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Freedom's Just Another World

We still struggle with freedom—we have to defeat the sins within

Freedom's Just Another World
Freedom's Just Another World
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day. We should rename January 26 Freedom Day, because that was the day that India first celebrated its freedom, in 1931. The Congress declared itself free on January 30, 1930, at its Lahore session, with the adoption of the Purna Swaraj resolution. Gandhi gave the party and the people time to commemorate this moment of liberation, and chose January 26 as the day for nationwide celebrations. Not many now know why the framers of the Constitution chose January 26 as Republic Day; We have enjoyed more than 75 years of freedom, as against only six decades of independence.

The amnesia is not accidental. We celebrate independence because we have protected it with pride. Freedom is quite another matter. Gandhi gave us freedom from fear, but that was only the first item on a long wish-list. We have freed ourselves from famine, a remarkable achievement of modern India; but we have not freed India from hunger, illiteracy, communal bias against minorities, economic exploitation, injustice, the legal and social indignity suffered by women, casteism.

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