Sunil's Blog – Mistico Indio

Ruminations of a poet and philosopher

Freedom

Posted by Sunil on August 15, 2012

Freedom

By Sunil Kumar

The London Olympics ended this week. A dazzling spectacle; brilliantly choreographed and executed. Our sixty-sixth independence day, but do we really know the price of freedom? Souls lost so that we can have a shallow symbolic event; I feel happy for a national festival and everybody goes to sleep. How can we define the idea? What are we really free from? Want, anger, sacrifice, desire. Greed: never, industry, politics and the vast majority of people are building temples to Mammon.

I will not generalize and try to put everybody in the same bracket; that is foolhardy and limiting. As Jiddu Krishnamurti said, labels are defeating. Hate is a waste. How then can I or anybody rise from the confines of our daily lives and truly live the selfless life. If freedom means the independence to think; then I am truly free.

Never mind the constant charade of the world; its relentless din; the desire to create an impact. Aug 15 comes every year; the ritual of flag-hoisting is thrust upon us as a jingoistic call to arms; an opportunity for people to make speeches, mouth hollow promises and revel in their own self-importance. A place in the sun; for a few minutes; disperse and deliberate.

We were slaves; history informs, of the British. No longer; now in a free state; marketing, slimy sycophancy and economic imperialism have taken its place. Reality can be factually bleak. Yet, big institutions have been built; our economy has been growing at more than some percent per quarter; facetiously called the Indian rate of growth, so the West can give us aid with caveats.

Television shows fashionably quote the outside world. We speak the language of the colonizer, adopting it as our own. So, is freedom more than that; a way to end deprivation, corruption, create an ideal world. Food to eat; my humble self tells me that is good; but does everybody have enough? Coffee table discussions trying to find a meaning and a solution; hypocrisy where everybody quotes the poor to feed the rich. Plans drawn up to benefit the world’s less fortunate are self-defeating; where does everything end up; in the pocket of the industrialist or the politician.

This independence day, I take a pledge; to be free of confining thought; limiting abstractions and a self-imposed patriotic din.

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