A Tryst With Destiny

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A Tryst With Destiny  (1947) 
by Jawaharlal Nehru

From the Constituent Assembly Debates Report - Book 1 published by Government of India on 1950[1]

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 midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service 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 are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and, her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

Freedom and power bring responsibility. That responsibility rests upon this' Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. 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 might fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. 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 is tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

And so we have to labour and to work and work hard to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. 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.

To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make 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.

Licensing[edit]

This work is the work of Government of India. Section 52(1)(q) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 allows for the reproduction or publication of-

  • any matter which has been published in any Official Gazette except an Act of a Legislature;
  • any Act of a Legislature subject to the condition that such Act is reproduced or published together with any commentary thereon or any other original matter;
  • the report of any committee, commission, council, board or other like body appointed by the government if such report has been laid on the Table of the Legislature, unless the reproduction or publication of such report is prohibited by the government;
  • any judgement or order of a court, Tribunal or other judicial authority, unless the reproduction or publication of such judgement or order is prohibited by the court, the Tribunal or other judicial authority, as the case may be.

The decision of the Supreme Court of India in "Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr" on 12 December, 2007 interpreted this section of the Act as making the material public domain.


This work is also in the public domain in the U.S.A. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. See § 206.01 of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices. Such documents include "judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents."

  1. Constituent Assembly Debates : Official Report, 1947. , link