At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister gave this historic speech at midnight on August 14, 1947. Today sixty-six years later I wonder what freedom means to us. When this question was thrown open to moms on the Gurgaonmoms Facebook community page, the answers left me thinking, baffled, and some even managed to make me smile. This is a compilation of some of those answers.
While some moms wished for financial freedom, and freedom from a certain conservative, stereotypical mindset, Anamica Cannivady wrote, “I need the freedom of cows from the Gurgaon roads. Just about adjusted to the concept of driving with pot holes, cycles, autos, tractors, heavy machinery vehicles….. And now roads seem to be pasture ground for the cow. You are cruising down golf road; last thing I want is a fat cow mooing at me!!!!”
Pooja Singh wishes on this Independence Day to find freedom to be herself. When asked how one does that she said, “I truly believe we all should be 'work in progress', reinventing ourselves, over and over, kind of like a snake that sheds its skin so it can grow. It's still the same snake, but yet it has grown…..but then who knows this process may go on forever.”
Mukti Agarwal makes us wonder when as a society we became so insensitive and callous. She said, “I need freedom from the mind sets who believe that special kids are to be hidden behind closed doors. Need freedom from the callousness of people who rush into an elevator knowing the person behind them in line is wheelchair ridden! Need freedom from the people who tell you to have another kid because your special kid can't be your ‘Budhape ka sahara’!”
Then there are those who wish for freedom to speak their mind, to dress as they please, go where they want, and return when they deem fit. Freedom from the fear of sick lurking men, freedom from hypocrites, freedom from a male dominated society, and freedom from negativity.
Twinkle Eldho amidst all this asked, “Everyone needs freedom but what are you doing for that?” Any answers…..
Puneeta Chadha Khanna very rightly said, “While we all are very vocal about what is due to us we are also very quiet about our civic duty , our responsibility as citizens, as even children of now ageing parents and most of all as parents.” She went on to say, “With Freedom and Independence also comes responsibility, duty, and the ability to give without being constantly worried about receiving.”
Thomas Jefferson – one of the founding fathers of the independence movement of the United States, wrote in their Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” Sixty six years is good enough time to think on those lines – the nation and its Government evolving to providing quality living conditions to its citizens so that they can truly pursue happiness, rather than struggle for their very existence.