“Struggle is a never-ending process” It is a famous quote by Coretta Scott King who was a women’s rights activist. She fought against physical, psychological, and other forms of violence against women. This quote helps us understand that every generation has to fight its own fight for freedom. Freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom from fear are the ideals of a free society. Our society is built upon these freedoms.
Freedom gives people the opportunities pursue happiness, speak, and act without any restriction. Freedom is essential for a culture to grow. Art, literature, science, and music need freedom to flourish.
What does Freedom Mean?
Different aspects define freedom. Freedom leads to enhanced expressions of creativity, productivity, and original thought. The idea of freedom and liberty varies in different cultures.
Freedom is universally defined as the right to do what one wants, say what one desires, eat what one wants, live where one wants, learn what one wants, and choose the religion in which one believes in, without ignoring or harming the rights of others.
The idea of freedom is complex. It needs to be redefined and defended by every generation. We can truly be free by doing what we want while respecting other people’s decisions.
Freedom is a basic human life. If you do not have freedom, your life is meaningless. From ancient time people have fought to restore their inherent right to be a free man. Freedom is also not absolute. Every type of freedom is conditional. There are a few limitations to freedom. These restrictions are sometimes put to protect the freedoms of the others.
Freedom is a Constant Struggle
Sometimes our freedom is in danger of being hijacked by the so called political parties, ideologues, corporate groups, and religious zealots. We may have gained our freedom from oppressors and monarchs in the previous century but, it does not guarantee that we would always be free. Not everyone appreciates freedom. Even people who enjoy living in the free society with all its freedom do not value it. It is because they have never lived without it.
The value of freedom and liberty can only be understood and appreciated by those who have a good sense of the past and a highly developed understanding of human nature. We may get very used to the way our current free society functions and take our freedoms for granted. But, if we do not defend our freedoms one day we may lose them. There is a famous saying which says that we only retain the freedoms for which we fight. Eventually, we are going to lose our freedoms if we do not take them seriously.
In some countries, freedom of speech and expression are always under threat. Religion is one of the biggest threats to freedom along with corporations and governments.
In India, in the last few years, we have seen increased attacks on artists and prominent liberals. There has been an increase in sedition, defamation and censorship cases in India. The media has constantly been targeted and silenced. It is a worrying trend. If the people do not rise against this, we may lose our rights to hooligans. Our vibrant, complicated open society with richness in life experiences will be replaced with airlessness in the cultural sense. We would feel airless; people will not be able to say what they want, you won’t be able to eat what you like, and men and women may be segregated. It is a recipe for catastrophe.
Freedom is an innate right and humans are born with it. Nothing should threaten our freedom, and deprive us of our right. If we do not defend our freedom, one day our society will come to an end. Diversity, culture, art, music, and literature would suffocate and die with the lack of freedom.
Written By: Sampurna Dutta