Freedom - Not Our Birthright

by Nikhil Agarwal - Date: 2007-01-20 - Word Count: 550 Share This!

"Freedom is not a tea party India, freedom is war" The line from Salman Rushdie's Shalimar The Crown shakes every Indian engrossed in a peaceful sleep thinking all is well, all is fine. It makes them realize that the superficial freedom has a darker underlying and hidden face, a face darker than that of Satan. Freedom is what every one demands, everyone feels is his right, but, do we really want freedom? Freedom is personal liberty. Deliverance from all sorts of slavery, mental and physical. For most of us, freedom is the approval that we get to do what we want to.

Imagine that you are a bird. A bird that can spread its wings and fly off into the open sky. You might feel that you are free. You have attained freedom from being bound to the ground. But in order to attain this freedom, you have made a lot more foes than friends. The Eagles, The Vultures, The Hawks, every one in sky is part of a war, a war that proves the survival of the ruthless. No sooner have you entered this battlefield, you become vulnerable and if luck does not befriend you, you will soon become a victim.

With freedom comes responsibility, but with freedom also comes vulnerability. Many envy a free individual. Freedom also brings along power. Power to do a lot more than what is expected of you. It is when this power is used indiscreetly that it spells disaster. There is no one in the world that does not wish to attain power and control. In a brother kill brother world, with daggers down against each other, power or in other words freedom is the biggest reason for enmity.

Let us look at India. Pre-Independence, the population of India was 3,614 lakh growing at a rate of 13% every year. With the advent of an indigenous government, over the past 59 years, the population has grown by 6,672 lakh, and has reached a mighty 10,286 lakh according to 2001 census. The growth rate of the population is a staggering 22% every year. Every day of his life, every Ram, Mohan, Raja, Hari has to fight a war, a war to earn his bread and butter. And why only India? As soon as men got free from communism in Russia, consumerism took its place. The policy of Lenin and Marx of providing food, shelter and clothing to every one now stands defeated.

Freedom is the child of war. How can we expect the child to be different from its mother? Freedom for one may mean bondage for millions. Only because Hitler was free from the checks by the rest of the world due to 'appeasement' was he able to slaughter millions of Jews in the name of the race.

In the life of a student, freedom has its own meaning. For him, freedom could mean anything, from being able to choose his menu to actually choosing the principal of his school. Imagine a school where its ambassadors would be free to choose their dress code or their timetable!!! Sounds outrageous, doesn't it?

We have the right to choose our leaders. When we cannot make a good job out of this, how do we expect to attain complete freedom? In all, we should understand that all that glistens is not gold.

Related Tags: freedom, liberty, birthright

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