We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in Mumbai, we shall fight in the villages and the towns, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Nation, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the riverbanks, we shall fight in the temples, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
I have a dream that one day down in Mumbai, with its vicious rapists, with its businessmen having lips dripping with the words of wealth and pride – one day right there in Mumbai men and women will be able to join hands as sisters and brothers.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”
Great speeches change societies. This past week saw the 50th anniversary of the ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King. Borrowing from history’s great speeches, this is what I think an Indian Prime Minister should have said to the nation on yet another gang-rape in India. This is what India needs. More men willing to speak of, and do, their duty – as all nation builders ever have.
I have full confidence that if all do their duty, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our nation home, to ride out the storm of criminality befalling us, and to outlive the menace of tyranny of corruption of our moral values.
Men and women, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil from this scourge, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.
So died many men so you became free Indians. You, their survivors, must determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field. You must yourselves realize the power of India, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your hearts; and then, when all her greatness shall break upon you, you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling of honor in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no personal failure could make them consent to deprive their country of their valor, but they laid it at her feet as the most glorious contribution that they could offer.
Every man here knows the temptations that beset all of us in this world. At times any man will slip. I do not expect perfection, but I do expect genuine and sincere effort toward being decent and cleanly in thought, in word, and in deed.
I expect you to be strong. I would not respect you if you were not. I do not want to see Hinduism professed only by weaklings; I want to see it a moving spirit among men of strength. I do not expect you to lose one particle of your strength or courage by being decent.
I desire to see in this country the decent men strong and the strong men decent, and until we get that combination in pretty good shape we are not going to be by any means as successful as we should be. There is always a tendency among very young men and among boys who are not quite young men as yet to think that to be wicked is rather smart; to think it shows that they are men. Oh, how often you see some young fellow who boasts that he is going to “see life,” meaning by that that he is going to see that part of life which it is a thousandfold better should remain unseen!
Alpesh B Patel