Sunday, October 01, 2006

Independence?

The idea of independence is second to none (perhaps only to religion on occasions) in its influence and power to drive otherwise perfectly sane people to feats of maniacal outrage. To ignite a passion so intense, that it commands, seeps and eventually consumes those infected with it.

Throughout history, no single idea has united people so much, has cut through barriers as effectively, as has independence. Equally true however, is the fact that no other idea has caused gorier massacres, accounted for more bloodshed than it has. And yet, the idea of independence is such a farce, actually.

What is it that we are trying to conquer? What were the million fights for freedom already fought, trying to conquer? What will the zillion fights for freedom, that will be fought, try to conquer? Where do we finally see this culminate? Does anybody actually see where this will culminate?

Isn’t independence just an idea? Just another element in that magical vision of utopia that everyone dreams of and no one will ever get to? Is there any such thing as pure independence?

The mistake we make is confusing concession with freedom. All the freedom, all the independence, to any extent, at whatever level, is actually nothing more than a tolerant concession that we have been allowed, so that we remain largely dormant and harmless, and the task of ‘herding’ us in whatever direction is desired, becomes comparatively simpler.

Take for example our freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of action et al. Think about it. Are we actually free to exercise these rights we have been so graciously granted, in whatever way we deem fit? Aren’t there ‘catches’ in some form or the other that infest every nook and corner of the ‘freedom’?

Pure freedom cannot have any catches. A freedom thus defined, is a paradox unto itself.

No country on this planet is independent in the true sense of the word. Every nation has to depend upon dozens of others for resources ranging from petty grocery to mission critical nuclear armory.

The planet as a whole is dependent for its existence, on the continued zeal of the Sun, the continued aversion of delinquent ‘greater than peanut sized’ celestial objects to cross paths with the earth and other obscure happenstances dependent on the whims and fancies of various Newtonian principles.

The point is, there’s no such thing as independence. And never has been.

The more important point is, we are probably better off without it. Complete independence is never going to do anybody any good. Because, complete independence translates into complete, all-pervading power. The day an entity frees itself of all dependence; its existence too, will have ceased to depend on the existence of any other entity. And once that happens, the feeling of its own superiority and that of futility of the all other entities will only be a matter of time.

It is not the freedom and the rights allowed to the people that make the world a reasonable, logical and largely livable place to be in. It is the limits to them that do.

Independence and Freedom in the Dictionary:
The state or quality of being free from subjection or from the influence, control, or guidance of individuals, things, or situations.
A state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions
The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints, exemption, immunity from an obligation or duty...
Quite ironic, that thoughts so profound, meanings so complex, to find expression, are themselves slaves to words so trivial, so bland.

10 comments:

goutam said...

well globed.in macro level, it is independence from slavery only. our life is too short to make a conclusion on this issue, u can strech ur imagination to infinite level,still it will be multiplied by zero at the end.
ur thoughts are getting shape.
GOUTAM

blogbee said...

Excellent, a totally new perspective to INDEPENDENCE and FREEDOM!

blogbee said...

Excellent, a totally new perspective to INDEPENDENCE and FREEDOM!

Anonymous said...

Well put. The chaos of unrestrained 'independence' or rather anarchy usually finds itself ending into dictatorships and personality cults. Everyone usually agrees to the desirability of checks and limits. The eternal quandray is 'How much?'

gnothi seauton said...

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

- Sartre, In Philosophy

something to think on?

Kushal Chowdhury said...

Thanks for all the appreciation!
@ankur
Perhaps the quandry itself is futile. Do we really have a choice of 'how much'?

@Raakesh
Yes, he's responsible for his actions alright. But then, he can only as much as he's allowed to. Limits again?

@blogbee
Thanks Sir/Madam.

@Baba
That's a slightly pessimistic stand, isn't it?
Life is not eternal, of course, but it need not necessarily be zero in the end. If we can lift our contribution to this world to even 0.0000001,our lives will not have been wasted entirely.

Anonymous said...

As a collective/democratic society that decides to incorporate some rights and limits in law, I think we can. To take an example, the current debate on homosexuality or the one on the tehelka type hidden cam scandals try to find the limits of 'how much?'. If anarchy prevails, it is usually followed by dictatorship, in which case one person or a coterie actually decides for all. As regards the specific will of the individual, a society in the end is the collection of individuals, even if some are more equal than others.

Nikesh said...

"Freedom is never free"
as the saying goes !

Pratik Dave said...

aaj agar BAAPU apne beech hota to bolta "Desh to apna ho gaya hai, lekin log paraye ho gaye".

When you break-through one act of slavery, just then you see yourself falling into another one.

Good hai Boss.

Pratik Dave said...

aaj agar BAAPU apne beech hota to bolta "Desh to apna ho gaya hai, lekin log paraye ho gaye".

When you break-through one act of slavery, just then you see yourself falling into another one.

Good hai Boss.