August 12, 2009

Are We Free Yet?

As we progress towards the celebration of 62 years of freedom this 15th of August, the only thought that crosses my mind is, ‘How free are we anyway?’ How many times have we actually tried to imply the Freedom that we won almost 62 years back? On a personal level I feel that Democracy is just another word for an Indian, inscribed in the so called Constitution that is remembered merely once a year used as an alibi for what can only be called oafish behaviour. It’s funny how we still believe, had we not lost our country’s wealth to the British we could have been the wealthiest and the most powerful country in the world. Sadly, not even half the population actually understands the true meaning of Democracy. A term which is just a mere definition in the school books and an organ forgotten even if it helps you carry out your daily functions at ease of hardly lifting a finger. I remember myself mugging up the definition of Democracy in school days,

A form of government

for the people,

by the people and

of the people.

But unfortunately, nobody bothered to explain the true philosophical meaning of such a heavy word. Maybe nobody wanted to explain it, since it just opens a can of worms nobody wants to see or accept. If simply put, it means that every individual has an equal right to live or to think in their own desired way and live life with dignity and self respect. I hardly find half the nation entitled to such rights though. The problem lies not in the corrupted ways of the government officials, or the government and not even in the stifling bureaucracy. It lies within all of us. The minute you try to correct some opulent bully with a shiny black car treating the road like a garbage disposal unit and you receive a painfully pleasing remark saying, “Tere baap ka kya jaata hai?”, that is the exact moment Democracy gets killed. One’s attitude towards any other individual irrespective of class, creed, color, sex or even wealth determines how democratic an individual he/she is. It’s not just about how much freedom you can exercise. It’s about how dutifully you exercise them. India is still behaving like an impatient bull released out in the open ready to attack any living soul with a blessed excuse called Freedom.

Simple examples like reality shows being taken to court, gay marriages still considered illegal in the nation, or useless quotas that do nothing but deteriorate conditions rather that empower classes, clearly mock the very existence of Democracy. Why can’t an Indian live and let live. And media can definitely not be blamed for the situation either since it’s the very reflection of the people it caters to. After all they show what sells. And the very Indian who buys the dirt, flinches at the very sight of it. It’s a pity that a word like Democracy is limited to a nation and surprisingly varies from nation to nation. The world can only rejoice the full glory of such a magical word if it were considered globally. Why can’t all the citizens of the world have an opportunity for Democracy since it definitely is a right each individual should be born with? It’s high time people free themselves of stereotypes and give an opportunity to every single being that desires one. And the day that happens, there will be what we call…

Freedom of Thought

Freedom to Grow

Freedom to Create

and most of all, Freedom to Live!

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