Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Assignment on Rhetoric - Georgy Varghese, II BA English

Georgy Varghese writes..:

Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny.’

‘Tryst with Destiny’ was a speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India. The Speech was made to the Indian constituent Assembly, on the eve of India’s independence, towards midnight on August 14, 1947. It focuses on the aspects that transcend India’s history. It is considered in modern India to be a landmark oration that captures the essence of the triumphant culmination of the hundred-year Indian freedom struggle against the British Empire in India.

Looking from a Rhetoric perspective ‘Tryst with Destiny’ is a special speech in which Nehru portrays the problems and challenges of Independent India very well. He urges the people to get together and dwell in peace.

“We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.” His language and style is highly impressive.

“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.”

He had mentioned about all sectors in the society and challenged all of them. Nehru says freedom and power bring responsibility. The 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 the sorrow. Some of those pains continues even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.

Nehru acknowledges the realities, he says, 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 wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

Rather than celebrating Nehru asks people to work more harder so that India could wipe away poverty from its soil. This speech is so significant and it has got a big historical importance.

The speech is referenced in the 1988 Hindi film “Earth” directed by Deepa Mehta. The film portrays the main characters listening to the speech on radio, against the backdrop of the Hindu-Muslim riots following the Partition of India. This provides an interesting juxtaposition between the realities of partition and the optimism that followed Independence. His speech is appreciable from a rhetoric perspective. He is a famous crowd puller.

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