That is what true liberation is about: the freedom to dare to live. And an India that gets younger by the day has no time and energy to waste on pleasing the purists.
We are confident enough to make our own rules and live life on our terms. Which is why liberation holds different meaning for different people. For many, it is the will to rebel without a cause, for some it is the courage to fight for a cause, and for you and me it is just a reason to be what we please.
The salvation seekers: Says actress Pooja Bedi, whose bold and daring attitude had made her the sex symbol of the ’90s, “Liberation is not just about becoming a democratic country. There’s more to it. We have become regressive over the years. We have given the world Kamasutra, the phallic lingam and Khajuraho. Yet, we have moral policing.”
But for filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who has an opinion on anything and everything, liberation is a romantic notion, a utopia, a high sounding concept.
“It is like a mirage. It is more about degree of freedom within a prism, one can widen the walls a little but can never get out of it.” He says, “Unlike the normal notion, sexual promiscuity is not a sign of being cool.” Coming from someone like Mr Bhatt, it sounds incredible, keeping in mind his own public image.
The ground workers: However, there are others like actor and model Milind Soman, who is best remembered for the Tuff ad where he posed nude with Madhu Sapre and a python, has a much progressive view on the issue.
He expects and is also willing to put in his share to achieve the desired goals, the real reason to be.
“Liberation means better facilities, better infrastructure and probably a better lifestyle because it is giving opportunities to corporates and entrepreneurs to co-operate with the government, reducing their burden which will in turn help them focus on the larger issues.”
For others like adman Prahlad Kakkar, for whom liberation is a word associated with fairer sex for some unknown reasons, believes, “If I was women, liberation to me would be burn ing my bra.”
But Mr Kakkar, does it mean the same to you as a man?
The realists: Shooter Anjali Bhagwat, who brought laurels to the nation on numerous occasions, says, “Liberation is to be able to do what you actually wish to do.” For most of us, that is the true spirit of liberation, both in letter and word.
Why can’t we just break free from the barriers and prejudices that force some to hide behind the closet? The hypocrisy, double-standards and forced notions stop us from being what we are, Bhatt says, “We can be liberated in true sense only when we are able to free ourselves. As life is nothing but a journey without a full stop.” So this Independence Day, let us just celebrate freedom by daring to be ourselves.