Every tear from every eye needs a wipe away
This Gandhian goal has survived shifting shades of ideology over 75 years of freedom. As a unifying cause, a purpose that preceded Independent India’s existence, let it guide us forth
India as an idea, as a great exception with a purpose that preceded our existence as a free country, has long held us agog across deep divides of ideology. Today, much of our public life pivots Left or Right on the basis of what that idea actually is, with the contours of its conception in contest. Yet, what unites us counts for more. It assures us not just our unity, but integrity. The end of this week marks 75 years since an aim was set forth in Parliament that we all approve of, surely, as an Indian axiom. “The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe ‘every tear from every eye’," said Nehru in his Tryst with Destiny speech. “That may be beyond us, but so long as there are tears and suffering… our work will not be over." Mahatma Gandhi’s appeal of eyes has endured across generations of Indians. And it is such unifying values—upheld and edified by democracy—that have kept us both striving and steady, arguably, by making space for openly-popular if noisy shifts in power as the decades rolled by.