On the eve of the Indian Independence Day 2018, there are many thoughts that crop up in my mind. I have immense love and respect for our country and to those who protect the borders every night and day. So, we can take a deep breath of peace and chase our dreams, our aspirations and all that we desire.
As much as I love my country, I dream of an India where women and men learn to treat each other as equals. How often I have heard –
- You are a woman, you should cook
- You shouldn’t be roaming late at night
- We belong to XX caste. Hence, we are superior.
- Omg, you are a married woman, you shouldn’t be roaming without your mangalsutra
- Oops! You are divorced. How can you even be happy?
- Why are you wearing such a short dress?
- Why are you dressed like a behenji?
All this makes me wonder. We have enjoyed our independence for all these years and may have taken many things for granted.
We think independence and democracy means –
- We can say anything we want to anyone
- We can easily judge people
- We have the right to be interfering
- We can dictate and define which tasks belong to a woman (and man)
- We can tell women (and men) what they should do or shouldn’t be doing in their personal and professional lives
How liberated are we? Are we still in our comfort zones where we see everything through our rosy tinted glasses? Do we honestly think our independence has given us the right to behave the way we want and do anything to anyone, destroy public property, and force our opinions upon others?
As we celebrate India’s Independence Day, can you truly say we have respected this independence and are mature enough to behave with integrity?
I know many friends who are still struggling to find a life of their own. Afraid of what people will say, they continue to live a life that is diametrically opposite to what they want. They are stuck in meaningless relationships. Doing work they hate. As a society, we have defined so many unwritten rules that people often wear a mask to cover their hurt, pain, despair.
Are we liberated or are we still controlled by the shackles of the mind?
This Independence Day, I’d like to hope that our minds are open to being more accepting towards others. We liberate our thinking and be more compassionate. This Independence Day, I hope we take a step to be the proud Indian we should be – one who knows the value of this democracy and treats everyone with respect.
It’s not impossible. But, I believe the change begins with one person. That person is you.
What have you done differently this Independence Day? I’d like to know!