Being born in the 21st century, I never knew the actual meaning of freedom struggle and independence until the COVID-19 pandemic began. Freedom struggles were mere passages in history. To me, they were just stories that had to be read to ace my History exams. The lessons revealed that freedom struggle and the need for independence were the results of a few power-hungry world leaders who exploited nations for their material gain. During wars, people had to stay undercover for days and months at a stretch. For them, days used to bleed into nightfall. Whilst reading them, not once did I think that I would go through a similar situation: lack of freedom to move around. Honestly, even if a soothsayer did come and tell me that I would face these issues, I would have shut him down. Of course, who wouldn’t? Jokes aside, I never realized the importance of independence. Who would have imagined that a microscopic virus could curtail the freedom of an entire planet? People live in fear. Fear that one wrong step and you contract the virus. We have lost our freedom to let the morning dew splash against our face, or inhale the sweet fragrance of flowers and freshly cut lawn because we need to wear a mask whenever we venture outdoors. We have restrictions on movement, travel and we need to follow social distancing at all times. We have lost our freedom.
The humongous impact of this virus on the world has made me view the freedom struggle and independence in a totally new perception. There are countries where people live in the dictatorial rule. They live in fear each and every day! Independence for them is the right to voice out their opinions, and this right is not available to them. Independence is like food. When you have it, you waste it, you don’t use it well. When you don’t, life becomes a freedom struggle. Independence is the opportunity to fulfil one’s hopes and aspirations, not to seize power!