general sense democracy is freedom, right? So If we are in a democratic
country, we are free. We are free to live where we want, free to take the job
we want, study what we want, follow the religion we want and we are free to speak our mind. There are
no if-s and but-s in freedom. If you are free, you are free. There are no
the backbone of freedom I would say. If we can’t disagree, if we can’t stand
against something we find wrong, if we can’t questions laws, if we can’t shout
at the system, are we truly free?
In my mind
a strong democracy is based on free flowing opinions. If a democracy can’t
stand opposing views, by definition does it still remain a democracy? If I
stand against the system, do I become anti-national? What does my disagreeing
with any system, any law or any decision has to do with my love for my country.
It still remains my country. I still love it. Do we never disagree with our
parents? Have we never spoken against our parents? Have we never walked out of
a room following a disagreement with our parents? Or even with our friends, or
anyone else? Does it mean we don’t love them? Does it mean we don’t understand
what sacrifices they have made for us? Does it mean we don’t want to live in
the same house? Does it mean we don’t cherish the relationship? No it doesn’t!
when we express dissent against any decision by law, we automatically are labelled
as anti-national? Then why if we stand merely for freedom of speech, we are
told we are not patriotic enough?
I love my
country. I am a concerned citizen. I know my rights and my duties (At least
some part of it). I am thankful for the freedom my constitution and law
provides me. And I still don’t agree with so many things happening in India. I
will question it and I will fight for my right to question and as a matter of fact, I stand by anyone’s right to speak. So I stand by
JNU when it comes to freedom of speech. They have the right to question and
show dissent. By questioning a decision, they don’t become anti-nationals and
neither do I, by simply being on their side.
But I also
believe there is a line which is drawn by every individual even when
exercising their democratic rights. I believe Afzal Guruwas a terrorist and whatever happened was right. I don’t
care if his family couldn’t meet him. I don’t care if he was made a scape
goat. I just don’t care! I care about the innocent lives lost. I care about
what the attacks did to my country. This is where I draw the line. If the
person standing against me still calls him a martyr, I will get angry. I will
be furious. BUT I will walk out of the discussion. Why? Because my opinion is
based on my experiences in life and I believe anyone else’s opinion would also
be based on their experiences, which will be different than mine. I don’t think
opinions are driven only through religion. I will always give anyone benefit of
doubt; at the least I won’t question their love for their country just because
of one opinion or their religion. Why is it so difficult to understand and follow?
India is a
country of Indians, not hindu, not muslim, not any religion. If we are Indian
citizens, we have the same rights. We belong to the tri-color, not to saffron,
not to green!
Note of caution: This is my opinion about the issue. Readers are welcome to share their opinions but I have low tolerance for rudeness. Please be polite! Thank you Read more about the JNU controversyhere
a place of comfort can be uncomfortable who would have known, thought Rashmi. It
was the same place where her life had started some 40 years back. The memory
was quite vivid in her mind even after so many years. She had worn a red sari
as customary even for a church wedding. She had told her mom that she hated
sarees and wanted to wear a blue dress. Sarees had never been her thing. She
had always been in love with long fitted dresses. How pretty her friend Cherry
had looked at her wedding she had thought. But obviously who would have listened
to an 18 year old then. She had worn the red saree and the heavy makeup, against
her wish. She was told what to do and she had done it. Everything had gone as
planned. She didn’t even remember looking at Prateek during the whole wedding
ritual. It was not important. Where she was looking was important. She was told
to look down, so she had looked down. When she was leaving her parents house,
she was told by her mom to follow her husband’s orders like she had followed
her parents’. She was told that the house she had grown up was not hers anymore.
She had soaked up every word like a sponge.
what she had believed for next 22 years. She had a good marriage. She had followed
Prateek like a shadow; hardly ever did she speak up. They had a picture perfect
family, till the day of the accident. Prateek was crossing the road when the
truck came from the wrong side. He had no chance. He had left behind a
successful business and two kids who were living abroad. They had come and left
within a few days.
was all alone for the first time in her life. She was 40 years old and she had
never stepped out of her house alone. It was a tough fight after that. She took
her time. Of course she was scared. Everything was new but everything was
exciting. She took charge of the business. People around her were surprised at
her business acumen. Within a few years the business was making more profits
than ever before. She had wings. She was flying. And that’s how she met Raman.
He was working with one of the competitors. They met during one of the pitches.
She immediately liked him and had her HR poach him to her company. This was
some 12 years back. They had been working together since then. She didn’t
remember exactly when she fell for him, especially because he was 11 years her
junior. Only thing she was sure was that they were perfect together; like two
pieces of a puzzle who belonged together.
living together for a decade they had decided to take the leap of faith. Now she
was standing at the altar, waiting for her cue. Soft breeze was blowing; it felt
like heaven was singing for her. The white of orchid around her was filling her
with a sense of tranquillity she had never felt before. Her fitted, long, blue
dress was something she had fallen in love with at the first sight. It was just
right. Everything was just right. It didn’t matter if her children were against
her decision. They were living their lives and she was living hers. It didn’t
matter if more people were against it than in favour of it. It didn’t matter
that she was 58. Nothing mattered except what she felt in her heart. She knew
this was just the first day of the rest of her life. And suddenly the church
band started playing “here comes the
This was her cue. Her cue to get busy living
or get busy dying!