Society & Lifestyle
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Do We Have Liberty?
|by T. A. Ramesh|
If liberty is in real existence one should be able to think, speak and do what one likes both in private and in the public. Where liberty is there, there one can really enjoy freedom, happiness, peace and satisfaction in the world. The question is if such a liberty can be feasible for one to practice amidst rules, regulations, laws, licenses, conventions, customs and cultures in the society. Jean Jacques Rousseau's slogan of French Revolution, 'liberty, equality and fraternity' became the basic principles of democracy in the world. But he himself has admitted the fact that man is born free, yet he is in chains everywhere.
The corollary of equality and fraternity is only socialism that has also not produced the result as envisaged by the political philosophers of the world. So, it is clear that without the economic development, intellectual maturity and spiritual enlightenment, broadmindedness and selflessness cannot develop leading towards the success of socialism in the inevitable class or caste conscious world. In that regard, because of no development, liberty was in trouble yesterday, and because of whole sale developments and drawbacks in democracy, liberty is in trouble today.
It is well known that John Milton wrote pamphlets and fought for freedom of the Press. P. B. Shelley fought for freedom and free love against all conventions during the Romantic Movement Period. Voltaire wrote what he thought against all oppositions till his death. Rousseau expressed what he felt good for the society during the French Revolution time least bothering about the consequences. Sri Aurobindo and poet Bharathi wrote vigorously in their magazines in order to inspire the people to fight for the freedom of India against the British Rule. Freedom was obtained for many nations and democratic governments were also established. It is felt that political freedom is not enough. People are in need of economic, social and cultural liberties so that they may enjoy full freedom in any nation. Technological developments are improving the economy but humanistic approach is needed for the improvement of quality in the social life of the people both in the democratic and socialistic countries of the world.
Problem of Liberty
Today people are living in the Cyber Age. Cyber Space provides infinite opportunities to explore freely the inner potentiality of the human mind and express one's views at liberty that reaches the various corners of the world by internet facilities. Because of world wide website availability, information reaches everywhere quickly making the world very small. Also, it is not possible to obstruct the liberty of a person to know the defense secrets of nations or the secrets of business organizations if one knows to break the secret codes and have access to any information one wants for good or bad purposes.
Cyber laws are being enacted, but implementation is yet not easily possible. It is even possible to disturb the peace of civilized world by sabotage activities through websites. This is not the purpose of liberty for one to practice in or harm the human society unless one is mad or sadist by acquiring the knowledge of technology and the use of one's intelligence and ability. Indeed knowledge is power, but that should be used for the good of the society, if one wants to enjoy love, beauty, freedom to get peace and satisfaction as a human being one is longing for in this world.
Purpose of Life
This leads to have an enquiry about the purpose of human life. The purpose of life is to know what it is and how to fulfill one's destiny; to achieve that one should develop one's potentiality and use them to the best one can. In other words, the purpose of human life is to develop one's body, mind and soul, use them to the best one can and share the knowledge of one's experiences and benefits with others; and that is human culture too. The Indian religion simply says that human life is existence, knowledge, bliss and absolute. So, it is not enough one has food, security, love, recognition and respect, but also one should fulfill the quest of knowledge, intellectually interpret experience and successfully express one's personality in life so that one's destiny can be fulfilled.
To start with what each one has are heredity as the legacy left in the hand and the environment, in which one has to live and develop oneself. If the legacy is good and the surrounding is favorable, one has the natural liberty to do what one likes. But the world is not a bed of roses. If one is good and the other one is bad or if both are bad, how can one be at liberty to develop oneself and fulfill one's destiny? If everything is favorable but, if one does not know how to use one's liberty, also meets with failure. So, there must be some kick-start to ignite or driving force to run one's affair to success whether one has liberty and favorable situation or not. However good or bad the condition is, one should have first knowledge, intelligence and talent to create condition favorable to one so that one will know how to make use of the liberty available to one to accomplish what one likes in the world.
All cannot be intelligent, talented and equipped with true knowledge to deal with the situation and accomplish good and great, one desires in the society. The fault lies in the present day education that does not help much to develop one to the full. Specialized education modified on the colonial model of education denies access to other branches of knowledge encouraging only lopsided development, creating uncertainties in many other fields and leading only to imbalance in the over all developments of the society. Education means that it should provide knowledge and training in arts, science, industries, agriculture, commerce and army. Hence fear of the future, uncertainty in one's endeavour in any field and pessimism looming large in the minds of educated people cannot be completely overcome.
The reason is that the public education is not helping one to know about life, liberty, duties, rights, religious philosophy and culture. True knowledge can be gained only if education helps one to realize self, environment, Nature, World, nation and the Universal Spirit. To overcome fear this sort of real education is necessary, because this only provides one with real knowledge. This knowledge gives freedom and makes one powerful. In addition to that, the life supporting force, Love gives wisdom and makes one even a divine being. The combination of knowledge and love makes one a perfect human being. This perfection gives freedom for one to enjoy peace and satisfaction in life. People of this kind of development only can be at liberty to think, decide, express and do what they feel, desire, dream and imagine in the world however adverse the situation or environment may be.
Necessity of Vision
Simply having education or true knowledge is not enough. One should have the vision of the future, vision of the world and vision of life, because that only could reveal what duties one has to do, what role one has to play in the world and so, what ambition one should have to implement what good and great things one desires to do for the well being of the human world. Only then one's mind will be clear and free, the route one has to go will be perfectly known and will know how to use one's liberty with zeal and enthusiasm to achieve the goals with success.
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