Freedom and Responsibility

73 years ago, India saw a unique milestone – the outcome of a long fought battle for freedom, from colonial rule. It was a hard won freedom, that took innumerable lives. Today, every one of us enjoys this freedom of being an Indian in a sovereign country.

On this occasion, it s important to reflect on what true freedom really means? Is it the right to go anywhere that one pleases, doing anything and everything one chooses to do, like spitting on the roads, destroying common property or even creating riots on the streets and taking up weapons freely without restriction?

No, certainly not, for we cannot enjoy our freedom at the cost of another’s life or another’s discomfort.

In true freedom, lies great responsibility – the responsibility that we owe to ourselves, to our parents, to our family, to school, to our teachers, to society and to the environment. Without being responsible citizens of India, freedom is meaningless.

Today, we are prisoners in different ways. We are prisoners to the expectations that other people have of us. We are prisoners to the luxurious cars, high end phones and branded clothes that we spend so freely on.

We are also prisoners to our gadgets, glued to the television screen and constantly looking at our phones. We are prisoners of the world of facebook, Instagram and twitter, where every little bit of our lives has to be immediately shared with the whole world. And so we lose sleep and also our ability to focus on what is really important. And so, when we are trapped thus, where is our freedom?

Let us take some time today to think about our choices and why we do the things we do? We must also remember that for the whole world to be in harmony, every one of its parts must also be in harmony – be it the bumble bees or the pandas or the tiger or the seemingly useless earthworms. It is when our actions impinge on the freedom of other creatures and beings that disharmony prevails. This is what we see across the world today due to the never-before lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that has completely altered the way we live, eat and interact.

Your freedom, my freedom, our freedom can never be won at the cost of others’ imprisonment and that is the lesson that nature has taught us. Let us on the Independence day, make an effort to think carefully before we make a choice so that what is right for everyone is done and not just what each of us wants to do. The sun and the earth don’t discriminate among al their creatures. It is only us humans who fight over our differences. Let us strive for a united India, and an entire community of Indians united by the vision of a harmonious, peaceful and plentiful world. Jai Hind.

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