What is independence to you?

by | Aug 17, 2017 | BD Voice | 0 comments



As I drove on the roads of Gurgaon, I saw many children running at the traffic signals waving the tricolor flags and trying to cajole passersby to buy them. The windows of the car would roll down, and someone would give them little change in lieu of the flags. This made me ponder on the eve of 71st Independence Day – “Have we truly achieved our Independence?” While we have claimed our sovereignty from the foreign rule many years ago, but do we truly have freedom of living in a dignified manner.

Everyday, we experience this disparity closely, but we have become so immune to it that we turn a blind eye towards it. In a nation, where manual scavenging is still a profession for many, casteism still rampant with many not having access to basic amenities like education and sanitation, we need to ask ourselves what does independence truly mean. Even after so many years of independence, women cannot venture out to pursue education or careers due to the fear for their own safety. They are not free to express their opinions without being trolled – whether online or offline.

We call ourselves a free nation, but do not have the freedom to choose what we eat, what we wear or even whom we love. The land where marital rape is considered legal, women’s rights being secondary and article 377 still a sore point – is not really free.

Independence Day doesn’t mean one day of nationalist pride, it means a commitment to serve the nation in a truly inclusive way. We salute the brave hearts and heroes who fought in the freedom struggle but they dreamt of a nation of peace and harmony where people prospered. Until unless we eradicate these social evils, intolerance and learn to accept differences and celebrate them, the people in the country cant prosper.

I hope that someday, I will see those kids in schools unfurling the National Flag in their schools and not selling them on traffic signals which would be trampled upon by cars the next day. It is our duty to make the dream of a progressive nation with all citizens having equal rights to live with dignity come true.


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