Tuesday, September 11, 2018

S.C. Commission Ch Mere 6 Saal – Book Review

S.C. Commission Ch Mere 6 Saal – Book Review

S.C. Commission Ch Mere 6 Saal is said to be an account of the Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission, Rajesh Bagha. It is also claimed to be an auto-biographical narration but the contents, if I venture to say frankly, do not justify the claim. I think, Rajesh Bagha, is an educated and well groomed political and social activist under the wings of RSS and the BJP. His biography is still in the making. It is better to wait and see. Rajesh is a good friend of mine and I take the liberty of saying this at the risk of getting misunderstood. But my intension is positive and complimentary.

In the brief prologue of the book, he has clearly indicated that even after completion of his tenure as the Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission in November, 2017, he intended to keep the oil burning in the journey of his social and political work. Rajesh has frankly indicated that it could become possible only with the active support and involvement of Desraj Kali, a community activist and a renowned and duly recognized figure in the acclaimed literary circles not only in India but beyond. The book clearly carries the signatures of Kali Sahib in the prose and presentation. Desraj Kali is also a dear friend of mine. It is a matter of gratification.

The book has 15 chapters spread over 112 pages. Many chapters carry verbatim record of some important meetings of the Commission and decisions taken. It seemed a routine aspect but a couple of pointers came to fore. One, the system, or say the government did not attach much importance to the Commission and its functioning, though it is said to be a statutory body. The low level of official representation at the meetings deputed by the Departmental or Divisional Heads where they were supposed to be
in attendance was disturbing. The financial crunch and lack of proper working tools like computers and other apparatus and also human resources i.e. staff, obviously, adversely effected the functioning of the Commission. Chairman Rajesh Bagha tried his best, given all the constraints, to set the position in order but it appeared the political bosses did not have the will to provide teeth to the Commission.

The first Chapter touched upon the social and economic condition of the Punjab Dalits in the changing socio-economic and political scenario. Chapters 2 and 3, if I say so, are the only pages where the auto-biographical aspect found some space with regard to Rajesh’s initiation into RSS fold and his political affiliation with the BJP. Rajesh Bagha carefully chose his path which helped him to find his due place in the BJP hierarchy. He became President of the BJP’s SC Morcha at a young age under the able stewardship of now President Ram Nath Kovind. Incidentally, it may not be out of place to mention that Rajesh came to our family home in Jalandhar to meet my brothers Krishan Lal and Paramjit along with Ram Nath Kovind Sahib in 2006 for a political rally “Dalit Bolia Shinghasan Dolia” at Bootan Mandi. Kovind Sahib, one of our family friends, was an MP and President of the SC Morcha of BJP. Kovind Sahib’s gracious wife Savita Behen is a close friend of our sister in Delhi, Kamla Kumar. Rajesh rose up the ladder in the party and was made the General Secretary of the Punjab BJP and rightly so before his appointment in 2011 as the Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission, a well deserved position and an important job. While the book under review is awaiting its formal release and launch, Rajesh Bagha has been made the Vice President of the BJP in Punjab, yet another high position in the party. Congratulations to the young and energetic Rajesh. Chapter 3 is devoted to his family. Rajesh’s upbringing and thinking, it seems, have been influenced by the personalities of his UK returned grandfather, whose name should have been mentioned, and his elder brother Tilak Raj ‘Bhalwan’, the Punjabi version of Pehalwan or wrestler. Rajesh himself was a sportsman of sorts and remained a wrestler. It is a matter of satisfaction to note that he was never a politician or social activist depending financially on others and ran successfully his restaurant and community palace to earn his bread and butter. Of course, these business establishments helped him dig his roots and also make and nurture his political associates in his chosen career.
Rajesh considers that the issue of reservation should be seen not through the prism of economics but through the social background.  He is of the view that good results and resultant positive impact of reservation is much visible in Punjab. There is a need to harness
and channelize the newly generated energy among the dalit youth to make them equal partners in the social, political and economic order of the country and the society at large. Surprisingly, in spite of his political affiliation with the BJP, Rajesh Bagha is a fan and follower of Babu Kanshi Ram. It fully demonstrates his strong sense of understanding and conviction. I liked his narration, attributed to Babu Kanshi Ram, when answering a question from the media that BSP had not issued its election manifesto Babu Kanshi Ram replied that Shri Guru Granth Sahib was his manifesto. Rajesh has rightly termed that Babu Kanshi Ram was not a person but a phenomena.

Rajesh Bagha has listed some of his major activities and contribution towards empowerment of dalits of Punjab during his tenure as the Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission viz. Post-Matric Scholarships for dalit students, allotment of common land to the dalits for agriculture, redressal of complaints of high handedness and discrimination against dalits in the villages and government services, celebration of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in a befitting way involving the bigwigs and the academia in the process, demand for revival of Chamar regiment, inter alia. These are not small achievements but it could have been better if the government and the political bosses could have extended all due help and facilitation to the functioning of the Commission and its Chairman.  Frankly, I was expecting some firework in the book exposing the Thekedars for putting hurdles in the functioning of the statutory Commission on account of their own hidden agenda. But it was not to be. Rajesh Bagha has promised the second part of the book. Let us hope to listen something more to make a full assessment both of Rajesh Bagha as Chairman of the Commission and the Commission itself. Nevertheless, I am impressed by the simplicity and unassuming nature and demeanor  of Rajesh Bagha as clearly narrated in the last chapter of the book when the security guards of a leader in Chandigarh mistook him as the driver and treated Des Raj Kali as the VIP.

अपना मुक्कदर आप बनाते हैं एहले दिल;
हम वह नहीं जिन्हें  ज़माना बना गया !

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 16

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 16

Rahul Gandhi’s Kailash Mansarovar Yatra – Rahul Gandhi has arrived in the political firmament of India, it seems. But, let me add hastily that he is yet to reach. His position and space i.e. “Dasha and Disha” will be decided by the elections of 2019. Many new stories about him, good and bad, are discussed in the media not to tell the truth to hapless voters or general public but to camouflage and confuse things, unfortunately. I take one such issue, Rahul Gandhi’s on-going Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. The forces opposed to Rahul Gandhi including the pliant media, I think, are making unnecessary noises to cater to their political ends. General public is not interested and is totally unconcerned. The Mansarovar Yatra is a private matter. There is no need to highlight the issue. The media and the BJP, if I
go by the debates being conducted on the electronic media, are dragging in China in the matter which is totally unwarranted. Kailash Mansarovar is located in China. There is no way one can go there without going to China. What is the issue? Why has Rahul Gandhi gone to Nepal first and from there he has flown to Beijing? Whom he would meet and why? These are irrelevant and bizarre questions particularly because of the security aspects of the one who is having the highest category of security umbrella provided by the government of India. He is also a leader, President of the one of oldest political parties which is also the biggest opposition party. Rahul Gandhi is also the scion of Nehru-Gandhi clan which ruled the country for decades. And as such he enjoys his own political and social standing not only in India but also abroad. It would be better for the subservient media and the vested political interests to rise above petty politics particularly the China connection. It is a sensitive matter. It has already become a laughing matter. Media, knowing full well that it is a non-issue, still showing exclusive interviews a Minister terming the photographs of Rahul on the yatra as fake and photoshopped. It is the height of lopsided reporting at the cost of hapless public. Rahul Gandhi to put the things in perspective tweeted “The waters of lake Mansarovar are so gentle, tranquil and calm. They give everything and lose nothing. Anyone can drink from them. There is no hatred here. This is why we worship these waters in India.”

Now I come to some diplomatic insight as a humble player in game of diplomacy. The opponents of Rahul Gandhi have raised a question on the said interest and request of the Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi to go to the airport to see off Rahul Gandhi leaving for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. There was no diplomatic “not to do” in this. Rahul Gandhi President of one of major political parties of politics in India. He is the young face of Indian politics in the years to come and is the flag bearer of the cherished legacy of India. Any Ambassador stationed in India will only be too happy to avail of an opportunity to come closer to the current and future leadership of India. Why one shall find fault with the Chinese Ambassador when Rahul Gandhi was going to his country. It is a recognized diplomatic nicety. I think any Indian Ambassador should have done the same, in such an eventuality.

RSS Invitation to Rahul Gandhi - Yet another non-issue and an hypothetical proposition of RSS’s intended invitation to Rahul Gandhi to come and join them at some meeting/dialogue to be fixed and arranged in Delhi along with other political and academic personalities in September, 2018. As usual, the so called ‘Bhagat” electronic media made it a big issue and wasted hours in discussing Rahul Gandhi and RSS’s masterstroke. The RSS invitation is yet to come. Obviously, Rahul Gandhi would respond to it as he considers fit and proper. Where is the need to raise the dust to blind the general public?
As regards whether Rahul Gandhi should accept or decline the invitation,
my personal thinking is that he should accept the RSS invitation to join others to say their mind as openly and candidly as they deem fit to address the challenges before the country. We are living in a democratic country. There is no harm to sit and discuss issues of interest and concern. RSS is the biggest outfit engaged in socio-cultural life of India with an enormous political clout. There is no point in treating them as ‘untouchables’. More over the ‘caste system’ has been abolished in India. RSS, though still considered a ‘Manuwadi’ organization by the large chunk of dalits, is to prove itself that they stand for social justice and equality as stipulated in the Indian constitution and not in the traditional Hindu texts.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Bhima-Koregaon Incident and its Fallout

Bhima-Koregaon Incident and its Fallout

The ghost of Bhima-Koregaon events (December, 2017-January, 2018) are still haunting the administration and the society even after nine months. It seems the things have taken full circle. It turned out, rightly or otherwise, to be a turning point for the fight against Brahmanwad or Manuwad and their off shoot, Caste system, one of the biggest menaces against the unity and harmony in the country and the society at large. One may or may not agree with this assertion, depending on one’s mindset and resultant
perceptions. It is time to sit and think coolly and calmly before we push the country to “Grammar of Anarchy” as warned by Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of our constitution. The forces supporting the tyranny  and high-handedness of the so called upper castes, knowingly or sub-consciously, and forces, representing the oppressed and marginalized masses,  opposing the prevailing situation, through empowerment and awareness,  increasingly tend to have head on confrontation with each other to change the status quo with the fast changing and changed times. The sooner we understand this, the better. We may ignore this ground reality at our own peril.

I will not dig into the details of the Bhima-Koregaon incidents but would like to underline the trigging effects of these incidents. Dalits are no more ready to pocket and get the things lying down. They tend to assert themselves and stand up to protect their honour and respect. It was clear from the incidents of January, 2018 that the water has come a full boil. Subsequent events like Supreme Court’s verdict on SC and ST Atrocities Act, arrest of Bhim Sena’s Chandrasekhar Azad resulted in a successful and eye opening Bharat Bandh of April 2 with its pan India manifestation. The government has taken a few steps like amendment in the SC and ST Atrocities Act, launching of Ambedkar memorials etc to placate the dalits with an eye on the vote banks in the ensuing elections. But it is a matter of regret the message of professed ‘change of heart’ is not going down to the mass level. Milind Ekbote and Shambhaji Bhide, the alleged culprits of Bhima-Koregaon violence are still roaming scot free. Some of the upper caste Hindu outfits and their field operators are opposing the empowerment of dalits and enabling judicial provisions. Dalits perceive, rightly or wrongly, that this is being done with the implicit direction and guidance of the RSS and BJP. No strict action has been taken against the known to be upper castes Hindus who burnt the constitution and raised slogans against Ambedkar and Chamars. The arrest of some human right activists and said to be supporters of Maoists and Naxals has been linked to the Bhima-Koregaon incidents. These, some of the recent happenings, have further polarized the caste divide. The country is passing through a challenging time. The government and the civil society need to take an immediate notice of it before things go out of hand. It may be true that some vested interests representing anti national and anti social forces were exploiting the situation by supporting the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society. But how can we blame the suffering humanity, if they, willingly or unwillingly, fall prey to such forces. Dalits are clamoring for respect and dignity and due space both in the polity and society. The powerful and established social and cultural forces like RSS, among others, should come forward and join hands with the weaker sections of the society to address the challenges before it gets late. Any communal confrontation should be avoided at all costs. 

I close by quoting Faiz Ahmed Faiz to drive my point home:

खाक नशीनों उठ बैठो; वह वक़्त मुकाबिल पहुंचा,
जब तख्त गिराए जाएँ गे; और ताज उशाले जाएं गे !

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sikh Gurdwara at Leith in Edinburgh

 Sikh Gurdwara at Leith in Edinburgh

Guru Nanak Gurdwara at Leith, a coast town on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland of the UK, is in the news for wrong reasons of arson attack a couple of days before by some unknown elements which are still to be identified.  Some mad caps do these “deliberate” acts of “hate crime”. A similar act of arson took place in 1989 too. Edinburgh is a historical city with multicultural heritage. Scots are tolerant people. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicole Sturgeon condemned the attack and termed it as “appalling “and rightly so. I can say this after my association with
Scotland, its leadership and also with Guru Nanak Gurdwara at Leith and its management as the Consul General of India based in Edinburgh in the mid 2010s. I am confident that the administration will handle the matter with care and concern. The Sikh community in and around, though not big, is resilient enough to withstand the onslaught by some anti-social elements. The local government of Scottish National Party (SNP) and the national government in London simply cannot allow to hurt the religious sentiments of not only of the Sikhs, a prominent and prosperous community in Scotland, but also to disturb the social and spiritual harmony of the society at large.

Sikh community in the UK is well settled and is vibrant. They have done well in Scotland too. It was a pleasure to interact with the community in capacity as the Consul General of India in Edinburgh.  Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Leith is a historical landmark in Edinburgh housed in church of 1843 vintage. The Sikh community purchased the church and converted into a Gurdwara in 1976. I visited Guru Nanak Gurdwara a couple of times to pay obeisance and join in the celebrations. It will not be out of place to mention that Sikh community in and around Edinburgh is not very big, about 500, as compared to community in around Glasgow. A special feature is that the Sikh devotees at Leith Gurdwara belong to a somewhat distinct segment or sub-sect of the community which are still traditional in their day to day life. The veil (Ghunghat) by the ladies, traditional dress sense, marriage or death ceremonies as per the old norms are still observed even after three generation of their migration to the UK. I don’t know how far it was correct but I was told that even alcoholic beverages were served on special days as ‘Parsad’ in the Gurdwaras. With my interaction with the community, I found them living in a foreign land of their choice but still having strong bonds of belonging with their native place India and its culture and tradition. It was gratifying to see that they were the true followers of Sikh tenants “Kirat Kar Te Band Sak” without any visible trace of fundamentalism.

I cherish my memories of interacting and socializing with the Sikh community in Scotland.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Blood Donation – An Appreciable Activity

Blood Donation – An Appreciable Activity

Yesterday, August 19, it was a pleasure for me to join a blood donation camp at Dhan Dhan Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara at Talhan organized by Youth Blood Donors Organisation and Welfare Society, an NGO. It was a unique experience.  By the time I reached the venue, the blood donation exercise was already on. I was called upon to declare the camp open formally by standing with the blood donors and giving them certificates for donating blood. It was an honour to associate myself with this humanitarian and noble activity. The young volunteers of the NGO were busy in handling a well organized show. A dedicated and fully involved team of doctors and Para-medical staff of Johal Multispecialty Hospital were at work. A stream of volunteer donors emanating from the spiritual visitors to the Gurdwara was lining up themselves for donating blood. I was impressed by the sense of awareness among the youth for a good cause. There was no
monetary compensation except a glass of milk or juice with two bananas to the donors. The event was sponsored by Trilok Singh Sraan, a social activist of the area. It was all the more gratifying to note that prominent people of the area like Former Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission, Rajesh Bagha, Chief Editor of evening daily of Jalandhar Metro Encounter, Rakesh Shantidoot and a social activist, Jiwan Singh were there to encourage the organizers. A young couple from a nearby village Puranpur, Sarpanch Harbans Kaur and her husband Chiranji Lal donated blood to support the activity. The entire exercise was pleasant and smooth.

India is a developing country. Health services are not fully geared to cope with the needs. Voluntary efforts are much needed. According to Red Cross only 28% people in India qualify to donate blood and out of which only 10% come forward to donate. Going by experience yesterday at the camp, I tend to say that, of late, much needed awareness in this regard is emerging. During my brief interaction at the camp, I observed that blood donation costs nothing but saves life. The team leader of the organizers, Kulwinder Bagha was much appreciative and happy to find me with them in this noble activity and so was I as a humble volunteer.

It will not be completely out of place to mention about the Dhan Dhan Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara. I recall the Gurdwara remained in news for wrong reasons some years before. There was some tussle with regard to management and control. The Jat Sikhs, unfortunately, tried to control it without associating strong and enlightened dalit communities of the village and area. It led to
conflict sometimes violent. Fortunately, with the intervention of saner elements and the administration, an amicable settlement was reached. As a result, Gurdwara now is a hub of not only spiritual fulfillment of thousands but also a centre of social and community activities. The finances are used judicially for the development of the village Talhan and the adjoining area. It was my first visit to Talhan. It could easily be called “Smart Village” by any standard. I was surmising that why all the Gurdwaras were not run on the lines of the Dhan Dhan Shaheed Nihal Singh Gurdwara? I leave it at that as food for thought.

Somebody has rightly said, “Tears cannot save life but blood donation can.”

Friday, August 17, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee – A Tribute

Atal Bihari Vajpayee – A Tribute

PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018) is no more. An era in the political life of India ended yesterday, August 16, 2018 with the demise of Vajpayee Sahib, one of the greatest sons of India in the contemporary times. He was a tall figure, with a distinct personality, in the political crowd of India. He became an MP at comparatively a young age, got elected 10 times to remain in the parliament with a unique distinction of representing four states like MP, UP, Gujarat and Delhi for different terms. It is said in Hindi, “Honhaar Birban Ke Chikne Chikne Paat”. PM Jawaharlal Nehru was so impressed by the personality and conduct of the young Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he visualized him to be the future PM of India. It came true and Atal Sahib, as he was affectionately called by his colleagues and friends, adorned the high office of PM of India not once but three times including a full five year term from 1999-2004. He was a leader by his own right and rightly so. The most prestigious awards and honours were conferred on him, Padam Vibhushan, Best Parliamentarian and ultimately the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 2015. Atalji was an orator par excellence as we call it in Urdu “Jadu Bian Mukarrar” with vision and thought. His sane and balanced approach in the political councils and corridors of power will be greatly missed in the years to come.

On hearing of the passing away of Vajpayee Sahib, I wept as a mark of my respect and regard to the great man. I have had opportunities to see, meet and interact with him in the course of service in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the PMO. I was greatly impressed by his personality and charm even in my formative years in Jalandhar when Atal Bihari Vajpayee did a road show in an open horse-driven Baghi (carriage) in 1968 as the newly
elected President of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and we greeted him near the Patel Chowk as young students. Then in 1977, when Janta Party came to power in the aftermath of emergency, it fell on me as a humble functionary in the PMO to escort Vajpayee Sahib to the first cabinet meeting of the new government of PM Morarji Desai.  Thereafter, many opportunities came my way to see him working closely as the Minister of External Affairs during his interaction with his foreign counterparts during the course of my duties as Protocol Officer in the MEA and PMO. I distinctly remember Vajpayee Sahib interacting with his Russian counterpart in Hindi and the terminology he used, referring to the traditional friendship between India and the USSR, he said “Ganga aur Volga mein bahut paani behe chukka hai, ab waqt hai hum aage badein aur apni mitrata ko majboot Karein”. It was a pleasant change in our approach to take pride in our national language.  Next, I met the great leader in Beijing, then Peking, in China in 1978 during his official visit. I was posted in Beijing  as an Attaché. There were pleasant encounters with him and these anecdotes I save for some other occasion. My real and close work and interaction happened after Vajpayee Sahib became PM for the second and third term in 1998-99. I was the Director of Central Asia Division in the MEA from 1997-2000. The Central Asian region, India’s near neighborhood, is very important in our foreign relations and policies. It was my good fortune to see and interact with PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the high and summit level visits from the Central Asian countries. I vividly recall his meetings and interactions with his Uzbek and Kyrgyz counterparts. PM Vajpayee exercised his great charm and a great sense of history in dealing with his Central Asian visitors. My cherished possession from one of these interactions is a photograph with PM Vajpayee and the Uzbek President very gracefully autographed my Vajpayee Sahib himself. Vajpayee Sahib was not only a politician of standing and caliber but also a fine and apt diplomat.  Again, I will not like to burden my readers with personal anecdotes here with a view to maintain the solemnity of the occasion and close this tribute on the sad demise of our beloved leader.

The legacy of PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee which will remain, to my mind, is that he considered Dal i.e. party, above the individual and Desh i.e. country, above the Dal. This is the most needed input or ingredient in our polity and politics to ward off the dangers to our independence which was very dear to Vajpayee Sahib as Babasaheb Ambedkar warned, “We are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.”

May the soul of PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee rest in peace.

हज़ारों साल नरगिस अपनी बेनूरी पे रोती है;
बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन में दीदावर पैदा ।

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Celebrating Independence Day – Introspection
We are celebrating our 72nd Independence Day today, August 15. President Ram Nath Kovid in his message to the nation on the eve of Independence said, and rightly so” We are at a pivotal moment. Let contentious issues and extraneous debates not distract us” and added that it was time to widen the idea of independence. PM Narendra Modi spoke, as usual, from the high pedestal of the Red Fort and listed the achievements of his government and
developmental strides of the country in his characteristically demonstrative demeanor of an apt orator. He underlined the agenda of ‘social justice’ of his government. Celebrations on national days are normal and expected norms the world over. There is no harm. We should be proud of our country and its achievements. But this important day should not go without stocktaking as a real and honest introspection. We must see and know as to where we actually stand while participating and enjoying the celebrations.

India has come a long way in its developmental endeavors internally and finding its due space externally since independence in 1947. But let me add hastily that we are still to go a long way to remove poverty and misery from each household of the country. All governments have contributed in the process. There is no doubt about it. India is a big country with big problems of under development and social evils and negativities. It is a matter of regret that we are still to transform our political democracy into social and economic democracy as visualized by our forefathers. The society is still carrying the burden of caste system. The communal divide is getting wider. The moral values of our tradition of “Bahujan Hitaye : Bahujan Sukhaye” are getting eroded. The constitutional morality and honesty to bring about and realize the goals of cherished ideals of “Liberty, Equality, Justice and Harmony” so beatifulyy enshrined in our constitution is no where seen both in our governance and civic conduct. The media is increasingly getting subservient and pliant which is not a healthy sign for a democratic set up. The authoritarian and dictatorial tendencies are cropping up against the spirit of our constitution.  Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of the constitution, warned against the menace of ‘Hero worship’ in democracy. We should be aware of these pit falls.

We are to address these systemic ills and challenges in our “Tryst with Destiny” as stated by PM Jawaharlal Nehru to make our independence meaningful.  It is a matter of worry that, of late, communal cards are played to polarize vote banks. The old enemies of ‘caste and creed’ are still at work, unfortunately. The diverse political creeds are getting preference and importance over the national interests.  These dangers are real for freedom and independence. I am reminded of the worries and anxieties of Dr. Ambedkar which he expressed in his last speech in the Constituent Assembly of India in November, 1949. These uttering’s are as valid today as it were before. After explaining that how we had lost our independence before, he said and I quote Dr. Ambedkar, Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood. (Cheers.)

किसी को लगता हैं हिन्दू ख़तरे में हैं,
किसी को लगता मुसलमान ख़तरे में हैं,
धर्म का चश्मा उतार कर देखो यारों,
पता चलेगा हमारा हिंदुस्तान ख़तरे में हैं.
With this, I extend my hearty congratulations and greetings to my fellow countrymen on the Independence Day