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This Independence Day I was sitting in my room trying to figure out the true meaning of freedom. Does independence mean freeing our country from foreign invaders? Or are we still being colonized in disguise? Aren’t we enslaved by our own people? Poverty. Corruption. Child trafficking. Rape. Child Labor. And so on and so forth. The list is pretty known. The atrocities have changed and the people inflicting it have changed.

But people are still being victimized. 

 

it’s probably worse than before because this time, we have no one but ourselves to blame. And I am not just talking about the politicians; I am talking about each and every member of this society. Because each one is equally responsible for how it has turned out to be.

 

A very basic example of this would be the way we treat our domestic and other help. There is this new trend in societies where they have a separate lift for the labor class and they are prohibited to travel in the lift meant for the owners. Aren’t we violating their right to an equal status? Rich are treating the poor the way Britishers treated Indians back then. 

 

I came across another very surprising thing the other day. A society with only Hindu residents refused to give a flat to a Muslim family. In a city like Mumbai! We need freedom from our own bigotry.

 

We’ve even carried forward their pass down of color racism. As per Indian society, beauty is defined by the colour of someone’s skin. Although it’s not an obvious violation of freedom, but the society is filled with such stereotypes making it a fairly unpleasant one to live in.

Another victim of our societal culture is the LGBT community. And the sad part is that it is not only the uneducated but also the educated who are part of this stereotyping. That seriously makes me question the kind of education we are getting.  

 

Recently, someone sent me photo on Whatsapp. It was a sketch of a woman bruised and wearing torn clothes running away from someone with a petrified expression on her face. The headline of the image was ‘After 70 years of independence, artist says he cannot draw India’s map better than this’. How are we independent when women cannot venture out of their homes without the fear of being harassed or even raped.

 

It’s not just the women; I feel the men are victimized too. They’re expected to get competitive degrees to earn a living for their family. If a man is comfortable with his wife earning more, he is not considered ‘man enough’ here. It’s so common to hear that a guy is not pursuing his passion because it doesn’t pay well. Aren’t these violations too ?

 

The things that I am talking about here are not even considered as infringement of rights by our society! Get the gravity of the situation. There would be millions of such little examples, which makes me wonder whether we are the victims or the inflictors? What have we made our society? Is ANYBODY in this country really free?

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