‘I want freedom for the full expression of my personality’- Mahatma Gandhi
Freedom is the liberty to do what is considered best for the self, community, nation and the world. It is a concept so abstract that when it is freely available, it is hardly felt, but the moment it is snatched, the entire system breaks down. So important is the freedom that our constitution makers inculcated as our fundamental right as enshrined in our constitution under Part III. Freedom of speech and expression, assembly, movement, association, residence, and profession are all but carefully defined arenas that ensure that communities can exercise this right to attain the objective of self-development. It is a wide topic which encompasses a lot of tangents- individual, social, political, diplomatic, and economic amongst myriad others.
If we study it from a personal perspective, then, as an individual, freedom for me which will ultimately lead to the betterment of character, is pursuing a career of my choice. The same will place me in a position to harmoniously hone my skills, increase my knowledge base, enrich my experience and make me wiser in my approach towards dealing with the world.
Further, studying it from a social aspect, it can be viewed from the lens of female freedom. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has led to a massive clampdown on women’s rights. Those women who could have ultimately become doctors, teachers and social workers, amongst others, are subjected to inhumanity. The country direly requires today to deal with its self-inflicted social crisis. Therefore, had the Taliban given Aghani women the freedom that they were very much entitled to, it would not only have bettered the women’s lives but also the economy, by generating employment, income, gender parity in educational institutions and workplaces and finally a mark on the global world.
Moreover, seeing it from the prism of diplomacy, the more freedom governments have in taking decisions befitting their country, without eternal intervention and threat, the more betterment comes in governance. India exercised this right by continuing with its purchase of the S 400 missile system from Russia, to better the arsenal of our IAF, despite the looming threat of the USA imposing its dreaded CAATSA. Also, the US’s decision to leave Afghanistan, hailed by seasoned diplomats as an ill-timed one, is just an example of a country exercising its right to freedom to reverse an existing aged policy, prioritize its goals and re-allocate funds and personnel in a manner suiting their immediate requirements in the face of changing geo-politics, ultimately bettering their defense strategies.
Also, politically visiting the impact of freedom on betterment, the Chinese government’s decision to clampdown on pro-democracy protesters and shutting down independent newspapers in Hongkong is an unfortunate example of curbing the freedom to peacefully protest and express opinion. Had the protests been allowed and the media been permitted to carry out responsible reporting, the city would have become a hub of democracy and transparency.
Furthermore, from the economic point of view, people in the higher rungs of the income ladder are better placed to pursue professions of their interest, thus leading to their holistic development. Thus, molding them into working professionals, earning income and productively contributing to the economy.
The positive correlation between freedom and betterment was always understood by our historic dignitaries who were far-sighted in their approach while dealing with national issues. That is the reason why Indian policymakers provided the freedom to vote to all adult Indians alike, without any discrimination, thus making the citizens more involved and informed. Therefore, it can be concluded, that with more freedom, comes more opportunities for self-growth and improvement with the law.
About the Author– Parika Gupta is a first year student of Camus Law Centre, Delhi University, interested in reading and writing about socio legal issues and related policies.