Are we really free?

August 15th this
year marks 65 years of India’s independence, a day when we remember our
forefathers who brought us out of the rule of British. Independence Day
is celebration of our freedom, of us as a nation. It is a day dedicated
to showing our love and respect for our motherland. We take pride in
seeing the tri-colour fly high and singing the national anthem with
patriotism. We shout slogans in praise of our motherland. But what does
freedom mean to us? Are we really free?
Freedom means different
things to different people. The dictionary defines it as the power or
right to act, speak and think as one wants to without any hindrance or
restraint. It also means the absence of subjection to foreign domination
or despotic government. We may be free in the latter sense but not the
former. Yes, we are free to do we wish but then there is a “Conditions
apply” for it.
Think of it are we really free to express our
thoughts and opinions?  Yes we are as long as it doesn’t concern people
in power. We speak of India as a secular country but are our thoughts
free from religious and ethnic biases? Definitely not! We are a free
country but women are not free enough to walk around without the
constant fear of being molested and tortured. How can fear and freedom
co-exist?
India has progressed from being an under developed
country to a developing one and I am proud of it. We have better
facilities, better basic amenities and better education and in short a
better life. Yet, we are still a developing nation. The world sees in
India the potential to be the next super power but we need to introspect
on what is holding us back. We still have people who cannot afford one
square meal per day. We have people who have no shelter. Don’t they have
the right to enjoy the freedom our leaders won? We still have gender
biases. Female foeticide still exists and so does killing of the girl
child. We still have many issues to deal with and many battles yet to be
won against the evils that still exist in our society.
India has
come a long way in these 65 years. We have progressed in many areas. We
have overcome many obstacles to be what we are today. We need to take
pride in these achievements not just on Independence Day but every day.
At the same time we as responsible citizens need to come together and
work towards building a better India and making it a super power. The
youth have a greater responsibility in making India what our freedom
fighters dreamt of. Bringing to reality the dream India, the India where
each citizen has access to basic amenities, good education and a
peaceful life.
Being free doesn’t only mean to do what to. It
means to do what is right and just. With freedom comes great
responsibility and we need to shoulder this responsibility and make
India better. Let us promise ourselves today to work hard to make this
happen.

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