Today is Independence Day. These celebs know their history for sure. Thanks to mandatory history lessons in school, they’re familiar with India’s tryst with destiny and the freedom struggle that helped India arise to life and freedom. But what does freedom mean to them today? These youngsters working in radio and television talk about their idea of freedom

KRISH

Radio Jockey, Big FM

I guess I am a bit greedy when it comes to freedom. Like in stories where God gives a chance to ask three wishes, I have three wishes too. Just like Mahatma Gandhi fought against the British, we have to fight for certain kinds of freedom. Firstly, freedom from corruption. From the grassroots to the top level, we need a transparent system. Next is the freedom to have free medical care and the freedom to enjoy the best education. Every Indian citizen should be given a chance to study in the best schools, irrespective of economic or social background.

MALAVIKA MOHAN

Costume designer and anchor on

Yes Indiavision

For me freedom is about being myself and moving around without any fear. There is a lot of ‘social’ policing initiated by and practised by those who are more concerned about what is happening in other people’s lives than what is happening in their own families. They should devote that time and energy for other better things. Live and let live, I’d tell them.

DEEPAK KUTTY

Singer and anchor on Yes Indiavision

Go for it! That should be our attitude. There is a lack of self-belief amongst us and we need to break free from that. I’m saying this not just in the context of an individual, but the nation as a whole. I’ve seen how many talented people go unnoticed because of the lack of encouragement or lack of optimism. That should change, for which mindset has to change.

SREELAKSHMI SREEKUMAR

Actor and anchor on Asianet

To me, true freedom can be achieved only when women and men are treated equal; when women can stand up and say this is our right; when women of all ages can walk alone at any time of the day or night, without fear; when we have the freedom to act and behave how we wish to… For all that to happen society needs to change, to accept, to embrace the idea of equality.

KALYANI

Radio Jockey, Red FM

Freedom is a state of mind. It’s not freedom unless we have the right to choose without fear of the consequences and without the fear of hurting anyone by our actions. We should have the right to choose a career, a partner; we should have the freedom to go wherever we want whenever we want to, and so on. During the last six decades since Independence, freedom has increased, yes, but we still remain a conservative society. But the feeling of patriotism has decreased, especially among the younger generation. For example, when I went for a movie one day, they played the National Anthem before the movie began. When I stood up for it, I got strange looks from many in the audience and quite a few titters too. For many patriotism is now something to celebrate in films, I fear.

PEARLE MAANEY

Actor and television anchor

Freedom is something very subjective. For me, freedom is about getting over our fears. We are afraid to speak out. There is also a fear of failure, which is a big issue now. We are also constantly worried about the future. So freedom is something that has to come from within.

MEERA

Anchor on Asianet

Freedom means the right to think, the right to move, and the right to act the way we choose to. The freedom that Gandhiji and our forefathers went to all that trouble for was for these very reasons. The irony is that 60-plus years after Independence we, especially women, are still waiting for this freedom. The younger generation should bring about the change.