“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind”
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Independence is the freedom of the soul, a perception of the mind and a feeling understood by the heart. This freedom, perception and more importantly, this feeling is that of liberation, patriotism, self-dependence and other such things. When all such terms are put together and imposed upon the majority, it is a big responsibility on the youth of that nation and on those who create it. That nation is India.
“I’m proud to be an Indian.” How often have you heard that phrase? How often have you heard that phrase and felt the emotion coming through, like a quiver of arrows? Maybe once, maybe twice or maybe you never gave it a thought. Now that is freedom of thought. But, is it any good? However, with the evolving face of the youth of today, the insight levels of the Indian youth is increasing, and for the better. Coming back to those rare instances of pride being linked to our nationality, as a part of our identity, we begin to wonder why each and every one of us doesn’t feel that way, every single time our nation is being criticised.
Why is it only on the 15th of August or 26th of January we feel ‘Indian’? Why does the pride and patriotism towards our motherland only come out during an India-Pakistan cricket match? Why does the sudden realisation of being Indian occur to us only when we watch a movie like Chak De India? Why?
Vishruta Mattu, an economics student of LSR College, Delhi gives us a fair idea of a thinking man’s perception of freedom, “Independence of India from a common man’s point of view is not only the sense of belonging, but a sense of contribution and existence in every step that our nation takes.” She also believes, “We constitute our nation, it does not constitute us. Independence is not our right to express but our right to be heard.
Independence is not only smart politics, but being a part of a smarter society.” Lastly, she makes a vital point in saying, “Independence of our nation is not what we feel, but what we make of it and most importantly, independence is not about rights, but our duties towards the nation.” Kannagi Khanna on the other hand, hailing from Ahmadabad preferred to cut it short by saying, ‘Independence to me is having the most important thing in the world, i.e., freedom, without having to own it.”
With all sorts of different views and perceptions coming through from the young minds of today’s India, we had Karan Paul of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata being a little poetic about his viewpoint of the entire process of our Independence. He tries to convey to us that Independence is necessary to us as much as oxygen is, and hence, we must listen to what people have to say and then decide upon whether it is correct or not, or else remain a fool forever. Pooja Maheshwary, who has just finished her schooling from St. Xavier’s College,
Mumbai, gives us a completely different outlook to independence. “How often do we actually think about the sacrifice, the struggle that has gone into obtaining this freedom that we’re enjoying, other than while studying about it in history class? To be honest, I never do. Independence to me means nothing. Being proud of my country on Independence Day and Republic Day every year has become more than a habit now. However, this needs to change, and fast.”
“Independence is having the freedom of choice in  whatever I may do, in whatever I may wish to do, and similarly, freedom with reference to our great heroes is the biggest gift that our forefathers could have ever given us. The very thought that believed in making the future generations see the light of an independent India, was a great vision and expressed the freedom of the mind,” believes Dhiman Parekh, a B.A student of Fergusson College, Pune.
After covering various viewpoints and ideas of and about Independence, we have Robin Mathew Babu, 19, of Delhi relating India’s Independence to his personal independence. He says, “To me, it means the freedom to do what I want without thinking of anything and believing that no one can control the freedom of my expression and creativity. Not being in bondage, so that I can scale heights that I wish to, and that no external factor can control me or my thoughts, but myself. ”
Lastly, Akshata Samant, an aspiring filmmaker, currently nurturing her dream at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, believes, “We’re independent on a scrap of paper, but not independent in the mind. It may be easy to say that we are the world’s greatest democracy and yet not believe in it. We follow the western trends and feel proud, making our minds greatly dependent on the thinking of the west, and believing in the fact that we are modern. If we were independent, why would most of our country’s major decisions be governed or influenced by various external factors? What good is it to be Independent as a nation, if the mind is a prisoner?”
With such a lot of brainstorming over Independence and its importance in our lives, it is not difficult to believe that the youth are concerned about the issues of the nation, as long as they are given platforms. The need of today’s youth is to be heard, not passed off. The need of today’s youth is to be free, not restrained. The need of today’s youth is realisation of values and not imposition. The need is not a need, but a want that must be satisfied.
Jai Hind!