IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 17th Aug 2020
“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” –Theodore N. Vail
EDITORIAL HUNT #113 :“Freedom is Not About Choices“
Debashis Chatterjee, the author of ‘Timeless Leadership’, is the Director of IIM Kozhikode,(Freedom is Not About Choices)
Freedom and identity, the right to be
The aspirational values in the Constitution will make sense only when the average Indian realises the freedom to be
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 4 : Freedom and Discipline
At its core, freedom is not about choices; it is rather about identity. Comment -(GS 4)
The author has beautifully scripted :
- MK Gandhi on Freedom
- Meaning to Freedom
- Meaning of Freedom
- Swarajya Concept
MAHATMA GANDHI ON FREEDOM
- We must be content to die if we cannot live as free men and women.
- Man has to thank himself for his dependence. He can be independent as soon as he wills it.
It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human Beings of that precious right.
BOUND BY LAWS
- The final quest of all of life is freedom.
- This means that life as we know it is not free.
- We are all struggling from bondage to freedom.
WHAT BINDS US
- We are bound by one law or the other.
- What is a law? Any event or phenomenon that repeats itself is a law.
- This seed will keep on producing apples — perhaps one million apples will come from that one seed.
- An apple seed will not produce bananas because an apple seed is bound by its own law — it is programmed to produce apples.
- All of nature is nothing but an expression of laws — the repeated occurrence of form and phenomena.
- By this very law our hearts beat 72 times a minute and our body temperature is maintained at 98.6° Fahrenheit.
- So to break a law is to go against nature and risk one’s life.
CAN WE EVER BE FREE
- We can, provided we learn to look beyond nature’s law-bound forms toward something deeper that is always free.
- Take a long rope and tie it into a knot in the middle.
- As you tighten the knot it takes a definite shape.
- The knot is bound by its own nature.
- But someone who has tied the knot will know that all that it requires for the knot to be free is to pull at the right place — the knot breaks free and straightens into a rope again.
- THE SECRET : Just this awareness that if you look beyond your physical form to your original state, which is formless and free, you indeed become free.
- FORMLESS STATE : What is that formless state? Classical Indian wisdom calls this state adhyātma.
- ADHYATMA : The compound word adhyātma is a combination of two words, adhi+atma which means awareness of self.
- POWER OF SELF : The human body-mind complex is animated and powered by this spiritual dimension called atma that can be described as soul or self.
- CONCEPT OF SWARAJYA : Living in the light of atma or self is the true meaning of Swarajya. Etymologically, Swarajya means, swena rajate or self-luminous existence.
LET US SIP A CUP OF TEA !
- Take the case of a person who burns his lips while sipping a cup of hot tea.
- He may think that the tea has burnt him.
- It is not the tea but the invisible heat that permeates the tea that has burnt him.
- Heat is not a property of the tea but it can pervade the tea and make it appear to be hot.
- MANY CHOICES CONFUSE : Many people confuse freedom with multiplication of choices.
- Fewer good options would have been a better way to weed out undesirable options.
- The free being that is our self, expresses itself not through an algorithm but awareness.
In the Mahabharata, in a deep dialogue, Yakhsa asks Yudhishthira this question, What is the strangest thing in this world?
- The awareness of atma, inherent in pure being, sets us free from the illusion that we are nothing more than our bodies and our minds.
NOT BEING CO-OPTED
- KNOT OF ILLUSION : The illusion that we are this body-mind complex unravels itself as realisation of our being dawns on us.
- QUEST TO FREEDOM : In the stillness of being, not in the quest for being this and that or the other, we find the doorway to our own freedom.
- THE PREAMBLE’s PROMISE : Indian Constitution promises the delivery of aspirational values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for its citizens.
- MODERN FREEDOM : They make sense only when the average Indian realises the freedom to be and not be co-opted by the politics of identity, machinations of the market or the dictatorship of the digital world.
- REAL SWARAJYA : Swarajya in thought and education that liberates the free being, sa vidya ya vimuktaye, can only rescue India from a myopia of the post-colonial leadership.
AWARENESS IS LIFE , WEAKNESS IS DEATH – SWAMI VIVEKANANDA