How free are we?
The question of freedom has always baffled us
WRITE HAND BY AJAZ UL HAQUE
Freedom eludes. Are we free? If `yes’, then why have we adopted this lament as a theme of our protest that we are not? If `no’ then why don’t we strive for the quantum of freedom required to make us sovereign individuals with an attitude of complete abandon.
When you are chained, you take recourse to poetry. Articulating our craving for freedom through the musings of a poet offers us a good catharsis. But the problem is we are getting swayed by the mere fancifulness of words. By concluding that we don’t have freedom to express we are denying that inch of freedom also which otherwise already stands granted to us. For those who chicken out when it matters most, the absence of freedom has proved a convenient excuse for their inaction and self-imposed silence. Breaking that means preparing yourself for action. When we are more comfortable not expressing than expressing, the censorship is sweet and willful. No doubt fluttering the dovecots involves risk, but participating in a socio-political discourse can be risk-free. The question is to act or not to act. When we are happy keeping all controversies at bay, we ourselves give birth to an embargo that actually does not exist. We love to create phantoms of fear which we only see roaring or growling at us. Fear for a few is a reality, for many it’s an excuse. To them any innocuous comment small or big is going to push them in a trouble irrevocable which it never does.
The level of anxiety varies case to case. Our breed of journalism has a range of examples to offer. Between a tame compromise and wild recklessness, there is always a half-way house. Truthfulness necessarily does not mean madness and wisdom not withdrawal. There is a scope for practice and action in between the two extremes of desperation and exploring that scope is the real job at hand. Ideal freedom is an impossibility. Not here only, everywhere. We may nourish a desire to fly in the air, to imagine the unimaginable, to traverse oceans, to articulate any poetic feeling of freedom. Well that freedom is sanctioned because that’s all unreal. Do, if you can, but you know you can’t. So who cares you want to have wings. That is just an idea, a fantasy. But this realm of freedom is based on the principle of possibility and here rules will come into play, bans will have a role, warnings will always terrify you. It’s only after exercising that we are emboldened to flex our muscles further. Otherwise we can only dream of being free without being so actually. Tolerance is not always cherished, it's to be cultivated first at individual and then at collective level.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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