Aug. 15 – "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, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance….. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again" – These were the first words India's first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered to the people of India from New Delhi's Red Fort, 61 years ago, today, on Indian Independance Day.
In a sense India has realise her tryst with destiny – more than six decades after Independance and 17 years after opening up India's economy, India is the worlds largest democracy and the world's second fastest growing economy truely recognising her place in the sun.
Today, Manmohan Singh, the country's present Prime Minister, will stand in the same place today to deliver his speech to India's 1.1 billion people. Singh will also unfurl the Indian tricolour flag synchronised with the 21 gun salute fired by the elite 299 Field Regiment. The speech is also when the prime minister laudes the country for its past achievements and lays down the framework for a bright future.
Being the end of the current governments five year term, Singh is expected to especially highlight India's nuclear deal, gains in infrastructure and education and the problem of inflation and terrorism thats recently gripped the country.
The country is also gearing up to celebrate Raksha bandhan (the bond of protection in Hindi) on Saturday. It is the Indian festival when a sister ties a rakhi or holy thread on her brothers wrist, and he vows to protect her.