The ATKT.in Cypher is an exclusive community of some of our favourite artists and talent across categories of artforms. 

For the first theme of August, here’s the submission of Isha Mahajan from Vidyalankar Institute of Technology Mumbai, a member of the ATKT.in (Writers) Cypher on the topic – ‘India and Independence- what it means to you, personally in today’s day and age’.   

 

INDIA AND INDEPENDENCE

‘India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.’ The starting lines of India’s national pledge. We’ve said this pledge, recited it ever since our childhood and yet we hear about numerous rape cases across the country.

‘I love my country, and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.’ Is that why we read about minor cultural conflicts happening in certain areas in regional and national newspapers? ‘I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy.’ While writing articles on teacher’s day, we write about how we’re good little students who respect our professors and are grateful for their support and how often do students still make fun of their professors? ‘To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion.’ Brainwashing. Really, how often do people migrate to other countries in better hopes of income? Give away their talent to other countries without a second thought?

We just celebrated our 71st Independence day on 15th August 2017. A day celebrated by Indians to commemorate the nation’s Independence from the United Kingdom on 15th August 1947. We Indians fought hard for our independence; endured countless struggles to break the chains of metal that tied us with fear. We wanted freedom, freedom to live our lives as we please without exploiting it and today we stand together as free people celebrating a day that was of utmost importance in Indian history. A day that bought with it a ray of hope, achieved only because our brothers and sisters didn’t want our free will to be chained. But are we really independent in today’s age?

There are still a lot of families in India that don’t allow their children to choose their own life partner; where women are expected to return home by eight and men are expected to be the head of the family. Instead of asking women to be at home after daylight, why don’t we make it a safe country for them instead? And why do social norms impose upon a man to be the head of the family? Shouldn’t we take some pressure off their backs so they could breathe a little easier? Everyday greeting a person we use English language, our national language only comes out the most when teenagers use swear words. We are adopting western culture so much that we are loosing ours in the process. After all the struggles, we’re still following them.

When people across the world think about India, they think about spirituality, tea, Gandhiji, spices, some even think all females wear burkhas but that was a few years ago. Today’s India is more tuned in with the world then it probably was a few decades ago; courtesy of Internet.

Independence day will have gained its true meaning in today’s era when we will no longer be ruled by social norms, when women will feel safe after daylight, when we will choose Humanity over Religion, when we’ll be free to worship any religion we want.

We did get independence and we’re grateful to those brave souls who fought to secure our freedom; we wouldn’t be at this place if not for them but it is upon us to break the numerous barriers we face and overcome our fear. Then and then only will we achieve true Independence.