Monday, August 16, 2010

Impressions & Introspections..

The Hindu in order to ‘recreate the spirit of that historic occasion’ when India became Independent, reproduced excerpts from special reports as well as Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s Message to the people and its editorial published on August 15,1947 in its yesterday’s edition. The idea to reproduce them for the ‘benefit of new generation of readers’ is highly commendable and the result is quite impressive. But I was surprised not to find any mention of Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny' speech. Nehru’s message to the people reproduced by the paper has rest of the speech but not the most remembered, most repeated part, the part which even to this day can give goosebumps. Well, Nehru making that historic speech was the climax of that historic struggle, that’s what we were taught. You know, it was the end of Part-II of three part Indian history. I mean, even if the newspaper had used the speech on August 16, 1947, it could have said so and reproduced just the same. But missing out Nehru’s that part of the speech altogether when your intention was to recreate the spirit of that day is not OK. So the ‘new generation of readers’ will have to forgive The Hindu for this error.
‘At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom’. I, for a long time was under the impression that the phrase was ‘when the world sleeps, India will awake to light and freedom’, because I had imagined that soon after the speech, skies would have got lit with fire crackers. Sometimes journey becomes more valuable than the destination, once the destination is reached. Perhaps, it was like that for our people back then. That’s the impression I got while reading the Editorial.The struggle was heroic and sublime. And the result was not what they actually expected it to be. Once long ago, not during schooling, but much, much later I had wondered why many names in India’s First Cabinet do not figure along with Gandhi, Nehru et al as leaders of India’s Independence Movement. Following is the complete list India’s First Cabinet. Check it out for yourself.

Jawaharlal Nehru - Prime Minister; External Affairs & Commonwealth relations; Scientific Research

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - Home, Information & Broadcasting,States

Dr.Rajendra Prasad - Food & Agriculture

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad - Education

Dr.John Mathai - Railways & Transport

R.K.Shanmugham Chetty- Finance

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar- Law

Jagjivan Ram - Labour

Sardar Baldev Singh - Defence

Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur - Health

C.H.Bhabha - commerce

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai - Communication

Dr.Shyam Prasad Mukherji - Industries & supplies

V.N.Gadgil - Works, Mines & power

After 63 years of Independece,Thus Spake the Masters…

I feel a deep sense of guilt that now in all the 26 years the executive and parliament have not exercised the vigil that they should have done. (Admission of failure of Parliament and the Executive in getting justice to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy) – Home Minister P Chidambaram

Democracy in India has become 'of the Bureaucracy, by the Bureaucracy and for the Politicians' – Former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar

Much needed Introspections, isn’t it!

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