It is 1:40 AM and when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom for the 66th time. As you cut out the din from the tv channels celebrating Independence Day in their own way - countdowns and entertainment shows, you visualize a blank screen staring at you. And in its state of blankness, it asks this question to you "What is meant by independence day?"
What does Independence mean to us?
There are facebook and twitter messages; there are definitely discussions and arguments on all available platforms ruing on where the country is and where it could have been had our founding fathers - to borrow a term from a country to which we have given so much or, shall I say, so many. Not to mention there are op-eds and blog posts (like these but better and beautifully worded).
I think most of us do not understand the meaning of freedom - either because we have never seen the opposite or because we are still not free. I would think we belong to the former category.
As an independent nation, we are very young. And, from the looks of it, we are not being brought up very nicely. We are afraid of using the "spare the rod..." method, lest we anger the human rights wallahs. We are afraid of encouraging open discussion within people, lest we are made to let go of "assumed" power over certain ways in which society has been functioning.
When I vent like this, it is not because I am pessimistic about my country's future. In fact I know someday it will achieve greatness. Every country goes through its turmoil. Following the laws of nation evolution, we will definitely become better - America like - as we would like to believe. But the difference will lie in the answers to questions like "at what cost" and "are we learning from the history of other nations"
It is not possible to understand the importance of an independent country by just visualizing the pre-Independence era. You need to live it to remember the lesson. On this Independence day, I just wish we love our country so much that we actually think about it in our actions.