NOTE: This article was written by me for the newspaper Education Times (http://www.myeducationtimes.com/article/79/201208132012081314113447424da4e33/Don%E2%80%99t-fight-freedom-is-our-right-.html)while I Interned there. Here is the link to the PDF of the actual newspaper article(http://www.4shared.com/office/qcuYiRmz/TOIM_2012_8_13_31.html)
Freedom itself is a liberalised term. As a soon to turn adult, it’s truly an honour to be a citizen of the Republic of India. Democracy, in its essence is based on the expression of liberation by its citizens. Our constitution makers, inspired by this, gave us the Right to Freedom, which truly is a legacy we cherish. Nearly 62 years since its inception, liberty now runs through our veins. May it be a free expression of our opinion, a peaceful candle march against corruption, the ability to pick our choice of pencil or our choice of politician; we can legally do all of it. Sure many attempts at suppression have risen, but our judiciary has always quelled the situation. In recent times, the new IT rules proposed have drawn the ire of many legal experts as its terms blatantly violate our fundamental rights. I sure agree with them! No one messes with my rights!
As a young Indian, the ability to speak my mind, express my appreciation or more than often, my criticism, knowing that I am well within my rights to do so, is a matter of great joy. However, it still is a small ruby in a pile of diamonds. Unlike popular belief, freedom to us is not just limited to being our self. The knowledge that we can freely live our lives without the threat of unlawful conviction coupled with the unique perk of free and compulsory education (recently brought into effect by the Right to Education Act) from the age of 6 to 14 years, too factors in our umbrella of independence.
Often, I arrogantly questioned some of the government’s seemingly absurd acts such as the different set of laws in Kashmir and the need for passes to enter Nagaland, on the pointless basis that such measures took away many of our promised rights. But, when I realized their necessity and simple brilliance, I was humbled. Our forefathers guaranteed us our rights but ensured that, freedom never took precedent over law, order and most importantly peace. I acknowledge that independence is never restricted. Well not unreasonably anyway. For e.g. when I’m told to not drive before 18, I never consider it as curtailment of my freedom. Rather, I realise it to be a supplement to my right to a protected life.
My freedom is mine to choose and define. It always was, always shall be. But when it’s constitutionally my right, I can’t help perform a small jig of thanks every morning. Many people I know moan about how India has still not matured in terms of freedom. I simply tell them this: “Read Part III of the Constitution and ingrain it in your head because legally, we are one of the most privileged citizens in the world for nearly 62 years! If that’s not mature, then nothing else is.”