As India celebrated its 75 years of independence, Congress general secretary, Communications, Jairam Ramesh shared the handwritten draft of first Independence day speech by former PM Nehru in which he had written about the country’s “date with destiny” but delivered it as a “tryst with destiny”. Ramesh also shared the link of the video of Nehru’s speech delivered at the midnight session of the Constituent Assembly as India achieved independence on August 15, 1947.
Lauding the former prime minister, Ramesh stated that Nehru wrote the speech as ‘date with destiny,’ but it was his pure genius that he modified it at the last minute to ‘tyrst with destiny,’ which went down history as one of his most iconic speeches.
“75 years ago, a little after midnight, Nehru gave his immortal ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech. Here’s his handwritten draft dated 14.8.47. He had penned it as ‘date with destiny’, but in a moment of true genius delivered it as ‘tryst with destiny’,” Tweeted the Congress leader.
75 years ago, a little after midnight, Nehru gave his immortal ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech. Here’s his handwritten draft dated 14.8.47. He had penned it as ‘date with destiny’, but in a moment of true genius delivered it as ‘tryst with destiny’.— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 14, 2022
The video: https://t.co/Ba0QESuZ8L pic.twitter.com/N5M5KgP7MZ
Here, Congress politician Jairam Ramesh should be reminded that it was MO Mathai, Nehru’s Special Assistant from 1946 and 1959, who advised the last-minute adjustment in the speech to the former prime minister and not Nehru’s ‘moment of true genius.’
MO Mitahi had reportedly then pointed out the romantic overtones of the word ‘Date’ to Nehru. So after toying with ‘rendezvous’, they settled for the assonance of ‘tryst’.
MO Mathai had, in fact, also delved into this topic in his book “Reminiscences Of The Nehru Age.” He wrote that when the typed version of Nehru’s handwritten speech arrived for his approval, he had commented, “‘Date with Destiny’ was not a happy phrase for a solemn occasion because the word date had acquired an American connotation of assignation with girls and women. I suggested its replacement with “tryst” or “rendezvous,” he said.
Matahi further added that he cautioned that the phrase “Rendezvous with Destiny” was used by President Franklin Roosevelt in one of his famous wartime speeches. Nehru thought for a moment and changed the date to tryst in the typescript, recalled MO Mathai.
“The original handwritten draft with the word date remained with me all these years and was handed over recently to the Nehru Museum and Library along with innumerable documents and photographs,” Mathai wrote in his book.
Nehru in his draft note wrote, “Long years ago we made a date with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the strike of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will wake to life and freedom.”
Later, however, during his first Independence Day speech, Nehru said, “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 new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance…”
BJP Karnataka skips Jawaharlal Nehru in the list of freedom fighters, triggers Congress’ meltdown
It may be recalled how only yesterday, Congress had made a major hue and cry after the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka skipped Jawaharlal Nehru from the list of freedom fighters in an advertisement to promote the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign. This caused a meltdown of Congress leaders.
Many Congress leaders and supporters including the former chief minister Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to criticize this move. It is notable that Jawaharlal Nehru’s sketch did appear in the advertisement alongside the drawings of other great leaders from that time like Veer Savarkar.