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Do We Really Have A Reason To Celebrate On This Independence Day?

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By Anushree Gupta:

Adding another year of the so-called Independence. Ask yourself, what is independence? Is it just a norm to check any foreign control on the territory or is it the feel of freedom in every mind and soul? India, where ‘n’ number of people sleep with a hungry stomach, while the GDP keeps rising. India, where the mind is not free to think about development but fulfill the basic needs while the state policies keep modifying as per the will of the leaders. India, where a large section of children and women go undistinguished from the 17th century slaves while the snobbish markets contain all the lavish brands. India, where a man works all day in the fields yet he cannot be sure of his families next supper while the defense budgets keeps rising in the name of territorial protection. India, is feeling wonderful and enjoying the independence for the 67th time.

Independence Day

With such regressive status quo ingrained deeply, where a woman cannot walk with a head held high and a mind without fear, while the men, who, when are not busy in creating this fear, are always lost in finding ways to protect those women; what kind of freedom do we talk about? Is it just a connotation for democracy or does it really mean something more important. With this structural violence going all over and in this politically and socially corrupt atmosphere, it is sad to accept this as freedom. This is not peace. It’s a mere portrayal of the hegemony retained by a hand full of individuals who still rule the country. Do we really see democracy around?

It is time to understand, not to celebrate, but to work and to actually bring freedom to our motherland. What we have had for generations is rich and abundant. Yet in the recent past, it is fast degrading, be it our natural resources, our cultural traits, our heritage, and most importantly our people. We need to give them life, a new life. Let them feel the real freedom. Let the unsettling minds ease and rejoice, not on the occasion of national independence but for the independence of their minds and the hearts.

We need to realize that fluttering our tri-colour high is not just the celebration to acknowledge our victories and good times of the past; it is symbolic of every mind and every soul, not as ‘it is’ but as ‘it ought to be’ free and courageous.

Let Independence not just be a holiday in the calendar, but a constant struggle to achieve real freedom. Happy Independence!

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  1. Neha Mayuri

    Thought provoking! Very well written Anushka! It’s time for a change INDEED!

  2. Ridhi Murari

    It is definitely time to seek badlaav or change towards a new order which is less chaotic and root out entrenched negative attitudes.

  3. Mehul Gala (@mahigala7)

    Be Independent. Let’s be the change we want to see. It’s time we fix things.

  4. Aditi Thakker

    I don’t really know of many countries in this world where women are not made sexual targets, other than Singapore. I do not, in the least, advocate that a woman stay indoors to protect herself or anything of that sort. Is there really a way a woman or a man may be protected of sexual harassment in this country? Look at our laws, they are laughable. Even if you get convicted, you’ll be out in a few months. Our Presidents, over the years, have commuted the death penalty of several rapists who have also murdered their victims. What in our law, can prove to be a deterrent for rapists? There is no reason for a man not to let his wicked thoughts and desires run loose, when he knows not much harm will be caused to him. Look at the Delhi Rape case, the so called ‘minor’ rapist is only convicted of theft. What happened to the Rape trial? Redrafting the law is also no good, unless the judiciary, the government and the police are able to ensure stringent punishments for Rape. Death Penalty maybe.

    1. Raj

      Yes men are targets of sexual violence especially in jails. Nobody can say that the men in jail deserve to be repeatedly raped, whatever crime/under-trial they are in for.

      While not always sexual targets, men in general are far more likely to be victims of violent crimes and work-place accidents/fatalities. Societies around the world place far more emphasis on protecting women and children and the male unit is essentially considered as disposable. This was very acute in the past when every able-bodied man was conscripted in the army of the kingdom.

      Beyond that a man getting raped by a woman is not considered a crime since a man’s virginity is not revered and disgustingly the society assumes that the man got lucky; in fact Indian laws don’t even recognize this as a crime.

      I disagree that death penalty should be the only punishment for rape when the law is so convoluted and down-right sexist against men.

    2. Aditi Thakker

      I never said men are not targets of sexual violence. Read up. Could you provide some credible statistics for your claims of men being sexually targeted and raped in jails, victims of violent crimes and workplace fatalities, in comparison to women? Any published and globally recognised source like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International would do.

      If a man is proven to have raped a woman, I don’t understand what is so sexist about convicting him.

    3. Raj

      “In 2010, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 140,000 inmates had been raped while incarcerated” That’s Human Right Watch right there. More citation links here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_rape_in_the_United_States

      I was talking about convicting a WOMAN for raping a MAN, which is not even covered by our rape laws. Not to mention clauses like allowing only women to retroactively withdraw consent(but not the man), assuming a drunk woman’s consent as invalid (but not a drunk man’s). Aren’t these blatantly sexist? Which other violent crimes have such gender-related demarcations?

    4. Raj

      And work-place fatalities? Not only is this intuitively true, (Army Jawans, CRPF Jawans, policemen, Navy sailors, Air Force pilots getting killed, coal miners being buried alive, men being killed in road accidents while commuting to work ) there are statistics too. A developed country like US reports “93% of deaths on the job involved men, with a death rate approximately 11 times higher than women.”
      The US Bearaue of labour Stats (a Govt org) reports “In the United States, in 2005, men were 54% of the workforce but 93% of workers who died at work due to fatal accidents or violence”
      A US military report said that although only 5% are women military employees, they constitute only 0.16% of work-place related deaths, whereas men constitute 95% of the force and constitute 99.84% of the fatalities. Either women are damn good at cheating death or we are on purpose putting men in harm’s way much more often to defend the society.

  5. Anushree Gupta

    Laws cannot really do much good, in situations like these, it is the common man’s mind set that needs to be targeted. Law can only punish through sanctions. but the need is to bring change in the ‘practice of mind’. It is more of a public concern than a legal one. Socially maliginant ideas and the regressive community feeling we face today are more serious issues than actually punishing a hand few of offenders. sanctions may be made more strict, but such offenders cannot be checked without bringing change in their criminal mind set ‘mens rea’, i.e the provoking intention they sustain.
    However, methods to filter and make better the societial values and individual mind set, shall have to be worked on…

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