Freedom – Only for some ??

Primer : This post of mine is the result of 7 days of joblessness and a little bit of overdose of nicotine (read as tea). Anyways here it goes :

I recently had a debate with my mother on the issue that my career should be left in my hands now ( me being 21 and if nothing else I at least have gained the right to make my own decisions/mistakes and learn from them subsequently). Although Her concern for me was genuine and I have nothing against it, but knowing stuff that goes on in a heated verbal exchange between a concerned mother and a 21 year old hot blooded kid , we all know it sometimes gets to best of us. It did get to me. Though I had my music to my rescue and I simply retreated to my room declining to have dinner and demanding to be left alone as I wanted to sit alone and think.

As I was sitting analyzing what she had told me and trying to find out how much of it actually carried weight. Stuff that she told me that is. Stuff like me not being serious enough and not thinking enough about my career and like. And to think of it , It seemed to me that although she was genuinely concerned for me but this was certainly not the correct way to show it. You have to have faith in your kid at the end of the day ! Dont you ? I was correct as well in telling that I need time to find out what I really like and the correct path to follow. And I should be given more time. The real issue is a little more complex which I need not elaborate upon and for the moment the readers of this post can simply take this thing at its face value that there was a point of conflict between what a son wants to do (Take his own time to make his decisions) with that what his mother wants ( follow the safe and secure path and probably get settled fast). And I felt that I was being forced to change my point of view if not directly then indirectly. And this is not correct. Though I understand that it shows weakness of my character but I haven’t given up on my ideals in the past couple of years and neither have plans to give up on them in the future as well. But I believe that this constant nagging only affects my decision making process. Yes it surely does. Ask yourself. You wont certainly be able to make a clearheaded decision if someone wants you to hasten things up. It simply leads you to becoming more irritated and hence end up making a wrong decision if nothing else.

And on the same note I had an opportunity to go through wikipedia page about Sanjay Gandhi,the younger son of former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi and politician Feroze Gandhi and his role during the emergency period of India during 1970s. According to the wikipedia article ( I am no big political historian)

“In the extremely hostile political environment just before and soon after the Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi rose in importance as Indira’s advisor. With the defections of former loyalists, Sanjay’s influence with Indira and the government increased dramatically, although he was never in an official or elected position. According to Mark Tully “His inexperience did not stop him from using the Draconian powers his mother, Indira Gandhi, had taken to terrorise the administration, setting up what was in effect a police state.

To add to it in 1976 he had launched a drive to cleanse the city of slums and force the residents to leave the capital. Sanjay reportedly ordered officials of the Delhi Development Authority, to clear the heavily populated, mostly Muslim slum near the Turkman Gate and Jama Masjid in Delhi. This forced resettlement of more than 250,000 people, which killed at least a dozen as recorded and became a touchstone for the opposition.

Sanjay also publicly initiated a widespread family planning program to limit population growth. But this resulted in government officials and police officers forcibly performing vasectomies in order to meet quotas and in some cases, sterilizing women as well. Officially, men with two children or more had to submit to sterilization, but many unmarried young men, political opponents and ignorant, poor men were also believed to have been sterilized. “

Personally I believe that the end result was meant for the greater good. I am in no way against Muslim Population here or have any bias for that matter. But I strongly believe that every human being deserves to live in a clean and disease free surroundings and what Sanjay Gandhi did was towards this same end result. Also there is nothing wrong in gettting oneself sterilized if one needs to have control over the progeny.

Now here is the interesting bit,  at first I thought what Sanjay did was totally correct and there was nothing to be questioned in it. Later it struck me (yes it took me sometime to realise that he forced his will upon others). And this according to me was wrong.

Now thinking of both the cases as combined,though I am in no way comparing what Sanjay did to those people with what my  concerned mother told me. But in effect the very underlying theme was same, One’s will upon another.

In the first case I was being in a way to directed to do something which I dint want to or was averse to and in another Sanjay played with lives of so many people just for the sake of many many others who will benefit by it. In my case it seems to me that I am correct in demanding for time and in Sanjay’s Case I believe that although his final result is correct but the way of achieving it is certainly not acceptable.

Can we say that Freedom to make a choice can only be given to few ? In the above mentioned cases Freedom of choice should be given to me or rather to a young aspiring student who can (rationally speaking) and will (hopefully) make good use of his/her freedom and end up choosing a career or making a decision which will be beneficial to him and at the end to his family as well. And Freedom shouldn’t be given to slum population as they will never leave (because of lack of options) and hence keep living in not fit for human conditions. I AM NOT MAKING A STATEMENT. I AM ASKING A QUESTION… Is Freedom the right only for few ? How do you decide who gets to choose and who doesnt ??

Ending with the hope that I will be making my own decisions !





Filed under Everyday Thoughts

11 responses to “Freedom – Only for some ??

  1. Lynn

    Rahul, I love your sense of humor. Funny I just had this same conversation today with a good friend of mine from Punjab. He is 30 with a mind of his own and trying to escape the daily pressure of an arranged marriage. You can love your parents and take care of them when they old and feeble but only you can live your life to it’s full potential. It’s a shame you feel you can’t make your own decisions without suffering feelings of guilt. I can understand your situation from a maternal point of view, cultural point of view and from my own life experience. When I calculate these three perspectives all I can come up with is….Dive, Breathe and Live!!!! On your own. Happy New Year Rahul!

  2. Thanks Lynn for stopping by my post! I understand your viewpoint and it does make sense, You have to start living to start living. Isn’t it ? And No,I don’t exactly feel any sense of guilt when I make my own decisions, I just don’t feel crystal clear when I am making decisions because I am affected by what others tell me whether its my mother or my friends. Guess only way to deal with this is to accept that my mom wont change,neither would I and hence come up at some sort of an agreement, a state where in I understand that its her concern for me that makes her speak out and I stop getting tipped by it and she understands that I can make decisions and sometimes good ones as well ! Ideals are always way too tough to achieve arent they ?
    Cheers and a Happy New Year to you as well Lynn !

  3. Harani

    Very nice post indeed 🙂 ..

  4. Thanks Harini. Glad you liked it!

  5. Manas Tiwari

    You’re really really confused and beating around the bush. I am unable to say anything “for or against” because you have mentioned all options and you are scared of taking a stand. The fact is that your comparison is absolutely flawed. Indira and Sanjay Gandhi took administrative decision (I would not like to get into their validity. It is a matter much to complicated to discuss in this context. Read Bipan Chandra, Ramchandra Guha and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry for better knowledge) Your decision, on the other hand, are self serving and your thought process is anarchist.
    Here’s why I despise anarchy. The society that you see today is a complex structure built by contribution of the billions today and many more before us. This structure has enabled you to lay comfortably and spend a leisurely time on this post, pondering things which can be done without. If you want enjoy the benefits, there are certain no. of restrictions with you must abide. Discipline is the cost of the freedom which is provided to you. Not because it is the whim of the members of civilization, but because it will make you capable of performing the service that is required of you in exchange for all that you have reaped.
    So needless to say, I’m siding with your mom on this one 🙂 First learn from experience of others and then from your own. Life is way too short and there are just too many mistakes to be made.

  6. Loved your reply Manas ! You are right on target. I am confused.. That is THE REASON this post exists! But I am not beating around the bush. Read it again. I want to take a stand and on my own. But I want my time for that. Nothing more than that. Its the same scenario for you as well. You are taking your time for making your decisions and making your career choices. All of us owe to it ourselves and our parents that we make the best possible choice of the resources/options available to us. And the way I understand, we can only do full justice to the options in hand if and only if we immerse ourselves fully into them. And trust me you can’t immerse yourself in an option if you don’t love it with your heart. You like something,you will do it on your own. No one needs to force you then.

    I am not supporting anarchy here. Giving freedom / asking for it does not mean supporting anarchy. I am being democratic here. Everyone gets to do what they want /choose what they like. Right ?

    And If you like what you do, discipline really doesn’t need to figure into picture. You will automatically contribute back to the society in your own way and will love it too. What is wrong in that ? Giving back to the society and loving it at the same time. Why do we have to do jobs which we don’t like? Don’t tell me just because we HAVE to give back to the society ? If that is the reason people are doing jobs, I think the system won’t exist for such long.

    System exists because there are People out there who like what they do. If you think in asking for my time and my freedom to make my decisions (Which will invariably end up affecting my family and the society around) is wrong, then I am sorry to say, I am against you on this one. By asking for time and the freedom I want to ensure that I give back to the society and to my parents to the best of my abilities and in the best way possible. I am not self serving here, My decisions will affect my family and the society around. I just want to make sure I take the right ones. People around me can’t be happy if I am not.

    And I am ready to learn from experience from others, but the way I see it, life is too short to be spent listening to other people’s stories. We should learn from them whenever the opportunity arises but also be ready to make some of our own. Why should I be forced into learning from another one’s experience when I want to learn from my own ? Isn’t that anarchy ??

  7. And thanks for the suggestions. My knowledge about the politics is very less indeed. Will go through them. As I said in my post : “I am no big political historian”.

  8. Jo

    I ate beans today. I also read this article.
    I think i am learning a lotta new stuff these days.
    cheerio !

  9. surendran k s

    “FREEDOM OF CHOICE” we have the freedom to choose our own ice cream and cigarettes but we cannot make choice in many serious matters like religion (though constutionally we are entitled).Just think where your freedom lies.Nothing personal but just a question what does FREEDOM mean to you?

  10. Firstly thanks a ton for stopping by and spending time on this blog post. I was really thrilled to see your comment. Well to be honest, I am not quite sure if I understand your comment fully. But I will try to explain my point to the best of my ability.

    Freedom to me means the ability to do what a person likes. Or to say, having an option to follow your interests & passions full heartedly. I am not saying that anyone is stopping me from doing that. Just that this post was written after an heated argument with my mother. Hence probably the “confused” tone of the writing.

    This post stems from the central fact that I am concerned about where I am going and which path to take hence on. Just that. Although from what I have learnt from my experiences, I keep forgetting the important fact, that other people are also concerned about me and hence the subsequent advice and suggestions. I have to admit that I am very fortunate in this regard. There are people out there who care for what I am upto.. This is a very comforting thought.

    Guess its the rebellious 21 year old in me which sometimes takes over.

    And yes I understand that we have freedom in some matters which you pointed out, stuff like choosing your lifestyle. But on the other hand we cannot really go ahead and change our faith that easily. Because it might cause discomfort to people around/people who care for us.

    Guess everything comes with a price. Complete freedom from everything in the society also gets loneliness along with it. We have to follow some rules /guidelines to gel in with people around. Its upto us what we want. Complete freedom or a comforting shoulder ?

    But wouldn’t it be nice if we had more independence to do things what we really want to without thinking about what the other person might feel ? I know it might not be practically possible. But Heck! I am 21 !


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