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75th Independence Day: What 'Freedom' means to five generations

While India ushers into its 75-year as an independent nation, each of its citizens perceive Independence differently.

Reported by: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya New Delhi Updated on: December 17, 2021 23:33 IST
What 'Freedom' means to five generations 

What 'Freedom' means to five generations 

India has turned 75 years old since its independence. From being a colonized country to becoming the biggest democracy with the rights of citizens being protected, India has come a long way. However, the meaning of 'Independence Day' is different for each person. While for some it is just another national holiday where they can relax at home, for some, it is a truly historic benchmark of achieving national freedom. For the generation of pre-independence, freedom means being able to vote, but for Generation Z, it means something else.

Here is what freedom means to five generations, who have seen and experienced different things in their times, that have transformed their perception of independence.

For Srithaja, a nine-year-old child stuck at home in a pandemic, freedom is simple. "I just want to ride my kick scooter for hours on the roads without being yelled at by my parents," she said.

While for an 11-year-old Hima, freedom is playing basketball at the local community court till late at night without having asked to leave.

Sowmya, a 17-year-old student who is yet to join a bachelor's program, says freedom for her is the power to choose whatever she would like to pursue. Citing pressure from family, friends, and teachers, she said that picking a course is the toughest thing she ever had to do. “For me, being free is choosing a career path I like, without being judged."

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Krishna, a 22-year-old chemistry student, differed. "Freedom is truly achieved when the people of our country stop questioning their practices and take pride in being themselves," he said. His vision of ‘freedom’ is when Indians can embrace their culture without having to question their identity. 

On the other hand, Nikita Deshwal, a 26-year-old corporate employee in Meerut feels that being free, in the present pandemic times, is to go on a long shopping spree without having an RT-PCR test in her purse. Anish, another employee based in Bangalore, says that freedom to him is to be free of the mental pressure he receives from his workplace and home.

"I think when a woman gets her family’s support in achieving heights in her career without being pressured to take full responsibility of her kids and household, we as a country will achieve true freedom,” said Manju Latha, a 41-year-old Ph.D. graduate who is currently a housewife.

"Even in contemporary times, there are people who assume having a girl child is bad. To me, an independent nation would be when all genders are treated equally and valued the same,” says Lakshmi, a 46-year-old Microbiologist.

The perception of freedom to all generations changes with circumstances. "I want freedom for my children to pursue their dreams without having the safety barrier pulling them back," says Ramesh P, a 54-year-old realtor based in Hyderabad. He wants his working daughters to feel safe when living away from home – that is what freedom means to him.

"Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake,” wrote Rabindranath Tagore in his novel-prize winning book, Gitanjali. For him, freedom meant that his countrymen were free of shackles and fear – it was being independent as a nation.

Surely, Independence means different things to different people. But, with freedom, comes great responsibility. Happy 'Independence' Day!

ALSO READ | Independence Day 2021: How did August 15, 1947, become the day India had its 'Tryst with Destiny'?


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