August 15, 2017

We Have Been Independent; Now, Let's Be Free !

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Pic Courtesy: India Today

It is that time of the year again when patriotism runs high and hypocrisy runs higher among Indians. The expression of hyper nationalism, exactly and only, twice a year, desecrates the celebrations of August 15th or January 26th. Social media takes this hysteria to new levels every year, when sharing misquoted, misspelled, and often untrue, quotes by famous and dead personalities and uploading photos with or of the tricolor becomes a 12 hour rage.

Such is the window of this patriotism that if you have not changed your display picture or shared a patriotic message between 7 AM and 10 PM on these days, you better be ready to be labeled nothing less than a traitor, anti-national and, especially reserved for people of a certain religion, terrorists!

There is nothing inherently wrong about celebrating national pride and wearing patriotism as a badge of honor. But to do so without introspection- a conversation even- is as hollow as the promises made by the people unfurling the tricolor at the Red Fort. 
Independence, in a political context, is nothing but self governance. While irrespective of the time passed, this remains the crowning jewel in the proverbial crown of any nation; it is bound to lose its relevance if it is not put in context.

Freedom is – “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another”.

We have been independent for 70 years, but are we free? Do we have freedom of thought, expression, lifestyle and protest?

On surface, all these answers would seem positive. But we need to look deeper.
(Click on the links below for reference news items)

We have celebrated many Independence Days before and we would continue to do so because of the brave men and women who defend us and our borders. Our freedom is, however, our responsibility. One can only be free if there is will to be so. We are fortunate to be a part of a country that has a constitutional framework that lets us be freer every day. This is not about starting a revolution but about the desire of being more informed.

Accepting the status quo is not making us better and we must live in a dynamic state of getting informed and questioning further. The real celebration of our Independence would be making this Motherland richer by being a worthy electorate.

All you have to do is ask questions and seek answers!

Let freedom be upon you!

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Now, it is time to be honest !