Friday, March 03, 2006

Freedom and its limits.......

Freedom...I love freedom and so does everybody. But, of course some people are more dangerous and the world cannot afford to give everyone freedom to do whatever they want. So, there is a limit to freedom. However, apart from laws, there shouldnt be any other fear factor involved in excercising our freedom, this is especially true in the case of voicing public opinions about things, especially, political stuff!!!

However on the personal front, there are a lot more defining paramaters of freedom like parents, society, economic background.... the list goes on!! But today it does seem like all these defining criteria are getting looser than they used to be.. and hence culturally people have the choice of doing what they want to do rather than following a norm that is set by the society.Here lots of us choose to follow Westerners, and there are two reasons for that:

1. Convenience! some of thier practices are more rational and identifiable with today's world than ours.

2. However, there are a lot of things in our own culture that are special and much more rational than the west. And in our haste to be American/English or whatever, we shed this excellent cultural identity of ours. Do you know why? because we have a certain amount of servitude still in our blood, a feeling that anything "phoren"is always better. The Tamil poet Bharathiyar said

"Enru thaniyum engal sudhandhira dhaagam?
Enru madiyum engal adimayin mogam!!"

Translated as

" When will our thirst for freedom be quenched?
When our desire for slavery dies"

Yes..when we stop identifying everything Western as good and everything Swadesi as bad, and rather choose cultural practices that best suit our lives and the part of the world we live in... We would lead better and happier lives..

So westernisation is not a question of freedom, it is a question of choice - our choice between foreign and Indian!!!!!!!!!!

As for decay of western culture due to excessive freedom, there isnt much to be said, becos, their culture is founded on the principle of freedom, while our is built on social norms. If we strike the optimal balance between freedom and society we can uphold Human culture that is common to both East and west.


sundeep said...

very well said Sowmya .. the balancing act is so very necessary.. .we need to derive the best of both worlds... not an easy thing to do though...

Anonymous said...

Bharathi in his other poem "Mella Tamil Ini Saagum" also mentioned the same

He wants us to bring all the good things from other languages and incorporate them into Tamil. He didnt advocate people to discard tamil altogether or to adapt other languages blindly.

The same shud be done with the customs & culture. Self-Restraint is needed on the part of everyone to make this possible.