-By Shreya M P
I’ll begin with a very strong and beautiful quote by the Father of our Nation, Gandhiji.
Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?
So, what is the price of freedom? We can never scale it as it is the Price of Life itself. From the day life started on this earth, the fight for freedom was set in motion. If we read our mythologies, we will be able to see the fight for freedom and the price paid for freedom – lives, bloodshed, torments and the loss of everything held dear. The only difference being volume and intensity. The Pandavas lost all their dear ones in their fight for freedom. The price paid by the Jews for freedom from the Old Testament times to the recent 20th century was billions of lives, not to talk about their material wealth.
Independence Day is the right time to discuss the price paid by Indians for their independence.
All of us know that our country gained independence from the British empire 73 years ago. But our struggle for freedom was not only from the British empire. Long before the Britishers conquered India, the kingdoms in India were fighting against each other. The fight was for two reasons – some for freedom and some out of greed. This led to the death of many innocent people who may not have been involved in any kind of aggression. If these people were alive, who knows, maybe they would have propelled our country towards a better future. Maybe the Britishers would never have conquered us. As a result, the people of India had to pay a huge price for more than 200 years to achieve freedom, giving us the pleasure of celebrating our Independence Today.
Fast-forwarding to the present. Our country is very young. Though it is a rapidly developing country, we are filled with remorse. Corruption, theft, murder, abuse etc that are going on makes us wonder whether the struggle for freedom was necessary! The economic inequality prevailing in our country fills us with remorse. I wonder whether the huge price our ancestors paid for the freedom of the country is vain? Are we taking for granted their sacrifice, since this generation was not a part of it? Don’t we have the duty to uphold the freedom that was given as a gift by our great forefathers?
Now, it is up to us, the young citizens of India to make sure that freedom is granted to the people of India whenever and wherever it is necessary. We have to pay the
price to uphold the freedom and every life of our country. We have to uphold our dignity in being Indians by supporting and respecting the soldiers of today and their families who make the ultimate sacrifice for the protection of our freedom.
A beautiful poem by Pandit Makhanlal Chaturvedi has to be quoted here. It is called ‘Pushp ki Abhilasha’ meaning ‘A Flower’s Wish‘. The summary of the poem goes like this: A flower in a garden is talking to its gardener. It says it is ready to forego even the opportunity to be offered to God. It wishes to be thrown on the road, which the brave soldiers’ walkthrough, to lay down their lives to protect the freedom of our Motherland.
This is where our hearts should be. We talk about a free world, freedom of speech etc. But we should also remember anything unchecked will end in havoc. The same applies to freedom. Otherwise every traitor and terrorist can claim that it’s their freedom to do whatever they wish. Just imagine how this will affect our freedom. The price of freedom we have to pay today is a part of our freedom itself. We have to follow the rules and regulations of our country. This is how we uphold the hard-earned freedom of our country.
Being a part of this generation, I wish to work for my country. I did dream of going to another country and work. This dream is the price I am willing to pay for the freedom that my country gave me as a privilege. I love my country!
LONG LIVE OUR COUNTRY AND ITS DEMOCRACY!
(The entry got second prize in the competition, The Price of Freedom, organized on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day.)