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Independence Day 2021: Iconic Speeches, Quotes That Brought India To The Brink Of Freedom

India became an independent nation on the midnight of 14 August, 1947 and this year it will celebrate its 75th Independence Day from the British Raj. It took almost 200 years of countless struggles and sacrifice to end the imperial rule and emerge as a free nation. Here are some iconic speeches, quotes, slogans and poems that have brought India to the brink of Independence. Let's celebrate freedom with these rebellious, poignant and encouraging words.

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1. A Tryst With Destiny

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now that time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of today's 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 new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.- Jawaharlal Nehru

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2. I Am Only A Woman, Only A Poet

"As long as I have life, as long as blood flows through this arm of mine, I shall not leave the cause of freedom...I am only a woman, only a poet. But as a woman, I give to you the weapons of faith and courage and the shield of fortitude. And as a poet, I fling out the banner of song and sound, the bugle call to battle. How shall I kindle the flame which shall waken you men from slavery..." - Sarojini Naidu

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3. ‘If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland.’

- Chandra Shekhar Azad

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4. Do or Die

"Here is a mantra, a short one, that I give to you. You may imprint it on your hearts and let every breath of yours give expression to it. The mantra is ‘Do or Die.' We shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery. Every true Congressman or woman will join the struggle with inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery." - Mahatma Gandhi

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5. Path To Freedom

"We should have but one desire today - the desire to die so that India may live - the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood." -Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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6. Steps Of Victory

"Defeat and failure are sometimes necessary steps of victory." "A person should be courageous and honest in worshipping the truth, without being concerned about receiving worldly benefits." "I always believed that my silence on several topics will be an advantage in the long run." - Lala Lajpat Rai

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7. War Of Liberation

Friends! My comrades in the War of Liberation! Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of you blood It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has spilt. - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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8. My Right Is Justice

"When there is oppression, the only self-respecting thing is to rise and say this shall cease today, because my right is justice."- Sarojini Naidu

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9. Revolution

"It is beyond the power of any man to make a revolution. Neither can it be brought about on any appointed date. It is brought about by special environments, social and economic. The function of an organised party is to utilise any such opportunity offered by these circumstances." - Bhagat Singh

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10. Poem Dedicated To Jhalkari Bai

khub lari jhalkari tu tau, teri ek jawani thi, Dur firangi ko karne mein, veeron mein mardani thi,
Har bolon ke much se sun hum teri yeh kahani thi, Rani ki tu saathin banker, jhansi fatah karani thi....
Datiya fatak raund firangi, agge barh jhalkari thi, Kali roop bhayankar garjan, mano karak damini thi,
Kou firangi aankh uthain, dhar se shish uteri thi, Har bolon ke much se sun ham, roop chandika pani thi

(Jhalkari you really fought, your youthfulness was unique. You were a man among the brave in ousting the British, we heard your story from the mouth of warriors. You pledged for Jhansi to be victorious by being a friend of the queen, Jhalkari, you rode from the Datiya gate, trampling the British. You were like the Kali, and your strike was like lightning, as soon as a British raised his head, you struck immediately. We heard your deeds from the warriors, reciting tales of your bravery.)

Story first published: Friday, August 13, 2021, 9:03 [IST]