Do we really know what freedom means?

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Freedom. A word evocative with magnanimity.

We like the idea of being “free”. As India celebrated another year of independence, we saw a great zeal running across the nation, evoking the thoughts of freedom and the pride of being an Indian. We saw the ‘Happy Independence Day” hashtags and pictures trending on Twitter and Facebook and TV channels immersed in numerous desbhakti songs to celebrate independence — yes freedom that we had got years back from the British rule. But then I still wonder- are we really free??

We are outraged at the thought of being “un-free”. It is often presented to us as a polarity: free expression, free choice and democracy, on the one hand — and repression, suppression and tyranny on the other. We are to guard the former from the latter but do we actually do it?? Even after years of achieving freedom, we cling to some of the worst issues faced by our society -from age-old prejudices of caste system, honor killings and dowry, the crimes against woman and lawyers defending the actions of criminals etc.

To be completely free, or to do something of our own free will, it is essential that we could have acted otherwise. If we cannot avoid acting in a particular way, then our actions are not free. We are a country where the PM needs to start a cleanliness drive across the nation to keep our surroundings clean, whereas the sessions of Parliament are washed away with trivial issues of blame games to prove the self-worth by the honorary parliamentarians.

I feel the word “freedom” has turned into one of those buzzwords honored more in the supplication than in its exercise.

Then why is that a great Gymnastics like Dipa had to apologize to 1.3 billion fellow countrymen for losing out? In fact I personally thank her for making us proud and in fact many of us watched this event just for her.

I really hope no other person like Irom Sharmila Chanu(iron Lady) has to fast for 5757 days to make their voice heard or opinions accepted.

True freedom should rise above a voter’s ballot or someone walking out of prison? Each person’s opinion is solely the product of their own life & reality.

True freedom doesn’t come in the future, from a situation, or “from” anything at all, but is within us right now.

It is not being able to buy anything I want or in the fact that I don’t owe a thing to anyone?

“Be the Change you want to see in others”!!