Over the past few decades, the meaning of Independence Day has changed, especially for school and college students. While some feel the country cannot be truly free because of corruption, others take pride in India’s ­achievements. Here’s what they had to say.
Yamini Verma, a student of Shri Ram College of Commerce said, “Independence for me is liberty of choice, technological freedom and advancement in technology. To me, this day is much more than merely celebrating the anniversary of India’s freedom. It’s time to ponder over reasons due to which our country is lagging behind. Social evils like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and inequality still prevail in our society.”
For Tashmeet Singh, a BCom student from Delhi University, the whole spirit of patriotism is a reminder of the country’s freedom struggle. “What counts is being free from the restrictions imposed by parents and being able to take my own decisions. Independence Day to me as a child was all about flying kites, relishing sweets and having fun. But now, I have realised that there’s a larger picture to it - which is to protect the country from any evil, be it international or domestic. There are others who are disillusioned by the system.
Arth Gupta, a first year student, says, “Unless we are free from the shackles of casteism, female foeticide and corruption, celebration of Independence Day every year will just be a ritual. We got independence at the cost of thousands of lives. We should respect the freedom and put our country before anything else.”
One should be independent in the real sense of the word, says Tushar Yadav. “I need freedom from the stereotypical views of this society. I want to live in an India where I’m not surrounded by people who are judgmental of every decision I make. For India to grow, we need to get rid of all preconceived ideas of caste, race or gender and treat everyone as equals.”
Yadav says , “Can we truly call ourselves a free and independent nation when more than half of our population struggles for two square meals a day? Independence Day should be a reminder, not of whatever little we have achieved up till now, but of more essential things that we still haven’t.”