All of India is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with great pomp and show. But on the Eve of this day, I can’t stop some thoughts and questions that are making their rounds in my mind. Through this article, I would like to share some of these thoughts and questions with you. You will not find the answer here, but I think these questions are still essential because they will compel you to think. Try to find the answers within yourself, and maybe it will help you to understand yourselves and things around you better.
We celebrate Independence Day to celebrate our freedom from the despotic British rule. But in the present day and age are we actually free? What is your definition of freedom? For me, freedom means the right to live and be as we wish. But in a country where girls’ characters are evaluated from the way they dress, does the meaning of freedom truly apply? In a country where the census is carried out to make an index of places that are safest to live, can we say that everyone accesses the fundamental rights that our constitution grants us?
Tomorrow the whole country will celebrate our freedom and independence, but all the gathering places will be surrounded by massive security details for fear of any terrorist attacks. Many will not even come out of their homes due to the same fear. If we don’t even have the safety or ‘freedom’ to celebrate our freedom and independence freely and openly, then what use is the dedication of a day to its name. For many, the meaning of 15 August and 26 January have boiled down to nothing but a mere holiday now.
Communal and religious riots are common in India. Our access to education and employment are determined by our caste, not our merit and talent. Our politicians more often than not play dirty for their own gains. We are a free nation, the longest running democracy in the world; yes! it is true. But I think the weight of these words have blindsighted us somehow and the true meaning is gradually fading. People now tend to take words like freedom, independence, democracy etc and twist their meanings to suit their motives.
So, on the eve of our 72 Independence Day let us wait and think for a moment what the words freedom and independence actually mean. Let us ask ourselves are we actually living and enjoying the freedom for which lakhs of our ancestors sacrificed their lives? Is it ok to celebrate one day in the name of our freedom and then, later on, crush the very meaning of the word to attain our goals and motives? Are we actually free? Or are we still colonised, not physically but mentally?
Stop for a moment and think about the possible answers to these questions. The answers may surprise you.