For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” said Nelson Mandela. In its true sense, freedom is about breaking away from all restrictions, celebrating struggles and leading the way for others. With ‘Independence Day’ just around the corner, youngsters talk about what freedom means to them and their memories of the Day.
As told to Tini Sara Anien
Fruits of liberty
Thibble, a second-year student of Mount Carmel College, says that August 15 is a reminder of the struggles that the country had gone through before Independence. “We should pay tribute to the countless men and women who laid their lives to free a nation so that we could enjoy the fruits of freedom. I’ve heard the poignant speech made Jawaharlal Nehru — ‘Tryst With Destiny’ — which heralded the golden moment. It instills patriotism.”
Where the mind is without fear
M Kanchan, a second-year student of Mount Carmel College, says that when she thinks of Independence Day, it is the tri-colour that first comes to her mind. “The three colours — saffron, which indicates strength and courage; white, which represents peace and truth; and green that indicates the fertility and growth of the land, explain the true spirit of our country. Whenever I see the flag fluttering high in the sky, I always feel patriotic and proud of my country and its heritage.”
Are we really free?
Vinay Sood, a final-year student of The Oxford College of Business Management, feels that while we celebrate freedom this weekend, there are many issues that need to be dealt with. “Corruption, poverty and inequality are persisting problems. Safety of women continues to stalk us . If our women cannot be safe in their own country, how can we say that we are really free?”
‘Be the change you want to see...’
Nabeel Ahmed Baig, a final-year student of The Oxford College of Arts, says that he will take part in I-Day festivities in all its glory. “Hoisting of the flag is a proud moment for all of us. But we need to understand the true meaning of freedom and use it to build a better nation. It is always good to remember the famous quote, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Every patriotic celebration is a good reminder of how one doesn’t need to wait for a particular day to be the change.”
Ignorance isn’t bliss
Seema Niroula, a final-year student of The Oxford College of Business Management, says that youngsters need to acquaint themselves better with the history of the country. “Some can’t even tell the difference between Republic Day and Independence Day and the relevance of both. Patriotism for many of us is a limited term. The youth needs to do more towards nation-building”
Upadhyay, a fifth semester student of The Oxford College of Business Management, says that I-Day celebrations in school were about bright uniforms and synchronised parades. “I studied in an Army School and thus our celebrations were with the soldiers. This truly reflected the mood of the country and the true spirit of freedom. Our parades were accompanied by cultural activities that included rendition of patriotic songs. The day was about remembering and honouring our true heroes.”