Breaking Through by Shanaya Stephens

Breaking Through by Shanaya Stephens - Peaceful Writers International

With 75 years of freedom, we stride in the ultimate pride and glory of being the largest democracy the world has ever seen. India is not just another country. It is an emotion of the 1.2 billion people and an intimate bond that they share with the soil. India is not a mere developing economy. It is a pitcher full of hope, a dream carved years ago by men who were not afraid to die for it and beauty to be turned into a magnificent reality. India is a wonder by itself and a hopeful, magnifique phenomenon in transit.

India has its own share of history and quite remarkably, a unique one. From being the mother of some of the best, reigning dynasties to attaining the title of Golden Bird; it thrived with supreme grandeur. The Golden Bird caught the eye of many. Being held captive by a few of her admirers.
As years passed by, in the clutches of slavery and British dominance, the Golden bird was deprived of its riches and wealth. But then, all good things find a way back to you and so they did. With selfless sacrifices, a clear vision and the thirst of freedom, India set free from the cages that binded it for more than 200 years. The golden bird; now only a hopeful parakeet, ready to fly again with the power that was vested by the dreams and visions of those who shared the holy land of Sindhu. It was drained off the wealth but fueled with stupendous hope, of a better tomorrow.

India today is undoubtedly flourishing with the enthusiasm of the youth population, an emerging plethora of multinational industries, a mine to earthly riches, a beautifully growing economy and the hub for an innovative culture. But, every coin has two sides. With roses, there are thorns.
India has made remarkable progress in its Human Development Index over the years. Though, it may only be the tip of the iceberg. There are corners in the Indian streets where the power cut enforces tiny dreams to study under oil lamps, scared girls hoping to reach their homes safely, a boy who is looked down upon because of his skin tone and a mother who had to give up her maiden necklace to afford education for her kids. With years of sacrifices and hard work, we stand with the ultimate question- 'Are we really free?'

I have known people, being victims to the slavery of the lethargic and never changing systems and rules that were supposed to protect their freedom. A girl with a merry smile and hopeful dreams; falling prey to the demons, robbed of her 'dignity; as society calls it, killed herself in a suicide attempt, just because her father thought that the media is nothing more than an RTP based business. A boy, young and equally able losing his seat to an OBC or SC/ST candidate, not because he failed to study hard but because he carried a surname that couldn't surpass his abilities with his hard work in comparison to a caste certificate. A young woman, catcalled in broad daylight; only to be sued because the roadside punk was related to some politician. People are watching and recording heinous crimes and all they have to offer is a buzzing social media post. Are we all but flesh and bones and sizzling social media posts? When I walk by, on a Sunday afternoon of this grand Independence day; all I could see was a few of motors with small, waving tricolours and patriotic songs buzzing in social media posts and statuses. Should we be proud?
When half of us don't know what it means to be human when our duties are concealed behind our ulterior motives when we misuse our powers and rights...Should we be proud?

Freedom is liberation, not only of our physical boundations but of those circumstances and instances that deteriorate our emotional, social and mental well being. We may not be slaves to other people as much as we are slaves to our own thoughts. Elaborating on which, take a moment to ask yourself, how many times have we judged the boy who scored a 60% on boards? Or that afternoon when we refused to intrude when a local rowdy was chasing that little girl? Maybe when we told our daughters not to stay out too late and forgot to tell our boys that consent matters! And that one time when we joked about boys getting raped, knowing how inhumane it was? We blamed society for the demons that prevailed. We blamed the government. We blamed the authorities. All we did was blame and nothing more...We shout out campaigns letting the everyday instances of injustice slip by. Letting a few greedy benefactors use us like puppets. We are the prey as much as the predator.

Breaking through the barriers, with the years to come, perhaps we shall attain the glory of freedom. Maybe we will be more aware of the cries in the corners and perhaps we won't need long candle marches. The next time, perhaps we will play fair with the rules instead of calling it an ugly game. Maybe we all will be free?

©Shanaya Stephens

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