Freedom

Every year, unfailingly, on 15th of August,
we retell the tales of our freedom struggle.
71 years ago, on this day,
newspapers carried headlines in bold,
‘Independence Dawn’
‘The battle won’
and
and
‘Sovereign India born’.

But ask about freedom of religion to the 17 year old, whose life was subjected to his religious preferences. The mob did not even see it as an offence. The 17 year old, who wasn’t even given a chance to say his last goodbye. With whose dead body, the hope of a secular India died.

Ask about freedom of speech, to those whose souls burn with guilt every night, for not fighting against violence and injustices. Who let their voices get suppressed, for they have a family waiting to be fed.

Ask about freedom of profession to the Muslim father who soiled his whole day to feed his child! Only to find in the evening that his home was burnt down alive. Because in front of his residence, a malnourished cow had died.
Who is to guarantee freedom, when our law and order is itself corrupt? When culprits roam around unarrested and victims get ostracized?When justice is delayed and sometimes denied?

They say children are the pillars of our nation. Ask them if they can achieve freedom when they grow up. When they are robbed off their childhood and are deprived of education. When they roam around begging on the street, without even a sandal on their tiny feet.

Even after 71 years, why it is still a distant dream? Why don’t for these issues the so called ‘nationalistic enthusiasts’ scream?

Stubbornly optimistic, a listener of the universe and follower of my dreams. Coffee, smell of new books, long walks, old melodies, good sense of humour, and poetry light me up. I want to be happy when I grow up.

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