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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Bondage of Independence….

Image Courtesy  - The Animator
At the stroke of midnight on 15th of August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his very famous speech "Tryst with Destiny" celebrating the triumphant victory of India, which came through nearly after a century of non-violent Indian freedom struggle against the British Empire.

Thousands of freedom fighters fought,  some even attaining martyrdom during their intense struggle for freedom.
During my school days, come 14th of August, you would find me in front of the Kaka shop in our neighborhood asking for the best washing powder, fabric whiteners, white shoe polish, white ribbons and hand bands. Back home it was a busy day scrubbing the white uniform of even the tiniest of spot to have it all starched and sparkling white for the independence day march. '
How carefully we walked to school so that he uniform would remain clean for the celebration of Independence Day function. My heart filled with pride for the freedom fighters who had bravely fought the British to win back our country and let us be the free citizens of India.
When the Tricolor was hoisted, I almost flew in the air along with the fluttering flag. A girl who was full of free spirit, who could not succumb to any kind of bondage, Freedom meant a lot to me. August 15th was considered the most important day in the whole year and l celebrated our independence day more enthusiastically than any other festival, function or even my own birthday.
Gone are those days when I used to enjoy the 15th of August as the day India got her Freedom. Today, I see the bondage of our Independent India and the fizz goes out of me immediately like a hot shaken pepsi can. Today I see that we Indians are bound by so many of bondage that the meaning of freedom itself stands mocked. There is no freedom in pursuing the education of your choice, no freedom to follow your beliefs, no freedom for women to wear the dress of their choice and many more don'ts which would make this list endless and meaningless in the end.
We are the people bound by the imaginary bondage of our own beliefs like the Cow who remained tied to the pole even without any rope. Unfortunately it is not easy to set ourselves free like the cow was set by the cowherd.
The moral of the society is measured by the way they treat their women and children. Going by that quote we can be said to have no morals at all. Rapes even of children who can barely walk, discrimination of women, domestic violence, poverty, bonded labor, corruption and greed of politicians has brought the character of the nation as a whole down to the lowest. More than anything the fanaticism of religion and narrow mindedness of the people which makes them hate and not to accept anything that is different from them has changed the meaning of freedom in our country.
 I don’t even want to touch the condition of old and disabled in our nation. They don't even have the freedom to  commute independently,  as no one has paid any attention to their needs while constructing roads, transports or buildings.
The love and respect we had for freedom fighters is falling down with people accusing even Mahatma Gandhi as being an immoral man with fetish sexist behaviors. I don’t believe everything I read as there have been a lot of false accusations for political benefits. Recently there was mail going around saying Indira Gandhi had converted to Islam by marrying Feroz Khan who is Muslim. Fortunately, I had read the story about Feroz Gandhi, a parsi and good human being which allowed me to rubbish the reports off. The Tipu Sultan I knew as the Tiger of Mysore who was among the earliest freedom fighter is now considered a traitor and accused of many more wrongdoing.  I no more get to chose what I read, as I am bombarded with information from  all kind of ill sources.
No one has ounce of their social media ethics or social responsibility to verify facts and have the history right before rushing to share information on social media. Even if I do not believe every news
thrown at me, the seeds of doubts are sown.
 Knowing less was better for my patriotic feelings.
British succeeded in at least uniting the people of India together. Today we are divided and diverting further with sub-states within states. Religion, status, education, age, color, language and everything under the sun is dividing Indians into separate groups; further creating hatred and spreading violence in the country.
When I woke up today morning to the messages “Happy Independence Day”, I felt our country is bound by so many bondage that our wings are tied down.Where is the Independence we are celebrating? I know people will disagree with me on this issue. I have been told that this is way better than being slaves to some foreigners. I agree, but then being slaves to our inner demons is not better in any way.. let us break free from the bondage and taste the real freedom.

“ Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus. Are we getting better with each passing day?

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