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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 1072-1073  

Having freedom is a daily struggle


1 Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 CFAR (Cytogenetics Unit), KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission01-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance02-Dec-2020
Date of Web Publication27-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Gupta
Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2030_20

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How to cite this article:
Gupta H, Kumar A, Gautam M, Nigam N. Having freedom is a daily struggle. J Family Med Prim Care 2021;10:1072-3

How to cite this URL:
Gupta H, Kumar A, Gautam M, Nigam N. Having freedom is a daily struggle. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 21];10:1072-3. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2021/10/2/1072/310308



'Where the mind is without fear & the head is held high'

– Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) in Gitanjali, Nobel Laureate in Literature 1913

Dear Editor,

On this Independence Day of India, Raman Kumar narrates story of indefatigability, resilience & diversity of our civilization.[1] Recent past saw invasion & then occupation of our land & people & only 73 years ago we got freedom from those colonial masters.

But our story does not end there; rather a new chapter opens up to contemporary era. Since Independence we've fought four wars with our neighbours- one of them having the status of international exporter of terrorism. And nowadays their bonhomie is a cause of concern for all. This year when tensions escalated along that international border, our Government banned several Chinese apps.[2] Its reason is that these apps act as surveillance tools, steal our data & send it to their manufacturers sitting across the border. Talk of the town is that foreign governments are aware- and sometimes complicit- in this process of stealth, encroaching sovereignty of other nation states by making unauthorized access to private transactions of foreign citizens.

Although we gained political independence, threat of digital colonization looms large across the world in our times. Nowadays big multinational tech companies make hardware & software which gives them undue advantage in the market –sometimes enabling them to data mining, data analysis, data theft & several other similar manoeuvres. Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, ran into trouble when he made several classified pieces of information public a few years ago, embarrassing the American government. Subsequently, he was forced to flee his country, sought asylum at several places & now is facing an extradition suit brought by the federal government of US.[3] When the saga became public, governments- including ours- are fighting back against vested interests of these powerful lobbies.[4] We are putting several terms & conditions to rein in their free run.

Hence what appears is that having freedom is not a state to be achieved –rather a continuous struggle. When East India Company started doing business in India in early seventeenth century; it was simply a private merchandising enterprise. Later on when it discovered weaknesses in our polity & rulers, it made a conspiracy to occupy throne by deception, brutality, unabated use of power, jugglery & exploiting our divisions: initially to avoid taxes levied by local rulers & maximise their profits. Only later on British Crown decided to take matters in their hand when almost our entire land was under their control.[5] Therefore when we are free now, we need to recall that history & learn that it's the industriousness of an average citizen, their ability to provide a local solution to their challenges, ambition to become self-reliant & their unity is what keeps the foreign powers at bay. Eternal surveillance is the price we pay to enjoy freedom –not only at our borders but also inside, & also in the virtual space. And in this endeavour every citizen is a soldier in its own way- whether s/he dons a uniform or not.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Kumar R. 15th August-Few thoughts for future. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:4505-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Yasir S, Kumar H. India bans 118 Chinese apps as Indian soldier is killed on disputed border. New York Times 2020. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/02/world/asia/india-bans-china-apps.html.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Hogan W, Frost S, Johnson L, Schulze TG, Nelson EA, Frost W, et al. The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. Lancet 2020;396:22-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Goel V. India pushes back against tech 'colonization' by Internet giants. New York Times 2018. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/technology/india-technology-american-giants.html.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
The Lancet. India – a tale of one country, but stories of many states. Lancet 2017;390:2413. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736 (17) 32867-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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