Vinita Jhawar

As I started writing this article I thought I will just start off with a simple definition of freedom. So I googled it [just to be politically correct with my usage of words] and found two explanations for it. Though logical in choice of words, their profound meanings were of complete paradox.

Definition 1:
Freedom is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved, and yet millions are
trapped in the mindset of the 19th century. More than 74% of Indians are literate, and yet millions are stuck in the vicious cycle of unemployment. Lakhs of crores are invested yearly to provide basic amenities, and yet millions are still captive to poverty.

Definition 2:
Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants, and yet when a woman raises her voice, she is considered to be devoid of shame.
The Constitution gives us freedom to speech, and yet when millions of students
came onto the streets to express their concerns in the form of protests, lathi charge was the only viable option. Indian Media runs free and independent, and yet does it not lose its soul every time it eats away in people’s privacy?

Two definitions but so many contradictions already! We are celebrating 74 years of Independence, and yet somehow the true meaning of freedom is lost on us. If freedom really means not being imprisoned, then why do all our actions get confined within on the thought of “log kya kahenge?” Does being free really mean doing whatever you want with no understanding of the consequences of it?

For me, freedom is the state of mind. Believe it or not, each one of us is caged
primarily due to our mental blocks. Right from our childhood, our lives have been defined for us. With every relation we build, we let others take control of our emotions. With every step that we stumble upon, we get too afraid to get up and walk again! Like the bird that has been caged for so long that it stops believing it has the wings to fly, we have become too afraid to simply let go of our inhibitions!

The day we get rid of those mental blocks, we will be free in the most real sense!
Repeat after me-
We are free, when we choose to be free!
We are free, when solely we are accountable for our actions!
We are free, when we are not dependent on anyone for anything!
We are free, when we live our life on our terms and not society’s!
We are free, when we choose to express our freedom responsibly!
And that’s how we become independent!

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