It is our 70th independence day. I can’t even imagine what the life or world was 70 years back. Of course, I wasn’t there. I can’t imagine what emergency was like, of course I wasn’t there. But I can’t even imagine what life was 20 years back though I was there. It was a different world, I was a different age, everything had a different meaning.
What is independence? The more I keep thinking about it, the more it hits me. Is independence necessarily a great thing? Are we as humans born to be independent with no boundaries and nothing governing us? What does independence mean and why do we keep using this word as the holy grail of everything.
Independence for me is a feeling. It is not the freedom to do anything and everything you want at your own terms. Society means reliance and inter-dependence, it means ability to live together cohesively and grow. Independence is the ability to think beyond. Not being constrained by minor issues.
Strangely, that’s what our independence has become. Believe it or not, we have become captives of our constant need to ensure our independence. The entire stupidity around equality (from women empowerment to dalits to religion to everything else), freedom of speech, freedom of expression, these all seem to have become the reasons why we as a society are not able to grow.
We are now at the cusp as a society to decide the future of humanity overall. Will we be able to overcome our captivity and be true libertarian? It’s time to introspect. I don’t think I am qualified to give a one-size-fits-all solution but I sure think we need to move beyond.
The first step is for us to think about what independence means for us. Who are we looking at independence from?
The reverse will be for us to develop our individual identities and lives, loosely connected by this thing called technology with little to no human interaction. And its doable. Technology has matured enough that we don’t need to be physically present anywhere. We don’t really need to have physical contact. Sure, its workable, but is that the life we all want to live? Think and decide.