top of page
  • Writer's pictureVadhan

Are We Independent or Are We Just Free?

On the 71st Independence day for India, I am chipping in with this very relevant excerpt from Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke, my book. The debate between a senior Union Minister and our heroine, a Scientist, is, are we independent or are we just free?

I hope you enjoy it

“But didn’t we suffer at the hands of the princes and kings? Didn’t they tread on the people for their own riches?” she asked him.

“Yes, of course they did. But there is a much more important question you need to ask. What are we doing now? Are farmers not committing suicide now like they used to under the kings and zamindars? How much out of the government declared welfare schemes are actually reaching the target audience? Is there even accountability of where it goes? How different is an elected representative from a king or a zamindar in India, today? What are we doing about it? Aren’t we unearthing scams day after day, every month of the year? Is that not worse than it was? Ask yourself Sheilaji, have we really attained independence or is it just freedom from foreign rule we are gloating about?”

“What’s the difference?”

Choturam smiled sadly, as though it was painful to learn that he had to explain such a fundamental difference to a highly educated person.

“When an adolescent moves out of his parents’ house to go to college, he considers it freedom. He gets pocket money, does not have to give accounts for it, does what he pleases, and experiments with all the goodies his age and life have to offer. That is freedom, unbridled, uncontrolled, without a care for anyone and anything. Independence brings responsibility with it, not only for yourself but for the other independent people around you. It sets a value system which rests on respecting your neighbour’s independence and expecting him to respect yours. It comes with the ability to understand the rules of peaceful co-habitation. One look at the traffic management system in Delhi and you know a majority do not respect traffic laws, be it one-way roads, speed limits, lane rules, the list goes on. It is a singular indicator of how we treat our independence. Are we respecting and therefore acting as responsible people who value their collective independence? Or are we simply saying we don’t care about the others as long as we get to do what we like? We are dependent on a corrupt non-functional system that allows us to do what we want, just like the adolescent who gets his pocket money that he does not have to account for. And if that is the case, then Surya was right, we are too immature to be a democracy because we really are incapable of making a choice. Instead we choose those who promise to give us the most pocket money.”


  • Facebook
  • Instagram


Author Of Best Selling Fantasy Books

Subscribe to our newsletter

bottom of page