Independence Day 2011

Posted in my view at 2:16 am by Lalita Haran

Carmel, Indiana, Independence day fireworks display was awesome! As the bright light from the fireworks painted the night sky, watching the show from the street side was joyful. Perhaps the joy was multiplied because the street was crowded as people lined up peacefully to watch the open sky. Being in a crowd full of strangers was also pleasant.

It made me think about the importance of the day. I retraced my learning about colonial America’s efforts to gain independence and what persuaded the forefathers of this nation to fight for it. And as I thought deeper, I wondered if the younger generation realizes how valuable the day is.

Over two hundred years ago, the country declared freedom from tyranny and asserted the rights to speak and worship. Ability to speak and live your life peacefully as you wish without fear of retribution is of prime importance to each individual. In a perfect world, everyone would have this right, regardless of their citizenship status. The right would be recognized across the national frontiers, regardless of the place of residence.

Unfortunately, ideological differences across the world redefine individual rights within each country. What is considered a basic human right in one country may be prohibited in another. Some rights are accorded to certain individuals only depending upon whether the individual is a citizen of the country. Note that I am not addressing the right to vote but the right to basic needs of living.

Individual freedom and justice form the foundation of the U.S. government. It is the desire for these individual rights that led the forefathers to leave their country of origin and come to “new lands” which eventually became the United States. So, U.S.A. owes its existence to immigrants and should be a trend setter in recognizing peaceful individual rights as a necessity for all humans regardless of their citizenship status and whether or not they are naturalized.