Earlier today, on the eve of our 72nd Independence Day, the President addressed the nation.
Did you watch it?
Of course, I did not watch it live. I did not even know it was happening tonight. For some reason, I thought the speech happens on the Independence Day…
But, for the very first time in my life, I actually watched the entire thing.
Among his 21 minutes of remarks, one statement stood out in particular to me. I must warn you that the following is not a precise translation, but I believe I do his sentiments justice.
At the very least, I did a better job than the folks over at NDTV. Come on, guys. You are supposed to be the professionals, around here…
Expanding the extent of freedom is an unabating endeavour.
— President Ram Nath Kovind
Such alliteration… Wow…
Of course, it is news to nobody that we, as a nation, have a long way to go.
On 15th of August, 1947, we did successfully secede from the British Empire. I wonder if any country can truly be called independent, in this day and age, but we have maintained our sovereignty, which is commendable.
However, when it comes to freedom, we have a particularly long way to go.
Just a couple of years have passed since the JNU incident, wherein the government decided to arrest students protesting in the campus and charge them with sedition. Talk about overkill…
While the matter is still sub judice, the court asked the university to take no coercive action against the students, including Umar Khalid.
Naturally, the university responded by refusing to accept his PhD thesis. This was, once again, followed by much hullaballoo.
Now, Khalid was allegedly shot at just three days before the next hearing. Coincidence?
Maybe it was all unrelated… Maybe he is just unlucky… Who can say, am I right?
Of course, according to the National Crime Report Bureau, over 142 unrelated cases of violence against journalists have been registered in the past 3 years. One wonders how many passed not registered.
Interestingly enough, not a single murder of a journalist has been solved in the country over the past decade.
So much coincidence. It makes my nerves tingle.
Clearly, we have a long way to go. And a particularly difficult one at that.
But for now, we fly these colours. Let us talk more about it next week.