Free Press Journal

Independence Day Special! Search for your personal freedom

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Ankita Das shows you how to break from the shackles of everyday worries and tensions

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear, read or think of the word ‘independence’? Just take this one moment and think about it. To some it may be ‘sense of freedom’, some ‘a day to remember our great national leaders’ and to many ‘a national holiday’. Yes it is, all of the above. But there is something deeper to think and evaluate and the moment is now.

Today through this article I would like to urge each one of you reading this to think about the word ‘independence’ and then together do our bit. No number of folk performances, flag hoisting events or one-day celebrations will bring a change. And what change are we talking about? As individuals are we independent? Let’s delve into the different kinds of independence and then, as a whole, lead independent lives contributing towards a better nation in our own ways.


True meaning of independence

The meaning of the word independence differs from person to person and every August 15 we talk about it in special ways. As students we are in the mid of month-long preparations to make school events, a grand one. As employees we attend the two-hour programme held on the office premises and some of the rest ensure to watch the live telecast of Independence Day celebrations held at the Red Fort, New Delhi and never miss the Prime Minister’s speech.

And then! The day continues at its own pace, not to forget the trending big sales announced online and at different shopping complexes. Trends also include theme parties where wearing the orange, white and green is a must, with fun games and tambola being the highlights of the meeting. Decorating cars with flags and wearing badges is also a part of it.  No doubt the spirit is high and every Indian feels proud and patriotic on this special day. That beaming feeling of pride is so heart-filling and genuine that it has the power to make great moves and thus contribute in the making of a better nation.  Talking about the different kinds of independence:

  • Mental Independence:Are we mentally free to even think about our nation or independence in particular? The answer is a big no. We are in a race everyday thinking of a better job, ways to earn more, dealing with work pressure and trying to bring work-life balance. Mentally we are so occupied that we don’t even have the time to think of our own selves. In the mind, there is a constant battle each day that when a day like Independence Day comes all we do is in advance plan the day to take a break from our routine lives. But then again the question is, are we mentally free? Is our life lead by our own thoughts? Are we still thinking what others think and living our life accordingly or giving meaning to our life? Let’s ponder for a moment and ensure mental independence.
  • Emotional independence:How often do we let others drive our emotions? Many a times we go through an emotional roller coaster ride and rarely manage to handle ourselves on our own. In most of our relationships we give others the right to make us happy, sad or angry. It is never a conscious decision but how the external factors drive our inner happiness quotient. The day we chose our own happiness and stop letting others affect us in any way is when we will be in a state of emotional independence. Be it work or relationships, we have to be involved, yet detached at the same time. But why are we talking about emotional independence on I-day? Because all of this contributes to the reason why we rarely think of I-day the way we should.
  • Intellectual Independence:We have rights but do exercise them in the most appropriate way? It is important to have our own perspective be it for work, a healthy discussion or life-changing decisions. At workplaces, employees must be encouraged to put forth their views and use their creativity to make the best out of themselves. Intellectual independence lets us be the best version of ourselves and thereby leads to making the organisation more productive and leading to greater heights. But do all sectors talk about the nation or keep it in mind while planning their goals? Are only the civil servants, Indian defense forces and government responsible?  It is important to keep the nation in mind in whatever we do which comes as a result of intellectual independence.

Because “I” in India makes the difference

Both India and independence start with the letter ‘I’. Hence, I as an individual have a role to play. So coming back to what independence is and how we can make the most of it. Firstly, it is important to understand that independence is not about the nation alone or fighting for rights by participating in candle marches once a year or protesting against the government. It is much more than talking about the social evils prevalent in the society or problems. Who makes the nation? It is each one of us who are a part of it. So both the good and the bad are ‘because of us and to one of us’. We together build the nation and make it better by contributing our own bit. Contributions are not always holding positions or making name for it but also walking in the shoes of a common man with a sense of belongingness.

Secondly, independence is a sum total of all the things happening in our lives and then our move towards the bigger goal. If we at our own levels work effectively then surely we will make a better nation. We need visionary leaders. Even if a person is a doctor or journalist, one should be a great one. If each one of us performs our job roles, keeping in mind the goal of our nation, imagine how rich the country will be! Sometimes our vision is so self-driven that we just don’t think of anything beyond. To go beyond, not all have to be Prime Ministers or MLA’s, just be moral commanders and match the nation’s interest with that of our professional and personal ones. And if not add to the nation’s pride, let’s not detract either. Until and unless we ourselves become independent individuals, it won’t be right to say we are independent. Let’s first be the change we wish to see in other! We can we will.