India, the world’s largest democracy and the oldest living civilization on earth, achieved its liberation on August 15, 1947 from the British Colonial power which ruled India for more than 200 years. After Powers were transferred to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the eve of independence and the delivery of the famous speech “Tryst with Destiny” by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, the world witnessed the birth of a new sovereign nation. It was the dawn of freedom for teeming millions, realization of a dream of thousands of martyrs from all backgrounds who sacrificed their lives.
Political genius and brilliant leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of truth and nonviolence, guided the freedom struggle. India’s independence was a fateful moment in the history of freedom struggles throughout the world. India’s freedom struggle and its architect, Gandhi, provided inspiration to many countries in Asia and Africa to achieve their independence from colonialism and imperialism, the oppressive political systems. Some 80 countries became free after India achieved its independence. When India celebrates its independence, it celebrates the independence of every country in the world. Many struggles for human and civil rights, equality and justice were also influenced by the tactics and strategies used in the Indian struggle for freedom. Civil rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the farm workers movement led by Cesar E. Chavez in the United States are especially noteworthy.
The ties between the United States of America and India, the world’s greatest and largest democracies respectively, are vibrant and enduring. These ties are getting stronger each day. The emerging strategic partnership and the close relationship between the two countries will help both to navigate through difficult times and address global problems.
Despite problems at home and terrorist induced violence, India is still one of the most nonviolent nations on this earth and is making steady progress on the economic front. India is rapidly emerging as a global economic power. With economic liberization and reforms under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India is experiencing 6% annual growth and trying to reach target of 10% growth rate by the end of 2011.
On the information technology and office services front, India is a rising star. It has given a big surprise to the rest of the world and its Silicon Valley is well known. India has the third largest concentration of educated labor in the world.
Being a young pluralist and secular democratic nation, India faces many challenges including abysmal poverty, low per capita income, rampant corruption, lack of political maturity, rising religious extremism, etc. But there is a hope, there is a faith in India’s destiny as India has chosen the path of democracy towards its economic and social progress. It is a vibrant democracy of the world.
“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 the new…India discovers herself again.” – Jawaharlal Nehru