There is a difference between Independence and Freedom. What we have been celebrating is the independence of India from a colonial foreign rule whereas all this while it has been under the slavery of our own people. Yes, politicians are Indians, MPs are Indians, our PM is an Indian, but do we feel free? Do we feel we have freedom?
Freedom is not just freedom from foreign rule. Freedom means freedom to think our thoughts, follow our dreams, follow our passions and intuitions, freedom from the ego, from fear, freedom to embrace love, embrace ourselves who for we really are. Freedom means to honour ourself, our language, traditions, knowledge, wisdom. Freedom means to recognize the inherent godliness and the goodness in all of us irrespective of nation, state, culture, or religion. Freedom means one has the ability to celebrate every day, every occasion without any thoughts of prejudice or belongingness.
You are free when you can express yourself, when you can accept yourself for you are. Freedom just does not mean saluting the flag or singing your national anthem, freedom means saluting the spirit of sacrifice that went behind the effort so you can salute your flag and sing your national anthem instead of someone else’s today. Freedom means you respect not only your flag, but every flag that exists in this world and universe.
Freedom will be when a child is free to choose the way he/she wants to live, freedom will be when a girl can move about freely without the fear of being molested, freedom means there is a belief and faith that if something goes wrong it will be remedied and justice will be done, freedom will be when there is a belief that nothing will ever go wrong.
Freedom is not merely in the singing of national anthem and waiving your flag, freedom means that we understand that this world belongs to us and we belong to this world. freedom means to see the world not as divided by boundaries, but as united in love. Earth is not a collection of countries, it is one whole planet divided by the egos.
The day we are able to see ourself in everyone else, that day we will be free.
On this Independence Day, my prayer for all is
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Om, May All become Happy,
May All be Free from Illness.
May All See what is Auspicious,
May no one Suffer.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
Happy Independence Day!