The entire nation is set to rejoice in the fervour of 74th Independence Day, as we celebrate India's freedom from the clutches of oppressing British rule. However, the definition of freedom seems to be changed, as the coronavirus pandemic has upended life in many ways.
This Independence Day, we asked celebrities from the showbiz industry to explain what freedom means to them in today's world and what are the things they would like to be free from.
Saba Saudagar (Last seen in ALT Balaji's 'Booo Sabki Phategi'): This year, freedom has redefined itself to the point where crossing our own doorsteps without any fear and hesitation is the epitome of being free. Who had ever thought that something like staying out in public post 9 pm would be a luxury that we all would be looking forward to? I feel, 2020 has taught all of us that freedom is more of an emotional concept than a physical or a political one. Having witnessed and survived so many unprecedented tragedies this year, I think it would be apt to quote my favourite American science fiction author Robert A Heinlein,
"You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once."
Seerat Kapoor: I wouldn't say the definition of freedom has changed per say, however it has most certainly become clearer. Freedom to me is more than just a power. The ability to use this power responsibly is freedom in its truest sense.
Tanuj Virwani (Last seen in ALT Balaji's 'CODE M'): Over the years, India has become a lot more open and democratic as a society. Be it a citizen living in the city or a small town, they can now express themselves and aren't scared of the consequences. This is what I believe democracy is and what the true meaning of freedom represents. I think it's a bit of a no brainer that we all want to be free of the coronavirus. Having given the world and its people so much of pain and suffering, I really hope that we find a cure so that we can go back to what life used to be before the lockdown.
Sahil Shroff (Last seen in ALTBalaji's 'Baarish'): The definition has changed only in the way that the value of freedom has been amplified than it was before. Whether it's this generation or the generation before – we have taken freedom for granted without realizing how it would be to have your life at-risk all the time. I feel, now all of us will be more grateful and respectful towards what we have in the name of freedom and value it even more. I would like to be free of the suffering that has consumed the world, all around. On a personal note, I have used this time to free myself of all that I needed to.
Jubin Nutiyal: It's definitely a critical situation and things have changed a lot, but then I have faith that everything will fall in place. As far as the lockdown due to COVId-19 is concerned, I believe in looking at the brighter side. I am growing as a human being. I am presently in between forest and the mountain, living in a cottage with my family and we are definitely reconnecting. This is what freedom means to me. To all the people who are troubled with the thought of lockdown, I would like to tell you that this is the time to connect back to your roots because your roots are and will always be your strength.
Shilpa Rao: I believe freedom is not about what you want or what you do, rather, it's the power to say what's in your mind. It's the ability to question your government. Looking at the current situation, we need to act like responsible citizens and do our bit. Besides, it's high time that we start valuing things we have.