Rhea Ramchandran our ex-student from the 2016-17 batch is an excellent orator. She bagged the 3rd prize in Intercollege elocution competition organised by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi at Mani Bhavan. Here is a transcription of the speech:
Good Morning My name is Rhea Ramchandran and my topic is ‘India of Gandhiji's dream’.
Let me begin with Gandhiji's favourite song- Raghupati Raghav Rajaram, Pati te Pawan Sitaram, Ishwar Allah tere naam, sabse sanmati de bhagwan. My dear friends, you must have heard about the story of Gandhiji in South Africa when he was thrown out of the train alongwith his luggage just because he was dark skinned. He fell on the platform. He sat there for hours and thought, “Why did this happen to me? I bought a first class ticket. Why was I thrown out of the train?” It was at that moment that he identified himself with the larger predicament of the people. His focus shifted from‘What about me’ to ‘What can I do for the people around me.’
The India of Gandhiji's dream would be self sufficient and free from poverty.Gandhiji had devised the program of spinning on the charkha and village industry to address the problems of India. Now we have the ‘Make In India Campaign’ which has been initiated to generate employment opportunities for the youth and make India self reliant.
Women Empowerment would be one of Gandhiji's dream. Today Indian women are forerunners in every field. Indian women who are known globally are Indira Nooyi, Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Sudha Murthy to name a few. Nirmala Sitaraman's elevation as a defence minister is seen as a big boost to women empowerment in the country.
Gandhiji moved millions of people just like that. Not only in India but anywhere in the world, when you take the name of the Mahatma, there is a sense of respect. Let us accept that there were more intelligent, more talented, better orators and even better educated people, but this man with his disarming smile stood above them all, simply because of his commitment. That would be Gandhiji's dream too -that the people of India be committed. Whatever happens your commitment must not change. When you are truly committed you express yourself totally, but when commitment is lacking somewhere you lose your purpose and when the purpose of why we are here is lost, there is no question of fulfilling your goals.
Gandhiji's dream for India would be that no child be forced to study but should find the inclination to do so. A video which went viral recently showed a girl of about 3 years being taught to recite numbers from 1 to 5. The poor girl was unable to recall it correctly even after several attempts. She begged for mercy but her mom slapped her across her face. This video was slammed on the media and rightly so. Parents need to affirm to their children that they can do whatever they want in their life but to do it to the best of their ability and to always remember that their parents will stand by their decision.
In today's scenario, an eye for an eye is no solution as it only aggravates the situation. Gandhiji's dream for peaceful co-existence, economic independence, respect for women, basic education for all and universal brotherhood holds good even today. He was not only a great leader of the past era but also a leader of the times ahead. No leader, either today or in the future, can match him in charisma, caliber and wisdom.
Let me now recite a poem for all of you.
Mahatma the enlightened one.
Won a war without sword or gun.
Born in Saurashtra, a small coastal town,
Which because of him, achieved world renown.
Ahimsa he followed, and headed a bloodless revolution.
Without him India, we could not call Our nation.
Bapu, I dream a dream, will my dream come true?
Will you be born again, My country needs you.
Dear friends, I firmly believe that India is on the threshold of international greatness and we the youth have a major role to play.
Let me end with a quote-If not you then who and if not now then when. So let us take a pledge here and now to build an amazing and incredible India of Gandhiji's dream.