Sunday, August 16, 2015

What does freedom mean to you? #IndependenceDay

I have recently started live streaming on the Fame app, and the first beam was on Independence Day. Since I had penned down my thoughts before speaking, I thought, why not blog it too? That's called killing two birds with one stone.

Happy Independence Day to all. This day always gets me pondering what independence really is? Of-course, on this special day we hoist our tricolour flag, wear ethnic clothes in shades of saffron, white, blue and green. Listen to patriotic songs, watch patriotic movies and some of us even watch the parade and speech live on Doordarshan. But is that all?

69 years ago, India got independence from the Britishers. We owe a lot to the freedom fighters who gave up their lives to free our nation. But honestly, what does it mean when we say we're a free country. What does freedom mean to you?

Some will say that we have the freedom of speech. To say what we want to, in whichever language we want to. But does that mean you're free to hurt another human being, make fun of or demean them, whether Indian or not? I don't think so. Life is not a roast where you just keep insulting anyone and everyone. Does freedom of speech mean that perverts can pass lewd comments at girls? No! Freedom of speech does let you express your opinion, but within the boundaries of social norms.

Some of you will say Independence means to do whatever one feels like. But that does not mean you'll go killing, stealing or raping! You are free to do whatever you want, as long as no other living being (I say living being because I even include animals here) is hurt or troubled in the process.

The youth of this millennial age will perhaps say that freedom means to wear what they want. True, but don't you think that what you wear should make sense in that particular gathering, event or place? Or just for the heck of rebelling you'll wear anything? I mean, wearing a shorts and tank top at any place of prayer will never be accepted. And that is for the sole reason that what you wear may make others uncomfortable.

If you go back to your civics textbooks, you'll recall the fundamental rights if an Indian citizen. There are 8 of 'em: Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, Cultural & Educational Rights, Right to Education, Right to constitutional remedies and the last but not the least, Right to Life. Both you and I know that all this comes with terms and conditions applied. But when we always speak about our rights, we must at the same time remember our duties towards our country too. Keeping it clean, Saying no to bribe, Voting every time, Paying taxes on time, etc.

I know, this has taken a very serious route, but when the majority of our citizens take this day as just another holiday, thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to reading and pondering over this! Jai Hind.