vision and thoughts through the ages. We end today a period of ill fortune as Bharat rediscovers herself again as a dharmic civilisation.
The achievement we celebrate today, the restoration of Shri Ram Virajman to his earthly kingdom after centuries in exile, is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us as a dharmic civilisation. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon the leaders of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain members of this great civilisational-state. Before the rebirth of our civilisational freedom we endured all the pains of labour and our hearts were heavy with the memory of this sorrow.
Some of those pains continue even now, as the remnants of colonised minds refuse to give up their wrongful quest of suppressing the Indian soul once again in alignment with forces inimical to dharma. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of dharma and the millions of dharmiks who suffer not just poverty, but poverty of ideals and spirit.
It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and freedom from the disease of beliefs that some gods are true and others false. That those who do not worship particular gods or adopt specific rituals, are devil-worshippers or kafirs, unfit to be treated like equals.
The ambition of the greatest rishis and rishikas in our 5,000-year rich heritage has been to wipe every tear from every eye without losing sight of the larger ideals of nishkama karma, and willingness to fight for dharma whatever the odds, and gaining knowledge without igniting the ego.
Those ideals may be tough to achieve, but Ram Lalla would not have found his home without millions of our people fighting day in and day out to achieve those outcomes through constant sacrifices and striving.
And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams of achieving Ram Rajya on earth. Those dreams are primarily for Bharat, our sacred land, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for anyone of them to imagine that they have a complete lock on the truth or god. It is Bharat’s duty to teach the world the importance of Ekam sat, viprah bahuda vadanti. Any ideas of exclusive access to the truth leads to disaster.
Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments driven by the binary logic of some people being entitled to heaven and others only to hell.
To the people of Bharat, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others.
We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell. And this means freeing some of the other houses of gods in Kashi and Mathura, which are still under the control of those who invaded our lands and stole our heritage, planting a dagger in the heart of dharmic Bharat.
The appointed day has come — the day appointed by destiny — and Bharat stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent of deadbeat and narrow-minded imported ideas.
Past memories of invasions and plunder cling on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken to be really free from adharmic forces. Yet the turning point is past, and history begins anew for us from Ayodhya, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about. Ram Rajya beckons.
It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new Sun rises, the rising Sun of Shri Ram, in the east, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materialises. May the bright Sun never set and our faith in Adarsh Purush Shri Ram strengthens every passing day.
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 humble Bharatiya citizen, who kept Shri Ram alive in his or her heart even though he was banished from Ayodhya centuries ago by invaders. Shri Ram embodied the genuine spirit of India, held aloft the torch of dharma 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 greatest son of India, magnificent in his strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of dharma to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.
We think also of our dharmik brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the mood of soulful freedom that has arisen from Ayodhya today. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike. India is home to all believers in Shri Ram and Shri Krishna and Mahadev.
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 dharmik nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure dharma and fullness of life and spiritual growth 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: a truly dharmic civilisation, wedded to the ideals of truth and spirituality, along with material progress.
We are citizens of a great civilisation, on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever sampradaya we may belong to, are equally the children of Bharat with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage non-dharmik ideas to take root again, for no nation can be great whose people think they are slaves to a colonised mindset.
To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy. But only on the basis of mutual respect. The idea of Bharat is inclusive, but assertive and bold.
And to Bharat, 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. Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Krishna, Har Har Mahadev.
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