‘It is an innovative slogan. It is not a replication of the national movement, but an encapsulation of what it stood for’
Freedom is a many-splendored thing in India. In its latest “azaadi" avatar at various protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that allege the measures are an attack on a secular constitution and against Muslims, it is fiercely rhythmic and a bit perplexing to some. “Everyone is chanting it and it is trending. But what is the meaning of azaadi?" a woman student asked Kasili Meeran, an activist, at one of early protests at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai in December. Meeran, who first encountered the word four years ago in former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s viral speech, had a Tamil translation ready: viduthalai or freedom.