History is full of orators whose grace or charisma on stage has held a room full of people mesmerized. Their words have been engraved in stone for many generations to quote and have inspired many present day leaders to match their magic. From Nehru’s speech of a ‘tryst with destiny’ delivered on Independence at midnight to Abdul Kalam’s speech at the EU, we are blessed to have leaders who are willing to share their knowledge with us and guide us into a better future.
8. Shashi Tharoor at TED Talk, 7th November, 2009
Shashi Tharoor, besides being an elected member of the Parilament, is a successful book writer, a highly acclaimed critic and column writer. He delivered an awesome modern speech at TED talk that brought him mixed reviews. Some applauded him and gave him a standing ovation, others did not like the fact that he downplayed the nation by calling it a ‘soft power’. Tharoor glorified India for its ability to welcome all with open arms and have a rich culture, food, music and technological prowess. After a successful stint at UN, he decided to join the political system of India. His ongoing quest to build connections between the world and India have brought him many accolades.
7. Subhash Chandra Bose at a rally in Burma on 4th July, 1944
“Give me blood and I Promise you freedom.”
During his life time Bose gave many memorable and inspiring speeches that inspired his cadets and the citizens of an enslaved India to believe in his ideologies and dream of a free nation. This speech was a call for maximum sacrifice from the common man. Bose was sharing his success of the previous year and selling the dream of a free India. He was hopeful that with the help of Nippon, his army of Indians in East Asia, a fully armed force would be able to face the British might. For the sake of freedom, Netaji, as he was popularly known, was asking the people of India to be ready to make any sacrifice. The slogan of “total mobilization” was loud and clear with a call for blood for blood resonated in all quarters.
6. Jawaharlal Nehru at New Delhi, on 14th August, 1947
“When the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
It was the last nail in the coffin of outgoing rulers. As the clock was about to strike midnight, a well dressed slim man in a white Indian dress stood up to change the course of history of India, in more reasons than one. The first Prime Minister of free India, Nehru announced to more than 400 million eagerly waiting Indians that their wait was over. We are free to breathe, to live, to die as we please, as proud Indians. He swore to work on the path laid out by Mahatma Gandhi, to wipe every tear. Nehru knotted a wonderful dream from the orthodox to modern, from poverty to prosperity for the nation as a whole.
5. V.K. Krishna Menon at UN Nations, on 23 January 1957
Menons passion for defending Indian sovereignty when it came to Kashmir led him to be dubbed as ‘Hero of Kashmir.’ Others who couldn’t accept or understand a single man’s passion termed it as ‘epic filibustering.’ Menon at a go spoke for eight hours, trying to convince the floor of India’s view point, and in the end unexpectedly fell down unconscious. He was India’s voice at the UN for many years and was supposed to be strong supporter of Nehrus ideologies. His speeches at the UN became the basis on which our country’s foreign policy was made. Though repetitive his speeches showcased an intelligent man, with legal brilliance and vigor for debating.
4. Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the UN Nations Assembly on 4th October, 1977
“Jai Jagat (Hail One World)!”
Vajpayee served as the 10th Prime Minister of India. His unique style as a statesman, coupled with skillful oratory had him command the masses and turned him into a very successful politician. His speech on 6th April 1980- First Mumbai Adhiveshan marks a date in the history of BJP. His closing statement – “Andhera Chatega, Suraj Niklega, Kamal Khilega” is the gospel for every BJP worker. He was the first to address the UN Assembly in Hindi and has be applauded for it too.
3. Dr B. R. Ambedkar in Parliament, on 25th November, 1949
Popularly known as Babasaheb, Ambedkar was the savior and voice of the ‘ untouchables ’. He is credited for drafting the Indian Constitution and was an avid jurist, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, orator, economist, teacher, and editor. All his life he kept fighting for the rights and social freedom of the Dalits. He was often at loggerheads with Mahatma Gandhi over the issue of untouchability. His speech at the time of presenting the Constitution of India and his quitting speech, reflect high values and principles he lived by is a classic one remembered long after the man has gone.
2. Swami Vivekanand’s speech at the first Worlds Parliament of Religion in Chicago on 11th Sept, 1893
“Sisters and Brothers of America.”
The monk stole the thunder when he was just thirty years of age. He speeches continues to do so even today also for his beliefs and simple ways of living are still relevant even after a century. Very few know that he was asked to speak five times more during the course of the congregation. His 458 words made history and embedded Hinduism as one of the greatest religions in this world. His message of tolerance and universal acceptance went out loud and clear in every direction. He reaffirmed the basic principle of Hinduism that believes in “being and becoming “.
1. Dr. Abdul Kalam at the Golden Jubilee of EU, on 25th April, 2007
“Where there is righteousness in the heart There is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, There is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home. There is an order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, There is peace in the world.” Being the winner of the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, Abdul Kalam has an endless list of achievements to his credit. He has been the President of India, a successful scientist, academician and an avid speaker. His speech at the Golden Jubilee of European Union was one of the most inspiring speeches of all times. He likes to share his ideas with the common people and is a patriot of the first order. Kalam’s books inspire many to make India a better place for the generations to come.