Auntyji says, ‘Pragati bete, pragati will come if you young people strive for it. Hai na meri Jhansi ki Raani!'
Not quite yet
The big question beta is, are we really free? At best, a yes and a no answer. For sure we have achieved a lot of freedoms, got a lot to thank our forefathers for. Four fathers nahin, forefathers baba! Freedom fighters wale!
We have been given so many freedoms, we have won so many, we have claimed so many. Especially women, have struggled and had so many sangharsh to get azaadi for very basic things. Uske liye we must say a big thanks and a bigger shaabash. Lekin…
Not well packed
After all this yes we have so many huge and small issues that surround us – that even hamper our very basic rights and existence. Who we love, what shape and size they are, or we are, for that matter – all matters a little too much. Till today people have to run away to be with the person they love, being shunned and looked down upon because they chose outside their class, caste or religion.
Love and respect has suddenly no meaning when these issues raise their ugly head – like unwanted mushrooms of the rainy season, which look so mild but actually are a lot in a crop and secretly poisonous.
Not very right
Asal mein, I have a bit of a tryst with my own humour folk and equally with you young people. Waise to beta ji, your Auntyji is very young and savvy, but if I were to use a purana zamana people’s line, in my time beta frankly, no one even bothered who you were and where you came from, what your class was, religion was. No one even asked nor did we tell ki caste kya hai.
But today, your surname is bigger than you. Your address and car is bigger than you and your phone defines who you are. Yeh sab kisne kiya? How did this happen? Why did us –the then youth – allow this to happen? And why are you the naujawan, not bringing this rubbish talk to an end?
Why are you not taking big risks and pangas, to end this sort of discrimination? Where are your guts? Bolo? What is your own sign of azadi beta? What is your parcham (which means flag) by the way? I have mine, what is yours? Show us by ending these acts of hatred and discrimination, and then lest say with confidence, I am free. Arre beta, you have heard the famous pyaar kiya to darna kya, right?’
Not giving up
Chalo beta, its that's time of this month! Woh waala nahin silly, I mean Independence Day is here! And let’s raise a toast – be it in the bread form or the drinking kind – to freedom. To love, like and adore, anyone your heart and mind wants and desires, irrespective of class, colour creed, gender, religion with or without a disability, LGBTQI ho ya na ho, and all the other nomenclatures you can think of. It’s your life, embrace it. Let’s all bring out the Gandhi in us and I do hope that’s more than a photo on a note, beta.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed. This article was first published on 2018-08-14.
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