On the 74th Independence Day of the country, we asked a cross-section of society on what do they want freedom from and why
Santoor player, composer and conductor Pandit Bhajan Sopori
India is a country of age-old civilisation. The tradition of our country is that we seek shanti (peace) for and from Nature like Shanti Prithivi, Shanti Vanaspati etc. This was taught to the children in gurukuls and passed from generation to generation. We are a country that worships Nature through its five elements attributing each element to a god or a goddess-like Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, Vyas, Vitasta, Kailash, Harmukh and Mahadev. Also, most animals are associated with some or the other god as their chariots. Yet we, as humans, became negligent towards our Nature and abused it disturbing the entire ecology. We all saw the sudden change in Nature within a couple of days of the lockdown due to Covid-19. We must now learn from our experience and contribute to humanity in a true sense and heal the nature before it is too late. I have even started a ‘Heal Nature Campaign’ to bridge this gap and get people together in this common cause as a part of everyone’s life. Now is the high time to upgrade our thinking and vision and respect the Mother Nature. We need more social awareness so that our coming generations have the earth as a better place to live. And for this, we need independence from any short sightedness and limited concern and care. We have to grow as a human being and be an example for rest of the world in this initiative.
Fashion stylist Gyaneshwari Sharma
The year 2020 has been unpredictable and overwhelming so far. No one had any inkling of what was in store for the world. Covid-19 has left all of us thinking about how vulnerable we all are. On this Independence Day, I would want all of us to maintain social distancing and follow all the safety norms and protocols so that one instance doesn’t lead to another huge number of positive cases. May this Independence Day be the beginning of independence from Covid-19. All we want is good health and happiness for everyone!!
Author Kaninika Mishra
In this year, the 74th year of India’s freedom from British colonial rule, I would want us to strive for independence from the residual cultural colonialism which has led to a disparaging view about indigenous culture. Educated Indians have been led to deride native values about health, food, beauty, art and literature. Though Ayurveda and Yoga have recently begun to interest the urban youth, Indic traditions and knowledge systems contain many more invaluable ideas that remain relevant today and can help in universal well-being. In my research while writing The Indic Quotient (Bloomsbury 2020), I came across entrepreneurs and activists working towards promoting Indian millets and indigenous superfoods, Ayurveda based environmentally friendly self-care products, the rich and diverse textile traditions, Puranic literature, and temple art. These efforts towards civilisational awakening is essential for us to attain true freedom.
…fear, from violence, from egoism, from insensitivity and apathy, from greed, from prejudices and biases.
Padma Shri Kathak danseuse Shovana Narayan
Shalini Haksar, educationist
The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence. – Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhiji once quoted and the entire nation started raving about women empowerment and security. The audience waited for Nirbhaya case and lit candles, had a peace march and again involved themselves in the humdrum of life. The audience clapped for Lakshmi- the acid survivor, appreciated her valour and zeal for living and again went back in their cocoons of male chauvinistic appreciations. Murmured sounds of How should a girl dress and How having male friends will lead to these consequences could be always heard from so called ‘polished’ people.
Dear ones, I’m not a feminist, neither a rebel. I’m a simple citizen of India, who happens to be female and definitely carries some grey matter over my shoulder, grey matter sufficient enough to reason as to what is Independence to me and what would I like to change?
I would like the mindset of people to change towards how we look up to the fairer sex. I would like them to make their daughters to be self-aware and sensitive towards wolves around them. I would like them to be independent enough to make big decisions about their careers, their choice of friends and even marriages. I would like parents to be proud of their daughters when they pay their medical bills, I would like parents in laws to feel proud of their daughter in laws when they swap their Credit cards in restaurants during family gatherings, husbands to be proud when wife drive their children back from school. Such symbiotic relations when thrive will lead to happy minds and a sparkling family.
Asking for my contribution?? I’m raising a son who can respect women!
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL!- Because freedom is nothing , but a chance to be better!!
Kathak danseuse Dr Shobha Koser
As a woman I feel, a girl or a woman should be free from all barriers. Still when a girl goes out, she needs to take permission from her parents. She is also answerable to all her family members if she comes late from anywhere which does not happen in case of a man. So I believe we should give freedom to our girls. They also deserves respect from everyone.
For womenfolk, I would say they should not take undue advantage of the freedom. And they should not break their trust and not misuse liberal thoughts. In my view, independence means an ideal world where women are respected for who they are. The day when women feel truly liberated from inside will be the day of independence in true sense.
Corporate trainer Vandana Bakshi Sirohi
I would want independence from negative thoughts around the world. Why? Because life if very beautiful. One thought which pokes me – why such hue and cry? Things which are beyond control are valued more. Things which are soulful are always ignored. Wake up people. Wake up you all. It’s high time to get up and being thankful to god. I have freedom on my mind. Faith in my heart. Just want to join both my hands and say thank you my lord.
Plogman of India Ripu Daman Bevli