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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Independence and free will

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India - my country, home, and motherland celebrates its Independence Day on August 15, every year. We hoist our national flag, offer sweets to each other and celebrate the day with much enthusiasm shunning barriers of all sorts.

Although we enjoy the day, somewhere I feel that we must dedicate at least this day of the year to remember those who laid their lives as martyrs and sacrificed much in the fight for freedom. This will not only help us realize the vitality of independence, but also, make us cherish the freedom that we enjoy.


Rewinding back to the olden times; my grandparents were born pre-independence. They were the witness to our nation's freedom struggle, autocracy done by foreigners, and resentment amongst the masses. My parents were born in the decade following independence. During their growing years they also saw times when the country was in the initial phase of development. I believe they also realised the meaning of struggle and significance of contentment.

The following period (a few decades later) when my generation came up, saw a measurable change in the perception about freedom among the new generation. For generation X, the term seemed to have a relatively different meaning. Freedom, now, meant ' free will'.

Having put forward a caricature of the change in perception through varying times and experiences over different generations, I believe it is important to understand the real meaning of independence.

The meaning of Independence 

The dictionary meaning of the term 'Independence' is 'freedom from control or influence of another or others.' This means that we have the liberty to make our own choices. In that case, what if the choice of one of the citizens is in some way or the other hurting someone else? Will that be the right kind of liberty? I guess, no! Then, how should we define 'Independence' in the real sense?

Here is my take on understanding the significance of freedom.


In (Integrity): the quality of being honest with strong moral principles. Honesty in one's words and actions, brings about clarity in personal relationships and in our social and economic set-up at large. Strong moral principles, if effectively inculcated in the upcoming generations at the right time will take hardly two generations to uproot several vices like corruption, the biggest termite hollowing the foundation of our society.

De (Defence): We do not only need to defend our nation's frontiers, but what is equally important is our protecting the  right from the wrong. We need to make sure that come what may, our minds are without fear and heads always held high. At the same time, it is vital to watch our steps and guide others around us to be watchful in their actions.

P (Pen): Make sure that you teach at least one student at any point in time in your life. Literacy is of prime importance, but education is even more significant. Literacy is the building up of the knack to read and write. Educating someone is further helping him to expand his knowledge base about a subject. If the educated mass of the country starts teaching at least one person, the number of educated people will easily double. And this number can grow exponentially leading to the realisation of a learned society.

D (Development): When the society is educated, every individual will surely seek personal development and this will come through self-discipline. As building blocks of the society, if each individual self-disciplines himself, the resultant will undoubtedly be a developed society.

N (Nationalism): A nation is built by its people. Nationalism simply means having respect for the fellow being irrespective of any social barrier. The seeds of nationalism or respect for fellow citizens should be sown in the minds of children at a young age.

C (Cultural Heritage): The beauty of our country lies in its diverse cultures. From the valleys of the north to the oceans at the south, our vast country supports varied cultures and life-styles. Respect for every way of life is the key to living in harmony.

E (Ethics): Our uniqueness lies in the essence imbibed from the moral of the stories narrated to us by our grandparents in our early years. We all need to revive our memories, brush-up the lessons learnt in our childhood, and be ethical in our conduct in every day to day activity.

If we understand and truly follow these basics, then I am sure we will be independent in all its meaning and our nation will rise and always shine at the top of the world.

Jai Hind!