Freedom is right to choice, safety, dream

Published on Aug 11, 2022 07:05 PM IST

It’s easily assumed by the older generations that the youth of the country, having been born in a free India, doesn’t care for or value freedom and the struggles that led to it

On International Youth Day, we check what freedom means to the young (Photo: Shutterstock (For representational purposes only))
On International Youth Day, we check what freedom means to the young (Photo: Shutterstock (For representational purposes only))

It’s easily assumed by the older generations that the youth of the country, having been born in a free India, doesn’t care for or value freedom and the struggles that led to it. But this International Youth Day, as we speak to Gen Z, it’s clear that the assumption is far from true.

Samidha Shergill, a PhD scholar, says, “Freedom is being fearless. A woman shouldn’t have to think twice before stepping out of the house late at night. A man shouldn’t need to worry about being perceived as weak if he cries or shows emotions. A tourist shouldn’t have to be on high alert while travelling in autos or taxis. Citizens should not fear the police or the government. That is true freedom.”

Freedom is to not be scared of making mistakes. It is the ability to let go of the pointless voices in our heads that seek to undo our confidence. Mental freedom is the need of the hour, says civil services aspirant Mohammad Yusuf.

“Freedom to me is no judgement by people who matter and the right to decide for oneself. Being a strong and independent woman is already tough enough; we don’t need the additional scrutiny and restrictions. It’s our life and we should be free to choose how to lead it,” says Aradhya Sharma, a social activist.

Kabeer Mahajan, a student and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, says, “To me, freedom is being able to choose what I want or who I want to be with, without having to worry about social boycott or hate.”

“My retired parents not hesitating to accept financial support from me is what freedom means to me. My brother contributes to the household, so why cannot I? It is equality that can truly free the society,” says Nisha Singh.

Matthew Jones, an architecture student, says freedom, to me, is the ability to get employment opportunities to improve the quality of life and lifestyle of my family. “I want to be capable of giving them whatever they wish for and provide good healthcare facilities when required. Freedom is right to dream big,” he adds.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Subhashree Nanda is a Senior Content Producer. She edits for HT City, Punjab, J&K-Himachal and Haryana news desk of Hindustan Times. She occasionally writes on lifestyle, culture, etc.

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