Every year we celebrate Independence Day, and I have come across the words " Are we truly free?" either in the print, television media or posted on the internet. It's on this day that we simply play 'desh bhakti' songs and hoist our Tri-colour and think we are free.
The all important answer is although some people are free, there are many, many others who are not. Freedom is the right to choose and if an individual of India is unable to do that due to. Poverty, social stigma and inequality, we are not truly free.
I am writing this article as that troubled 'aam aadmi' who sees the children at train stations, bus stops, traffic stop lights and selling the tricolor for a small margin that would probably feed their hunger and perhaps of their family. life as it seems is full of irony for they do not enjoy the very freedom that the nation celebrates year after year.
Many people including myself have learnt to live with the reality of things that are. Feeling bad about the inequality of freedom, and do nothing to tilt the balance on the other side.
I am not a person who judges actions of others but my own. the maximum I do is drop a few coins and feel good that I have done atleast something. That is not freedom, if only it were that the the kids selling those flags would have a choice to continue selling flags and trinkets or going to school.
I am tired of hearing about the nobility of our country and greatness of unity in diversity from the red fort. I am also tired of the people accepting such speeches and singing praise of freedom when we as a country are not truly free.
Many people attack my statement saying we are a democracy and every thing is not perfect. I agree to such a statement but, the same people are unable to comment on a tangible degree of failure that would be unacceptable.
The truth is that until we realize what freedom means, we can never be free, whether it be freedom of expressing our thoughts openly, freedom to practice religion without fear, freedom of movement throughout the length and breadth of our country or freedom to revolt against corruption.
Unfortunately, even though I may experience freedom in certain areas, inspite of that I still am not truly free. We together need to eliminate this enemy of freedom. it is no longer British rule, but deeply rooted in pseudo Independence we celebrate every day.