15th August 1947, dawned revealing the dual reality of Independence and partition. As always, between the two of them, Gandhiji and Nehru mirrored the feelings of the Indian people. Gandhiji prayed in Calcutta for an end to the carnage taking place. His close follower, Mridula Sarabhai, sat consoling a homeless, abducted 15-year-old girl in a room somewhere in Bombay. Gandhiji's prayers were reflective of the goings on in the dark, the murders, abductions and rapes.
Nehru's eyes were on the light on the horizon, the new dawn, the birth of a free India. 'At the stroke of the midnight hour when the world sleeps India shall awake to light and freedom.' His poetic words, 'Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny,' reminded the people that their angry bewilderment today was not the only truth.
There was a greater truth - that of a glorious struggle, hard-fought and hard-won, for which many fell martyrs and countless others made sacrifices, dreaming of the day India would be free. That day had come. The people of India saw that too, and on 15 August - despite the sorrow in their hearts for the division of their land danced in the streets with abandon and joy.
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