50% Discount on Mobile Phones, 30% on TVs, and 10% cash back on anything you buy in this Freedom Sale Bonanza! open any newspaper and you might mind a full page dedicated to buying consumer goods from frying pans to flip flops, from mops to mobiles, or from cash backs to credit cards, everything has a price tag attached to it, ironically for something that is priceless: Freedom.
On the cultural front, young kids dancing to Desi Hip Hop lyrics or Zumba dancing to Shahrukh’s Indiawaale song in society buildings, young couples giggling on whatsapp jokes, middle aged men, networking and or showing off their corporate logos and their wives typically bitching about their mother in laws and the elder generation lamenting on how the country is headed nowhere!
The flag is hoisted amid cheers and claps, followed by the national anthem. 52 seconds of patriotism….and you are done for the day. Party begins. DJ’s turn on the music loud. Hip Hop or Rock, Bollywood or Rap, numbers are belted out one after the other.
Tipplers start looking at their watches, the beer is getting too chilled in the freezer, need to fix it soon. After all, their Freedom plan began yesterday night, standing in the long queue to stock up for the dry day. It’s time to relax with the family or friends. The “chakhnas ” are ready and the cards come out. The “serious ” television news is muted with a lonely flag fluttering as a logo in the background.
The malls are full, brimming with Freedom Sales, stores doing brisk business and people flocking to the deals like this is their last day of freedom.Intellectuals debate on television and repeat the above albeit pooh pooing the rest of the country. And then there are the ignorants. Nothing has changed for them. They were born into freedom, so what is the big deal. Who cares. For them, people simply over reacting.
So I ask the question to myself, what is wrong if people want to remember Freedom as a happy day? Their day of fun and frolic? Does freedom of expression need to be defined? Or does the government need to lay down rules of celebrating Independence Day? Or is it just left to the soldiers remind us that we have freedom because of their sacrifice and dedication at the borders?
If 52 seconds of patriotism is what we all care about then why declare it as a national holiday? The parameters of securing freedom remain unchanged even today. Soldiers sacrifice their lives defending the borders. It costs them and their families a price which no Freedom sale can replace. Freedom is not for sale, ever.