The glow of Independence Day of our nation was an opportune moment for deep reflection. What we celebrated was not the culmination or climax of having obtained freedom, but only a process. The last 65 years of its remembrance were years when soul-searching was needed to be done. As a nation and individually we ought to have turned to lamentation. A time given to see where we had gone wrong. A moment of mourning the loss of not having done what was expected of us in our country, family or workplace.
Freedom in reality can never be won completely. It is an evolving phenomenon. People may claim to have won freedom in whatever way, but the sad truth is that until every human heart evolves and changes, freedom would seem to be quite out of reach. If we may put it another way, freedom from oppression and bondage of every kind, ought to be every mortal’s dream and reward. But it is not yet complete, as it is being prepared. Through violent upheavals and painful processes it is being shaped and moved towards its final perfection.
The violence and upheavals are caused due to the misuse of freedom in the world, a hell on earth. It was C.S. Lewis, a famed author who wrote ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts on His megaphone to rouse a deaf world’. Divine powers do intervene in the affairs of the world through people, speak through everyone’s conscience, but how many are listening? The reason why lamentation is called for is because the very freedom we enjoy could become counter-productive. Sadly, with this freedom we can stifle our conscience or go against it. Justice is practised in our hearts when conscience is listened to and acted upon. Individual justice is the choice one makes to put right what one’s conscience says is wrong.
Here are some points to ponder upon for lamentation as we journey towards true freedom. Lament for leaders who claim to be listening to their conscience but do not act on it. Those telling a whole heap of lies to fool the people. We cry for governments which manipulate top public officials and get dubious characters to serve their self-interest by withdrawing legal cases and offering perks and privileges instead. Lament for those who misuse their freedom to be promiscuous, dishonest, selfish or egocentric. Lament for those who are denied their rights to live on equal footing as those enjoying every benefit and blessing of the land.
May our children receive the legacy we ought to give them. The freedom to be won by being true to the conscience.