An Independent Thought…. a few days later

India was celebrating its 75th year of independence from Western Domination across the nation on Sunday, August 15, 2021, but chiefly from the Ramparts of the Red Fort, the iconic seat of power of the erstwhile Mughals who hailed from, or at least had an umbilical connection with Afghanistan, when pics of Afghan and other nationals scrambling to run away from their own freedom fighters came through on television. It seemed that one man’s freedom was another man’s bondage. But that is the reality of Geopolitics – its BDSM at its best. There is no Black or White, and certainly more than fifty shades of Gray.

The coincidence of the return of the Taliban to Kabul and the celebrations of India’s 75th Independence was striking – both forces inimical to each other, in the neighbourhood and with implications far beyond the safety of Indians there… A whole new way of thinking and responding to the situation will have to be thought of…. a new relationship through the popular Zoom perhaps, for the time being till the masks are no longer necessary?

The scenes were tragic without a doubt. Fear was writ large over the face of the Afghan populace and the US was left looking like a sheepdog that couldn’t protect its own sheep as it has done so many times before starting with Vietnam. It had that sheepish look after the wool seemed to have covered its eyes after being repeatedly sheared of its body… But then how do you blame a sheepdog that is used to rounding up sheep on the plains when it has to do so in the mountains with no support at all, not even from its own kind? When enough says enough, it’s more than enough!

What was unique about the Afghan freedom movement though, was the fear of the people being freed – fear of their own freedom fighters – not fear for their freedom fighters which was the case in India. This is something that must find mention in psychology journals.  It’s unusual for a man to fear his own! just as it’s unusual for bread to fear butter, but for the fact that it knows it’s going to be toasted! While it may be unusual, it is not rare; the form it takes mutates like the Covid virus. Sometimes the fear is born out of history, at other times from the fear of loss of what has been…rarely is there joy of what might be..

Although the Taliban’s advance to the capital was expected, the rapidity with which it reached there and the chaos that followed was unexpected to say the least – But it seemed that the freedom the Afghans desired was not to be found in their own freedom struggle, but in western domination – in total contrast to India. Indians believed in their freedom struggle and freedom fighters and expelled the westerners.

They used the terms Independence and Freedom interchangeably – They had the freedom to interpret, and the Independence to decide what was best for them. But both freedom and independence were collective concepts. Collectivity has constraints – the largest number is the prime number! and the smallest ones are dissolvable in themselves! Occasionally they are indivisible….

Naturally, over 75 years, difficulties arose when the concepts of Freedom and Independence had to be applied to individuals, who were waiting for the cascading effect to reach them, like in a waterfall? the provision of choices, the option to choose and the independence to make that choice without influence in any way – well that’s a tough ask for a billion people, who each wanted their own varied choices which were presumptive of both Independence and freedom…

There was the chance that their choices may impinge on another’s causing imagined or real grievous emotional, or physical hurt…and as the good doctor will tell you inflammation in any part of the body will cause pain and dysfunction throughout.

It was then that the concept of Reasonable Restriction came to the fore. It was BD without the SM. But for the greater good. The reasonableness of such restrictions is always debated, and when the debate reaches the tipping point it is restricted by a new restriction! And like in BDSM, some do enjoy being restrained, or even better, watching others restrained!

Can’t have too much of that…. it will be called unreasonable.

So, the concept of Democracy – the choices of a majority extrapolated to all – is a kind of steroid that reduces inflammation and does seem to have worked for the large part, keeping the inflammation under control, though eruptions occurred from time to time, and with it progress – lake beds converted to high rise buildings, Bullets to bullet trains (it’s bulleted), people to statues, and forests to trees! Incomes grew, Incomes flew, and in the scramble for money, many were left behind to rue… But what to do, progress has a price, at least they get their rice…. some would say on TV.

100% happiness or satisfaction is an impossible statistic in a democracy, unlike in a CBSE result, and so one must settle for the percentage one gets… There is a pass mark – 51% and getting there is not easy – like in all exams, hard work, sleight of hand, smart thinking, a bit of copying and allying with the guy in the backbench can get you through. If all fails, one can ask for a revaluation even if the cost is in crores per paper. Theocracies and Autocracies have a different yardstick to measure people’s happiness – it is measured from afar like the Forehead thermometer!

Over the years the concept of power too changed. It was now not mere electricity that connected, but the electricity that burnt, and short-circuited at will. It powered up some, and electrocuted others, till they emerged from the ashes to challenge the status quo! and then the wheel turned over again… It is a wheel that is pushed around by someone or the other, like when we were kids running behind a rolling tyre with a stick! The Formula 1 of yore!

Society too has progressed from multipolar to binary and the gender divide between Aunty nationals and uncle nationalists is growing wider with truly little space or recognition for those in between, the true nation lovers!

Despite all the potholes – and we are well used to them – we are thankful there is at least a road we can follow to some conclusion. We are bound to reach somewhere – bruised and battered along the way maybe – but on the way. While on the road, we can still enjoy a bite of our choice (subject to RR) and stop and rest if the journey takes a toll on us, or just quit… That would be whole a new movement for the history books which are being rewritten from our perspective!

Indeed, we have been asked to remember the horrors of partition by those who have not experienced it as they were born after the event – to remember, so as not to forget, not to forget so as not to repeat… But the fear is, memories may evoke a desire, and so is it not better to part with them forever?

Back to Afghanistan, and the Taliban, which is beginning its second innings, hopefully having learnt from its first – Anything can happen in a test match and the second test between England and India provided a prime example… It was freedom at midnight all over again!

 Jai Hind! 


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Photo from pixabay

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is VO artist, Content Writer, Ad Copy Writer, a very productive author with a wide and varied output, an EQ and Leadership Trainer, a life skills Coach, a manager and a leader, with a visible track record. Brian is currently a Director of the Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd, a Media Company that owns and runs media brands,, Karnataka Today, NK+ and NKTv a web based video channel, Verdevice - a Branding powerhouse and Spearhead Academy - a digital platform that offers short term learning solutions for personal growth Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 35 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. He is NET Certified for lectureship and has recently qualified as MEPSC Level 5 Trainer. Journalism , poetry, and Fiction and Feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. Its all in a day’s work for him. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangalore and Bangalore. He is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of the and is a designated Distinguished Toast Master. He is also the Internal Quality council member of his Alma Mater Roshni Nilaya and a member of the Board of Studies of the English Department, St. Agnes College for PG studies, Mangalore.

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