Freedom means many things to many people. When we spoke to some children in the age group of 8 to 14, we were amazed to learn the different meanings they gave to that one word ‘freedom’. Here they put their ideas exactly the way their thoughts arose in their minds…
Radhika Jain (8 years)
- “I don’t have to study.”
- “Being able to watch my favourite channel Star Plus, Cartoon Network whenever I like.”
- “Cycling in the morning instead of going to school.”
- “Eating as many ice creams as I want.”
- “Going for school tours. Only 4th and 5th class students go for tours. We 3rd class students are not allowed.”
- “Not getting up early in the morning.”
Saloni (11 years)
- “Doing what I like but should be right…
- I will never do anything bad against rules like corruption.
- I won’t go against the government rules but only if the rules are right. Out of 100 percent if 80 percent say a rule is bad then it is bad.”
- “School hamare tareeke se chalna chaheye.(school should run according to our method) Teachers should dictate slowly.”Damini Bansal (14 years)
- “Freedom is something different in everybody’s way of thinking – a student would probably like to raise a revolt against all the obnoxious rules of his or her school and as a grown up one might want to have lesser responsibilities i.e. being free of all reponsibilities.
- “Freedom according to me is the power bestowed in me to make some of my life’s decisions on my own. But as always this lucrative “freedom” comes with the arduous tag of doing it right.””I know it never comes easy but atleast I didn’t have to struggle with the enemy as much as my elders needed to and I’m glad to have it that way.
- “And this Independence Day will be a lot more different than our first one in 1947 when people actually came to know what it was like to be free, for them it was the dawn of a new day, it was a day when they could do what they felt was right and did not need to worry about the conequences of their acts in the near future. “
- “We have come far from all of this, we now no longer see the Independence Day as a day of very very great importance -for the students of my class (and most of the children of my age) the most important value is that it is a holiday.”
- “It is shocking but it is true the perception of freedom has changed over the years and one shudders to think about what will be its state some 20 odd years from now.”
- “Will people misuse their freedom or will they achieve greater heights? These questions will continuously plague our mind.”Arihant Jain (12 years)
- “We can do anything we want like not going to school.”
- “Everything should be free. We should not pay money to buy anything.”
- “Can go anywhere I want… to the playground when exams are on.”
- “Chatting on phone as long as I want.”
- “To eat dinner outside everyday.”
- “In school being able to play sports and not study.”
- “Flying Kites.”
Sujeet (11 years)
- “Political Independence- final throw of the British from India.”
- “Generally having proper rights.”
- “Not having any studies at all.”
- “Independence day is a holiday when I can do whatever I like.”
What freedom means to meFreedom means ' freedom of speech, freedom of expression, equal justice to all across the country irrespective of caste, creed, religion and harmony among the people of India, so on and so forth. That is what I was made to believe while growing up. Now thinking back, I feel disillusioned of what I expected of freedom and what I am getting from it now.
India became independent on 15-08-1947. Mahatma Gandhi, who is synonymous with the freedom movement and independence of India, is my idol when I was a boy and even today. While growing up I was proud to be an Indian. The Independence Day is celebrated as a festival in all the schools and colleges. On the Independence Day, I used to feel proud sporting a small Indian Flag on my shirt pocket and saluting the National Flag. A sense of emotion was felt while singing the National Anthem.
After sixty six years of independence, when I look back, I feel let down and disillusioned about what I expected and what is happening. The Constitution of India guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. What is happening now is the misuse of these two fundamental rights. There are hate speeches causing rift within the people and within the regions. Corruption is rampant in the society. I felt religion and caste will be no more of consequence and I hoped that there will be harmony among all the people. What I see now is that religion and caste play a very important role in the society. Day by day the people are drifting away from each other in the name of religion, caste and language.
The constitution asked us to cherish the ideals and noble thoughts of the leaders who were instrumental in bringing independence to India. Mahatma Gandhi preached 'Truth and Non Violence '. What I find now is nothing but contrary to what Mahatma Gandhi preached. No truthfulness any more and there is violence in our daily lives. I thought the justice is the same and equal for all us. Now I learned that there are people more equal than the others.
I expected the people to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. What I find is that women are insulted and humiliated. Mahatma Gandhi said that the real progress is when a woman can walk on a street without fear at any time of the day or night. Now women are not safe even in daytime let alone the night time. Children are subjected to all kinds of abuse. This is not the society what I expected it to be in independent India.
Freedom of India meant a lot to me before and means a lot to me even now. As a citizen of India, I have the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. What more can I ask for? Freedom gave me the opportunity to be what I am today, an independent citizen of India. In spite of everything, the country progressed well in all the fields. It is we, the people, who let the country down. Let us rise to the occasion to make our independence more meaningful. Let us think positive and act positive for the betterment of our country. I love my freedom and cherish it.
This my entry for the Independence Day Contest.
What freeom means to me