Independence Day: What does freedom mean?

Through the ages, the meaning of freedom has evolved. Ahead of India's 75th Independence Day, FPJ asks people from various fields and age groups to define the meaning of freedom for them

Neha SinghUpdated: Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 12:23 PM IST
article-image

Through the ages, the meaning of freedom has evolved. It differs from person to person. For one person it might mean no interference from others, while for another it might mean the right to make a choice. The meaning of the word also changes as one grows old. For a child, freedom might mean no homework and endless playtime and for someone older, it might be a symbol of breaking shackles that tie them down. So, what does it mean? Let's find

Nitin Singh, 19, college student

“Freedom is when you have the right to make the decisions in your life. When you don't have fear of anyone, you can live your life without restrictions, not like a puppet of someone. It means that you have complete access to your life. For me, it's like you have the driver's seat in your life. You can turn it wherever you want and it feels good.”

Shreejit Shelar, 26, writer and a wildlife photographer

“For me, freedom is euphoria or the adrenaline rush I experience while performing any task, be it writing or capturing wildlife through a lens. I believe it to be synonymous with decisions. We, humans, are known to be the slaves of our decisions, which are strongly governed by socio-economic conditions around us. I'm privileged to be able to write my thoughts and share my opinions freely. Honestly, I am glad to have received the gift of freedom that our forefathers struggled for. Let us hope none of us takes it for granted.”

Deepti Kanojia, 36, social media strategist

“Freedom, according to me, is a basic human right. It is a right that allows me to ‘let me be’. It is a privilege that allows me to express my thoughts without fear of being barred or censored. It is a blessing that allows me to make my own choices in any given situation. At the same time, freedom is a gift that needs to be appreciated and valued, which is why we should not infringe on the rights of others. Mutual respect, tolerance, and love for one another are the tenets of free existence.”

Dr Najeeb Sayed, 45, dentist

“Freedom, to me, is about human rights, liberty, and equality at the highest level. It also means being able to make decisions independently without any coercion or restraint.”

Monarose Sheila Pereira, 50, author

“Freedom is about the right to make a choice. However, the choice needs to be made with a tremendous sense of responsibility. Every choice you make has a direct or indirect impact on you and someone else too. Therefore, freedom is a big responsibility. It is not only about doing what you want to do. Your decisions impact your actions, and your actions impact not only your life but the lives of others too. Freedom is the basis of democracy. Therefore, for a good working democracy, we need citizens with a great sense of responsibility. The media plays an important role in influencing our thoughts and decision-making. For true freedom, we need a media that is free from all restrictions and biases and one that reports honestly and truthfully.”

R S Mishra, 63, professional

“For me, freedom means responsibility. I have the freedom to decide. But, decisions must be made carefully. It is my responsibility that I use the freedom I have wisely. Today, we have the freedom to do everything because our warriors fought for it. However, many youngsters don't know our history. It's important to learn that. We should be grateful to be born in independent India.”

Nandini Sardesai, 77, educationist

"Freedom means expressing myself, people having liberal views, and being tolerant. You have to accept other people’s perspective without any bias, irrespective of their community, religion, and caste. For me, that is the India of my dreams and that is the India in which I have been brought up. However, today, the mindset of the people is not the same as it was earlier. We need to change our perception and reach out with concern. Every one has become so techno-savvy and egotistical that the personal and humane touch has been lost."

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Sonal Motla talks about Husain's Gandhi and the concept of Shram Daan

Sonal Motla talks about Husain's Gandhi and the concept of Shram Daan

How Gandhigiri can help GenZ and Millennials lead happier lives

How Gandhigiri can help GenZ and Millennials lead happier lives

A deep dive into Istanbul's glorious art offerings

A deep dive into Istanbul's glorious art offerings

From sexism to lack of support, female entrepreneurs talk about their journey in business world

From sexism to lack of support, female entrepreneurs talk about their journey  in business world

Here's how household chores help us to de-stress

Here's how household chores help us to de-stress