Sunday, August 15, 2010

Independence Day Speech at XLRI

Respected Director Fr Abraham, Dean Academics Prof. Pranabesh Ray, Dean Administration & Finance Fr C. L. George, Associate Dean of Student Affairs Fr Panka Toppo, distinguished faculty members and my dear friends, it gives me a sense of immense honor standing before you on the Independence Day of our motherland and addressing such an intelligentsia.

India today is celebrating its 64th Independence-day and we are standing here to remember the contribution made by every man and woman who stood up in the remote corners of this country and fought for freedom. It is because of their sacrifices and contribution India is what it is today!!

After every Independence-day ceremony that I have attended in last few years, few questions have invariably come to my mind? “What is the take away from this ceremony? How am I contributing to the nation? And if I am contributing, am I doing enough?”

This ceremony invariably generates a sense of pride, love for Mother Nation in all of us but how far does that sense of pride and that love go? Does it lead to any action or any particular behavior in the long run? How conscious we are about problems that our country is currently facing and do we realize our role, or assume any responsibility for ourselves in finding out solutions to those problems?

If the answer to some of the questions I raised before is Yes, then attending this ceremony today and in the coming years makes sense to me. I am raising these questions here knowing every one of us has different answers to these questions and everyone has to find it himself/herself. But I think it is necessary that we do ask this question to ourselves and find out how we are actually contributing to the nation.

I truly believe that XLRI is a unique institute in the sense that it is able to generate a sense of concern for Society & Nation in its students. And it is visible in many ways in our day to day lives. Now in command of our own destiny, we the younger generation of this nation are perhaps the most fortunate generation of Indians in last five decades. We are the greatest beneficiaries of India’s rise as an economic superpower. We have opportunities that our parents never had. We as the future of India have this great responsibility on us. We need to take care of the world around us, to make it as beautiful for others as it is for us today.

To quote our first Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, who in his speech on the Granting of Indian Independence, on August 14, 1947 said
“The future beckons to us. Where do we go and what shall be our Endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman."

I earnestly believe that this dream can be translated into reality and this is where the role we future leaders of this country come into picture. I am sure that all of us present here believe that we have it in us to achieve this dream and that India can achieve this dream. Jai Hind!!