Writing a Great Independence Day Speech
As we come close to celebrating India’s 70th Independence Day on 15 August, 2016, several students, parents and teachers are searching for content guidance for writing their very own speech that will stand out from the usual and make an impact.
MyIndia (Myindia.in) has prepared a template that you can use to write a great speech in your own words that will be rich in content and will remain focused on the topic.
Preparing relevant and interesting content is most important
Remember, this is a speech celebrating India’s Independence Day and the audience is your school principal, teachers and fellow students. Therefore, while preparing the draft you need to broadly define your content flow within the time you set for yourself.
Once you have prepared the sub-headlines, you need to start writing the content under each sub-heading based on the time you plan to allocate on each.
- Start with wishing the Principal, Vice Principal, teachers and fellow students. Follow this with defining why you are all gathered here today and what is the relevance of 15th August to the nation.
- Remember, the importance of 15th August in 1947 and 15th August today remains the same, but its relevance varies. The priority and focus of a nation being born in 1947 was different then, as India today prepares its priorities and focus based on current situation.
- Mention how the freedom fighters then were committed and focused on achieving independence from British rule and what we must learn to ensure that we continue to do justice to what they struggled and fought for.
- Talk about the ideals of Independence – unity in diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance, equality and democracy as corner stones of modern India.
- Speak about some of the tallest leaders that inspired people to come together in the call for freedom from British rule. You may want to mention the inspirational leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, and his commitment to use ‘non-violence’ as a means of attaining ‘Swaraj’.
- Here, you can recall the martyrdom and sacrifice of those people who inspired others to join the freedom movement. You could begin with mentioning how an unknown Sepoy in the British Army called Mangal Pandey triggered a rebellion that soon spread to other parts of the country that was later referred to as the Great Mutiny of 1857.
- How the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar woke the nation to the horror of the act and acted as a catalyst in uniting people in their quest for freedom.
- Mention how the hanging of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru inspired others to join the freedom movement.
- You could briefly speak about how leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sarojini Naidu, Maulana Azad, Acharya Kripalani, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan all contributed in the freedom movement. You may choose to mention others from a long list of stalwarts.
Speak of Landmark events leading up to India’s Independence
- You must recap and recall briefly the major events that contributed in bringing people to come together to join the fight against British rule. Remember, you must mention each event briefly and also explain the impact that event had on people at the time.
- Speak briefly of the Quit India Movement, Salt March by Mahatma Gandhi and the communal strife in the run up to Partition – and of sacrifices of martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad and Khudiram Bose, amongst several others. Here, you might like to highlight some of the other lesser known names.
- During your speech, you must also speak of the inspirational guidance provided by Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda along with political leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Sarojini Naidu, Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia – use their popular quotes while speaking of their contribution and the relevance of their message today.
- Mangal Pandey and the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, and Rani Lakshmibai’s rebellion against the British and her subsequent martyrdom
- Partition of Bengal in 1905. A painful period of division of Bengal along religious lines
- Mahatma Gandhi’s inspirational leadership in unifying the nation and his principle of ‘non-violence’ to attain freedom
- Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on April 13, 1919
- Non-cooperation Movement
- Call for Purna Swaraj
- Dandi March
- Quit India Movement
- Constitution: The importance of our constitution and how it is the foundation of our unity, inclusiveness and secular values today
- Convincing principalities to join the Indian Union: Sardar Patel’s contribution in keeping India united as he went about convincing various principalities to join the concept of one India. It was this principle of ‘Federalism’ that contributed to a united India when other large countries were breaking away
Note: You need to research and read up further details on the events mentioned above, so you understand the context and then you can decide which events you can mention and in how much detail. Remember to touch upon these briefly.
Speak on India of today and the relevance of past events
- Talk about India being a spiritual leader of the world which gave Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation as means to pursue a healthy life and attain inner peace.
- Mention Swami Vivekananda and his message of universal brotherhood and coexistence to the world, how Sri Aurobindo converted himself from being a revolutionary to a spiritual leader that has continued to inspire people everywhere, even today.
- Emphasize on the fact that we, as a nation, need to learn from past events that made us slaves for such a long time and why we must imbibe the teachings of our freedom fighters who fought so hard for the freedom that we take for granted today.
- Talk briefly of the challenges being faced today that threaten our core values of secularism, inclusiveness and democracy while stressing on the need to stay united in fighting these forces. Here, you may mention Mahatma Gandhi’s message of changing ourselves before expecting to see change in others.
- Speak about the need to hold on to our rich heritage, while imbibing the best of what modern science and technology can offer in our quest to building a modern nation.
Use quotes in a way that flow with your message and feels relevant to what you want to convey.
- A good way to close would be to use quotes of some national and international leaders and how we can imbibe their message to become better citizens, going forward.
- You could use some memorable quotes from prominent international leaders like Lincoln, Kennedy, Churchill, Mandela and APJ Kalam.
- Remember, your speech must close with a call for a ‘pledge’ and ‘commitment’ to become better citizens and uphold the values of our freedom fighters.
Timing the speech
This is very important while writing and preparing to rehearse your speech. When you complete writing the first draft, read it aloud in the tone and speed that you will actually speak on the day and see if it completes within the time that you have set.
If your speech exceeds the time limit, you need to edit it. Likewise, if your speech is finishing early, you need to add more content.
Leaders that people looked up to:
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Maulana Azad
- Subhash Chandra Bose
Famous Poets and Writers whose poetry inspired people to fight for independence:
- Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Subhramaniya Bharati
- Allama Iqbal
- Kazi Nazrul Islam
Spiritual leaders as a guiding force:
- Swami Vivekananda
- Sri Aurobindo
Martyrs who died fighting for freedom:
- Mangal Pandey
- Lala Lajpat Rai
- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev
- Khudiram Bose
- Chandra Shekhar Azad
- Ram Prasad Bismil
- Udham Singh
There were several names that can be mentioned. This is just a brief list.
Scientific Achievements Pre-Independence:
- CV Raman
- Jagdish Chandra Bose
You may mention them while speaking of India’s rich contribution to the evolution of science.
Scientific Achievements Post-Independence
- Vikram Sarabhai – contribution to Space and Nuclear science
- Homi Bhabha – contribution to Atomic Science
- APJ Kalam – contribution to Space and Defence
You may mention them while speaking of being part of the new emerging India.
Quotes that inspired people:
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru:
His ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech was made at midnight of August 14-15 in 1947. This famous speech was been recorded in Indian history as one of the greatest speeches. You may want to mention this as part of the your speech as you recall that magical moment when India finally won its freedom from British Rule.
“Be the change that you want to see in the world”
Famous words from the Father of the Nation. These words still reverberate all over the world for its simplicity and introspection. Unless we change first, it is pointless to seek change in others. This quote can be used by you when you are speaking of current times and what we need to learn from Mahatma’s wise words.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”
An important lesson for all of us. Mahatma Gandhi’s words teach us to celebrate every moment of life as we live it today but to keep the process of learning for a lifetime.
Subhash Chandra Bose:
This was made famous as a salute and greeting by Subhash Chandra Bose and his colleagues in Indian National Army (INA).
“Tum Mujhe Khoon do, Mein Tumhe Azaadi Doonga”
(Give me your blood and I will get you your freedom)
This was part of his famous speech when he called upon people to join the INA. These words reverberate when we recall the inspirational moments when the nation responded to the call of leaders to join the freedom struggle.
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya:
(Hail to the motherland)
This was the inspirational call for all freedom fighters and made famous in his famous literary work – Anandamath. This is our national song, which is different from our national anthem – Jana Gana Mana.
(Long Live the Revolution)
First written by Hasrat Mohani, it was made famous by revolutionary and martyr, Bhagat Singh.
Madan Mohan Malaviya:
(Truth alone will prevail)
Bal Gangadhar Tilak:
“Swaraj Mera Janamsiddha adhikar hai, aur main ise laker rahoonga” (Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it)
This was the famous quote by Kaka Baptista and was taken up by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his call for freedom from British Rule.
“Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, Ab hamare dil mein hai.”
This famous quote is from the poem written by Bismil Azimabadi and had become Ramprasad Bismil’s famous slogan against the British Rule.
Famous quotes by International leaders that can also be quoted
JF Kennedy, former President of the United States of America
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country…”
These famous words were part of his stirring speech when he called upon young Americans to join in making America great.
Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States of America
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy”
This famous quote is very relevant today as it echoes the values of ‘equality’ and ‘democracy’ that we in India, so cherish.
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