The many ideas of Independence

Freedom for me is having dignity in life without discrimination or barriers — to have the choice in life to exist.

Published: 15th August 2020 04:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2020 04:28 AM   |  A+A-

D Roopa Moudgil, Home Secretary

By Express News Service

Freedom means varied things to different people and to some, perhaps, it means nothing at all beyond being ‘another word for nothing left to lose’, as Kris Kristofferson so poignantly sang in ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. The specific freedom scientists value is academic freedom. They crave freedom from day-to-day pettiness and desire of governments or quick-fixes to myriad social problems — Amitabh Joshi, Prof, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru

Freedom for me is having dignity in life without discrimination or barriers — to have the choice in life to exist. Freedom is connected to our rights and we shouldn’t have to beg to have a decent livelihood. It has a lot to do with economic and cultural freedom as well. Freedom has to be for the entire society. Otherwise, one’s individual freedom will trample on others. Working in slums and for women was something I wanted to do and a risk I was willing to take. — Geeta Menon, homemaker, activist

TThe freedom struggle had various hues, dimensions and novelties. There were extremists, moderates and revolutionaries, and then there was Gandhiji with his mantra of Satyagraha and noncooperation. Today, when I look at violent clashes and protests, I feel all the more need for the principles of Satyagraha. We are a free country, but that doesn’t mean we are free to destroy property that belongs to all of us. Freedom becomes meaningful in the context of responsibility.— D Roopa Moudgil, Home Secretary

I belong to a generation that didn’t get to witness the Independence struggle. My great grandfather B D Jatti (former Vice-President of India) instilled morals of patriotism in me. I learnt that we must protect our Constitution, express ourselves freely and always remember our freedom fighters. To BSC, freedom means to voice student opinions without any barriers. There have been instances where the capabilities of students were doubted. But our goal remains firm. — Dhruv Jatti, Bangalore Student Community, founding team member

For the defence forces, national and territorial sovereignty are of prime importance. We swear by the Constitution when we join the Armed Forces, and our loyalty and faith are towards India and its sovereignty. The Armed forces are a microcosm of the rest of India. There are 15 lakh defence personnel, who come from the nook and corner of the country, and 32 lakh defence pensioners. Naam, Namak, Nishan of the country (name, salt and image) are the catchwords of the Indian Armed Forces
— Rakesh Sharma, Lt General (Retd)

Freedom means allowing doctors to treat patients with the best of their abilities. Doctors also need freedom from violence inflicted by patients’ families. It takes 6.5 years to become an MBBS doctor, 10 years for postgraduation and 13-14 years to become a superspecialist. Which doctor will not treat a patient to the best of his or her abilities? We need independence from being judged wrongly by the public and media — Dr Smitha S Segu, Head of Unit, Plastic Surgery, and Nodal officer for Covid, BMRCI

Freedom has all the more meaning now, after lockdowns and quarantine. There should be freedom from paying hefty sums for education and health services. Even the lowest strata of society should have the power and representation in the government, which is what the BJP is doing by sending representatives from small communities to Parliament. The country needs freedom to think freely and be intellectually independent, which the new education policy will ensure — M A Mohan, a BJP worker


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