On this day in 1964 Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first prime minister, died. Nehru’s speeches “Tryst with Destiny” and “The Appointed Day”, together constitute a visionary statement regarding the future of India and the Indian Subcontinent. These speeches on freedom derive their fundamental justification from the principle of swaraj, or self-rule. They mark the end of British rule in India, which began in the mid-eighteenth century and ended with independence.
Nehru’s speech “Tryst with Destiny,” delivered to the Constituent Assembly on the eve of Indian independence on August 14, 1947, includes a pledge to be taken by all members of the Constituent Assembly of dedication “to the service of India and her people,” but the speech’s main body outlines certain principles that were integral to the freedom struggle in India as well as hope for the continued functioning of the best of these principles in an independent India. “The Appointed Day” was delivered to the nation on August 15, the day that India won independence and Nehru became its first prime minister. Explore our complete coverage of both speeches, including our in-depth analysis by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay of the University of Oslo, Norway.