Thinking of Pocket-Size Freedom on Indian Independence Day

A nation gets freedom from foreign yoke. That’s understandably a huge feat. Lot of resilience, persistence, and sacrifice go into making this happen. That’s commendable. Now what does a country do when it is left on its own? Find plenty of other reasons to stay enslaved.

Celebrations at the going away of whites didn’t turn our judgment fair. I wonder whether three centuries of subservience had rendered our minds so servile that we cannot think beyond the 2 km radius encircling us. Limiting outlook is completely of our making, I am sorry to say. After eons of taking orders and bowing down before the loftier lot, we suddenly somersaulted into individuals who cared only for their private victories.

We are so beguiled by the idea of happy hours that even the slightest inconvenience shakes us up. The speed at which our nation is churning out ever-whining individuals, it puts seconds into shame.

Placing freedom in the larger context of things is asking for too much. I am not a white-robed seer who is indifferent to little tragedies. Even I would have enjoyed freedom from garrulous neighbor, suffocating local trains, breath-taking (pun intended) dump yards, so on and so forth. I would have slurped every bit of it. But why would our craving for these pocket-size freedoms forbid us to aim for a larger playing field, a wider canvas perhaps?

Unlike Kahlil Gibran, who had “learnt silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind”, our populace hasn’t learnt to learn from the reproachful and the regressive. On this solemn day of Indian Independence, I have a request. Please enlarge the idea of Freedom, trust me it won’t pixelate.

Advertisements