We humans have a very easy practice of ignorance! We are the most ambitious species on our planet, and as soon as we close in on things desired, we tend to lose our zeal and promptly become ignorant.
Why are we like this? Are we slow at realization or are we simply stupid?
Have you ever realized what is the most ignored thing existing with us of late? A thing that makes no bones to us, until and unless we are deprived of it. Thing that affects our lives, drastically without any fuss, and which was an essential part of our quest in the history. Yes, the answer can be relevant in history, which generally is termed to be boring by many, unaware of the fact, that the only thing certain in this world and human kind is ‘history’.
So what is this thing I am talking about and how significant is it? The answer is FREEDOM.
History has been filled with demand of freedom, and youth throughout the world have played a pivotal role in this demand. From the streets of Tokyo to the dusty villages of Vietnam, from Djakarta to the little populated islands in the Caribbean sea, from Paris to New York, and similarly in numerous cities the cry of ‘freedom’ has gone up, and the historians may describe the generations following 1945, as the generations that fought for individual and national freedom throughout the world.
But what makes this thing so immense and significant to fight for? Freedom cannot be defined, it can only be described. Gandhi ji once wrote: “I want freedom for full expression of my personality”. Fifteen years later John F. Kennedy said: “Freedom is not merely a word or an abstract theory, but the most effective instrument for advancing the welfare of man”. These two fighters for freedom expressed the two sides that are at the root of today’s demand: personal freedom and freedom for my fellow men. One without the other would not be absolute.
But what would be the real absolute freedom and how should it work? On thinking a bit cautiously over, in the fight for freedom we must not allow ourselves to become enslaved to a movement, we should be free to criticize, when necessary, the means employed by a movement. The end never justifies the means and we must remain always alert & free to point this out to the leaders of the movement. Gandhiji, in the midst of the tireless fight for independence from Britain, dissociated himself for the violence shown in some cities against British personnel and supporters of the Empire, he said “Non-violence is the law of a man as violence if the law of the brute”.
Millions of people are still not free today, not in terms of British Empire, but to poverty and illiteracy, and to the people who take advantage of these to keep people in bondage. Freedom is not meant for only some; freedom is every man’s right. It’s every ones right to enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of living, freedom of religion.
Freedom & Equality are closely linked together: you and I cannot enjoy social equality if one is barred from any of the rights given to one.
When we achieved independence from Britain after a long difficult struggle, almost everyone believed that now the problem is solved and the freedom will bring in prosperity for all, but failed to realize that there is more to it, freedom for personal expression and development for myself and others. Freedom is not something that is won once and for all; it is a continuing task for everyone. Some people feel threatened by the freedom of others; they would prefer to keep the oppressed of country enslaved in chains of poverty and illiteracy. As long as such men exist, freedom especially for poor is in danger. Such men will exist and will increase if the educated citizens do nothing. If I see someone discriminating against other because of his caste and religious beliefs, I am helping in increasing the lack of freedom. The man or woman, who doesn’t act to protect the threatened freedom of another, puts his own in danger. As it is said by burke, “All that is necessary for triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.
The more valuable something is, the more fragile it is; and there is nothing more valuable and fragile than freedom. It would be convincing if we think profoundly. Freedom and equality are closely related; you and I cannot enjoy social equality if we do not at the same time enjoy freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. Social equality has been achieved only with the people of different mindset coming together in certain aspect and in a specific direction. And once it is achieved then only we become eligible to any kind of progress.
But today I feel people have fallen to ignorance and unworthy to once so fought after concern. They don’t realize it until they are confined from it.
Therefore, we should relish the fact of being free and spirited. To the fact that we can mend our ways and cherish our permissible desires. And work in the authenticity of Freedom.