When India attained independence, she was no nation, she was divided into princely states and provinces; she was backward economically, educationally, scientifically and even culturally. It needed men of genius and destiny like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel to knit her into a nation. Since the dawn of independence, we have been striving to solve various problems facing the motherland to make her a united democratic and solvent nation. What we have achieved is praiseworthy, what we have failed to achieve is deplorable. It is the right criticism that we could have achieved more than what we have achieved if we had possessed a missionary spirit and sacrificing attitude. Nevertheless, our achievements are not negligible in the light of circumstances in which the Britisher left us at the time of the transfer of power.
We received freedom under the shadow money. The moment, we held the reins of regime, we Established position and changed the atmosphere of horror and terror created by communal disharmony into an atmosphere of goodwill, co-existence and tolerance. We taught the lesson of regard to different communities living in India. Thus, we decided to take the nation towards secularism. When we formed our constitution, we expressed in a clear language that our aim was to make India a ‘Secular State’. As against the narrow mindedness of the Pakistani leaders, who intended to make Pakistan a Theocratic State, we aimed at and succeeded in making India a Scalar State, This is our first achievement of a great importance.
India looked a storehouse of problems when the English people left us with bag and baggage. The greatest problem was that of princely states. India then was in a condition of complete disintegration, as nearly 562 princely states were raising their ugly heads. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the immortal son of mother India and the Bismark of India, with his will-power and iron-will, unified these scattered states dealing with them individually and collectively the situation warranted and made India a compact whole. The stages like Bikaner, Junagarh arid Hyderabad had to-surrender-to the indomitable will of Sardar Patel. This is our second achievement of an out-standing merit.
India is the biggest democratic nation in the world. We have seen during the past few years that in many ‘countries of the world, and specially in the neighboring countries, democratic governments have been thrown out of power mercilessly and dictators have come info power. In spite of different castes, creeds and political ideologies, we have held eight General Elections in complete peace. We are living under democratic governments in states and a stable government at the centre. It is really a miracle that democracy as a way of life has been a success in. India. It is our third achievement of international repute.
We have maintained law and order throughout the length and breadth of the country. By and large, we have a disciplined police force and a highly efficient and obedient army During the Chinese invasion and the Pakistani invasions, all the three units of cur army showed excellent valour and obedience. Our police force, too, whenever called for sacrifice and services, did not show negligence and lethargy. We are proud of their achievements,
We have brought every department of life and the nation under well conceived planning. We have completed Sixth Five-year plan and have gone halfway through the Seventh Five-year plan. Indians, individually and collectively, have become planning minded. It is surprising that planning has entered into every household of India. We are hopeful of the solution of all the problems by means of planning. Rajiv Gandhi’s 20-point programme has infused new life into our national life.
India has made miraculous progress in the fields of science and technology—engineering, medicine, heavy machinery and machine tools, road and bridge building, defence production and space technology. In almost all branches of science and technology, India is steadily marching towards self-reliance. In other fields, India is making giant strides in collaboration with leading countries like Russia, Japan, Poland, Germany.
It is gratifying to note that the Indians have shaken off the effects of conservatism and fatalism and have begun to view these problems with a scientific out-look. We have become conscious of these problems and have tightened our belts to solve them. There is a radical change in the psychology of Indians. This is our greatest achievement. Our but-look towards every problem—economic, political, educational, national and international, is now progressive. But there is no occasion for self-complacency. A great many things are yet to be done.