Hum Kya Maange – Azadi!

For Bhola Sah, the upcoming August 15 is the day when he will be spending the whole day with his two children and take them around Delhi. But he insists that it does not mean that Independence Day means just a holiday for him. Bhola drives an auto to earn his living and opines that albeit India is free from the clutches of the Britishers, yet it is a slave.

In a bid to get a permit for driving auto, he had to pay a bribe of Rs 2,000 and if he has to get a challan void, a minimum of Rs 200 bribe is demanded. The country needs azadi from BRIBERY and then only people like me can heave a sigh of relief, said Bhola.

August 15, 1947 is the historic day when India got liberation from the British Empire. Every year since 1947, the governments have been celebrating the day with fervour.

Many programmes are organised in schools and colleges to foster a patriotic mood among citizens. Even restaurants woo foodies with tricolour treats and TV channels bombard patriotic content on viewers. But is this actually meaningful?

On the occasion of the 70th Independence Day, I asked people across various strata to share with me their definition of freedom. I am mentioning a few of the responses, hoping that things could better.

Rupali Bhalla, a student at the Delhi University, feels that there is no freedom to get KNOWLEDGE. "I mean, the governments should at least make the University areas fully Wi-Fi enabled zones, so that it is easier for students to get information free of cost," said Rupali.

14-year-old Hardik says he wants azadi from EDUCATION DISPARITY. "Education is my birthright. Good education will open up a host of opportunities for me in the future. I’m not debating over good school or bad school, rather talking of a value-based proper education system, and the discrimination in education quality, which is decided by the financial status of any ward's parents."

Laxmi Narayan Bisht said all he wants is azadi from POLLUTION for his grandchildren Sahil, who developed asthma at the age of six. “Let the governments eat crores, but ensure that we breathe good air so that they continue to suck our blood,” said an irate Bisht.

"I wish we could get azadi from TRAFFIC JAM," said Shaina, who leaves her Gurgaon office and rushes to her home in Delhi as quickly as possible to avoid being late. "Only the world-class companies are there, not the infrastructure complementing them," complained Shaina.

Will we get freedom from all these problems is a question only time can answer!

Anyway, Happy Independence Day!  

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