15th August 1947

1.

the multitudes rose,
the shackles of colonial rule was at an end,

on this 15th day of August in 1947,

the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ shook off the yoke of the British Raj,

India was free!

2.

today we reflect,
today we pause,

to honour the countless sons and daughters who so valiantly gave their lives so that others could be free,

today,

on this 15th day of August in 2015,

we know the battles that lie ahead,

we acknowledge the wars still to be waged,

not against foreign domination,

no,

today our battles are closer to home,

today our struggle is to keep the collective conscience of humanity alive,

so that we all may thrive,

in a world less cruel,
less violent,
less iniquitous,

more just,
more humane,

more imbued with the simplest of radical propositions:

that we are all one race,
the human race,

that we are not free when others are still flinging stones at metallic beasts,

that we are not free when women are trapped in the clutches of misogny,

that we may never be truly free,

till we open our eyes,

and stop
and think

and see,

the multitudes hungering for a slice of bread,

the unwashed trying against tremendous odds to simply survive,

I am not free,
the chains still tightly bound,

until that day,

when hunger,
deprivation,
hopelessness,

are consigned to the trashcan of history,

and only then,
and only on that day,

when there isnt a hungry child,

to be found,

may we trumpet our victories,

and only then,
and only on that day,

may we all,
proclaim,

that finally,

we are finally,

truly free …

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