07 May, 2021

Time Hunter

The gift of choice has given us much progress, but we also have to take onus for our failures

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Time Hunter
The other day, my daughter, who is eight, was evaluating her future professional options with a critical and dispassionate eye: joining the military (like her grandfather); becoming an engineer (like her father); an astronaut (Kalpana Chawla); a writer (her mother); or a robber on a Yamaha motorbike (John Abraham in Dhoom). "You know," she said with an air of discovery, "Boys can do everything girls can... Except they can't become mothers. Only girls can do that."

She is right, of course. And this wondrous gift of choice, that she accepts so matter-of-factly, is the promise of a 55-year-old Constitution beginning to flower. We, the people of India, have, for half a century, and to the best of our uneven ability, remained a democratic, secular republic, and—over the past triumphant decade—with increasing new opportunities for all, across gender, caste, religion. This is freedom twice-won: wrested from the British raj by our grandparents; and then by our parents, who suffered and then delivered us from the legislative tyranny of the license raj.

We are to be...

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