Mumbai, Aug 15: Freedom for women, of expression and of thought — that’s what a string of small screen actors like Toral Rasputra, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Karanvir Bohra feel can make the country truly “independent”. On the occasion of India’s 68th Independence Day, the actors shared their views on whether the country is free from all shackles:
Toral Rasputra: For the independence of our country and our fellow Indians, men and women have striven together for over 200 years. But even today, women do not enjoy the same freedom as men do. India is free but the women of our country are not yet liberated, and I believe education can help break that narrow-minded thinking that stops us from reaching our full potential.
Sunil Grover: Independence Day isn’t about just celebrating a holiday but about appreciating and valuing the sacrifices of all the freedom fighters of India. It also involves respecting every citizen of the country, regardless of their religion, sentiments or gender. Some day, we will live by the idea of ‘live and let live’ and come to the aid of fellow Indians in time of need.
Shabbir Ahluwalia: I believe India is still not independent in the truest sense. It is still not completely independent in terms of the mindsets of people. As an independent nation, you need a sense of security, and I especially mean this on behalf of the women of the nation. I think independent India will really come into being when it is free of corruption; the day India can make its people feel safe and secure and the day poverty is eradicated, it will truly be independent.
Neha Pednekar: I believe the day we achieve freedom of expression, in the form of equality irrespective of caste, creed, sexuality or gender, we would have achieved freedom in the true sense.
Sriti Jha: I don’t think India is as independent or as free willed as our ancestors left it to be. Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of independence, in his speech, spoke about a free nation that he envisioned. I really think we are still quite far from that India, since there is still a huge chunk of population that struggles for a basic living and a lot of people do not understand their responsibility towards a free nation.
Karanvir Bohra: If there’s one thing I could change about us in the country, I’ll root for freedom of expression, free will and being less judgemental about each other. The world is moving fast, we need to catch up and for that we require a revolution in the kind of thinking and mindsets to begin with.
Achint Kaur: With the way India has moved forward in over 60 years, yes, we have gained independence. But if one were to take a look at some of the disturbing things happening in the country, it is equally evident that we have miles to go before we can truly feel proud.
Roopal Tyagi: The country’s mass mentality has evolved gradually but needs to be liberated further, especially the double standards displayed by men at times. I know modern educated young men who still have a narrow-minded view when it comes to modern girls – it’s exasperating. I think above all else, mindsets need to change as soon as possible… the rest will follow.