I would like to start the blog by wishing you Happy Independence Day! It has been 72 years since India got its independence. That is a really long time! We have been independent in a lot of sense since then, but there is still a long way to go. As a law abiding ideal citizen, today my question is – how independent are we?
Independence for me as a girl
Being a girl, the first thing where I questioned my independence even after becoming an adult was, the freedom to go out when I want! The reason I used to get was that it’s not safe for a girl to roam around at night alone. Isn’t it the duty of the state to make every citizen feel safe? Why aren’t the restrictions put on boys too? The standards are never the same.
If I start writing about the lack of freedom for girls in the society, then I might be called a “feminazi” (even when I am not! – because that is the latest trend). But, I will still list out some problems – lack of freedom to go out, wear what we want, choose to be married or single, have a career of our interest rather than what the society thinks is appropriate depending on the gender norms, and the freedom to choose if you want to be a mother or not!
We do know that every freedom comes with some responsibility. I won’t start roaming around in shorts when I will go to a wedding or visit a religious place. But, when I am imposed by things I can’t do, then reverse psychology works, and I really want to do that. It should clearly be not that way.
Majority of these are the impositions on us from society rather than the government. And, I really hope there will be a day soon when a woman will have the strength to be completely independent.
What is independence for minority?
I have never felt it on my own, as I belong to the majority “swarn” category. And, to be really truthful I never even gave it a second thought while growing up. But, over the years my circle of friends has been diversified and expanded. It was then that I realised the kind of bias my minority friends have to face. They have to go through extra security checkups. The behaviour with them changes because of their name/surname. They have to be extra careful while putting across their points in public so that they are not misunderstood. The people from minorities take precautions to avoid extra hassles with the police. They live with this thought process throughout their life.
And, then today citizens are kept in curfew, they do not have the facility to connect to others, internet, telephone lines have been jammed. All this on the name to be extra careful so that riots don’t take place. But, taking all the freedom from normal citizens on Independence Day for security reasons seems to be so ironic!
Independence for artists, journalists, writers
Normal people don’t want to take a violent route. They want the freedom of speech. They want to put across their thoughts in front of others. And how can that be done? With the help of writing a blog, painting a picture, creating some art. But, then it’s very common for artists, authors, journalist, activists to be trolled, leeched, slapped or even get killed. So are we really independent?
Independence for me as a foodie
Now, this is such a delicate topic. People are scared to talk about this. But, I think we food and secularism should not be mixed. As a foodie, I should have the freedom to eat whatever I like. It should be on me what I choose to eat or not eat. Why the government has a say on my dietary habits?
I am sure, I have left quite a few points. And, we, at Patna Diaries, are really hopeful that in future we will come out of all these biasedness, stereotypes, casteism, religious sentiments and feel about others as a human and treat everyone with humanity.
Feel free to drop in your thoughts in the comment section below.
Happy Independence Day once again 🙂