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Heaven of Freedom

Heaven of Freedom

A poem/prayer for the 70th independence day (inspired by Tagore)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

Where no one tells me what to eat, or what to wear, or where to live,

Where cow protection doesn’t become an excuse to attack the weak,

Where no one justifies terrorism in the name of religion or azaadi,

Where dissent is not criminalized or treated as an anti-national act,

Where nationalism doesn’t become a weapon to pit Indian versus Indian,

Where the walls of prejudice and caste and community hatred melt away,

Where our diversity is preserved, not destroyed by religious extremists

Where we don’t divide our freedom struggle to suit ideological positions,

Where every Indian has equal opportunity irrespective of birth or position,

Where the Adivasi in Jharkhand gets the same education as the elite in Mumbai,

Where women feel safe on the streets and men commit to gender equality,

Where gay men and women can safely and fearlessly pursue the right to love

Where no farmer is pushed into committing suicide because of a debt
trap or a failed crop,

Where jawans are given their due and servicemen don’t have to fast to
get paid better,

Where the young are inspired to become change-makers and live their dreams

Where the corrupt are convicted and do not get away because of their
manipulative skills,

Where the hafta culture ends and the police don’t misuse their powers

Where corporates realise a social responsibility that goes beyond profiteering,

Where journalists stand up and show truth to power rather than
becoming stooges of the establishment or manic TRP warriors,

Where lawyers and judges fight for justice and not for delaying it,

Where doctors serve their patients and don’t exploit them,

Where bureaucrats become facilitators and not obstructionists in administration,

Where our netas realise that the lal batti doesn’t give them any
special privileges,

Where our leaders are not driven by self-love but public service,

Where promises made at election time are meant to be kept, not broken

Where we fight superstition and Godmen who claim to have divine powers

Where sportspersons travel to Olympics in first class comfort and our
officials stay at home,

Where a more compassionate society looks to reach out to the poorest
of the poor,

Where no Indian goes to sleep on a hungry stomach and housing becomes
a basic right for all,

Where our rivers are clean and the air is not polluted

Where Swacha Bharat is not just a slogan but a reality

Where every Indian is proud to be Indian but isn’t put through a daily
patriotism test

Into that heaven of freedom, let my country awake..

Happy Independence Day! Jai Hind

© 2020 Rajdeep Sardesai. All Rights Reserved.

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