Despite 60 years of freedom from British rule, we Indians still face problems that thwart us from feeling proud of our nationality. Gradually, some of these challenges have even changed the meaning of Independence for us. Some eminent people of tinsel town spoke to us about what Independence means to them.
I do not celebrate our Independence on August 15 or January 26. All the 365 days of the year are days of Independence for me. In fact, we Indians are not independent in the real sense. And most of our failures come from the habit of not sharing each other's problems. If we find anybody in trouble, we stay away and watch from a distance. We do not bother until and unless our own family, friends or relatives are involved. Is this what we call Independence? Till there is no change in Indians in this regard, Independence is quite meaningless to me.Firoz Abbas Khan (Director):
What does Independence mean to me? It's really a tough question. Independence is responsible for whatever we are today. Only a confined person can understand the true worth of independence. Although we are going to celebrate the 60th year of Independence, there still are some hurdles that restrain us from becoming free Indians. One big issue is that most Indians are still deprived of social and economical freedom. Till we get rid of these obstacles, Independence will remain incomplete for us.
Rituparna Sengupta (Actress):
Independence Day is a symbol of our strength and pride, earned after the sacrifice of several lives. Obeying the Independence means honouring those immortal people. Life is so fast-paced these days that we don't remember these heroes every day. On August 15 and January 26, we get the opportunity to pay homage to our leaders and pioneers.
We were not present when India got her independence. Hence, we would not be able to understand its real value now. Back then, our freedom fighters had to fight for it. Now, we take it for granted. We are in the 60th year of our Independence, but frankly speaking, we are not yet independent. We are living with a "this is how it happens" outlook. Helping somebody is considered another way of accepting problems. Till we understand the meaning of unity and share each-other's problems, we won't get real Independence.
Shefali Chhaya (Actress):
Independence is our basic need. Today, it's impossible to think of a life without freedom. That's why our freedom fighters fought so hard to get our birth right. To me, freedom of thought and expression is much more important than physical freedom. Freedom of thought allows freedom of dreaming. And only when we dream, will we try to fulfill them. We are still dealing with problems like corruption, dowry and foeticide in our society. Alhough these are not happening in every home, the exceptions are numerous enough to thwart the development of our country.
Independence is as important as breathing. At the same time, it's necessary to continue struggling to enjoy freedom. Although we have been independent for 60 years now, we are still facing social problems, unemployment being the worst, because it's directly connected to one's disposable income. It's shocking that though we have enough jobs for the entire population, but still all of us can't find suitable work. The potential of our human resources is immense, but it is not utilized properly. As a result, neither is work being done efficiently, nor are people getting work.
With strong view on corruption, poverty, unemployment, foeticide and Indian Independence, these stars of Bollywood seem to have their feet very much on the Indian soil. Instead of being immersed in their blessed lifestyle, they think about the problems of the nation. But problems must not weigh us down completely. For every nation has its own set of challenges, progress can be made by finding solutions to them. Once we Indians unite and set our minds to it, the ending is bound to be happy as are most of our Bollywood films.
-Rajnee Gupta (SAMPURN)