While the nation celebrates
another year of independence,
I fail miserably in convincing myself
to join in the massive celebrations.
I don’t get a sense of freedom today.
Ask me why!
I struggle to understand,
what being free means.
Freedom from foreign clutches?
Is that what being free means?

Am I really free?
If I can’t walk the streets alone
without being scared?
If I can’t express thoughts in public
without being condemned?
Am I really free?
If my decisions have to be manipulated
by the so-called caretakers
for their selfish gains?

And that’s just the beginning!

Anti-social elements
are at large today, more than then,
when strangers invaded our land.
Corruption, rape, terrorism, bad politics,
know no bounds.
Then how are we free?

I feel asphyxiated.
The air around is polluted.
I can smell something wrong,
happening somewhere,
in some corner of the nation.
And this,
so does not make me feel free.

And yet
I shall celebrate
the sacrifices of the millions
I shall salute
their grit, their aggression,
for giving the nation,
their everything
in exchange for its freedom.

For me,
Independence Day,
is, was and will always be,
about these great fighters,
their struggles, their stories.
The custodians of the land.
The land called India.
Here’s to their winning spirit

“Happy 70th Independence Day, India.”

~~~~~

Asha Seth