There are two words that are probably most critical for human development and progress. While these two words, most of us are aware but unfortunately the philosophy of these words has been lost in the translation. The ethos and character of these two words have been misused and abused to the hilt. Nations have sacrificed, fought wars and given blood for revolutions for these two words. Freedom and Equality are two virtues that humans have struggled to establish throughout the course of history. Even the countries were carved out with blood for Freedom and Equality.
But an understanding of these words has become vague and ambiguous. Rather definition of freedom and equality has been molded to serve self-interests and political views. According to the Oxford definition of freedom is the right to do or say what you want without anyone stopping you. Freedom is a state of independent mind where one can do what he likes to do without any restriction by anyone. Freedom essentially provides equal opportunity to everyone for liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom essentially provides the right to express ideas, opinions and speech.
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It provides liberty to all exercise their beliefs and a religious ethos
The subcontinent got divided and millions sacrificed their lives so that their next generations live with freedom and have the status of equal citizens. Unfortunately, the same state which was created in the name of freedom and equality crushed the spirit for political and financial gains. Ethnic and cast-based politics were the foundation that started to crush the principles of Freedom. Then came the religious merchants and national security dealers who murdered the spirit and soul of Freedom. It’s a shame that while we teach all the children about the Freedom movement, we completely ignore inculcate the gist and meaning of Freedom to children.
It’s a shame that the very concept of freedom and equality is different for others and different when it comes to various casts, sects and privilege classes. Within this state, utensils remain different for servants and other religious classes, there are feudal and Pir Infront of whom you cannot stand and cannot look into their eyes. It is a shame even at this time and age the way so-called educated aunties treat their maids, it’s a shame the way the first question still asked for marriage proposal is “what’s your cast”. It’s a shame when one sees young children working 24 hours for the so-called rich or for industrialists.
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Pay heed to the voice of conscience, racism, sense of superiority and entitlement
On every street, listen to the dialogue “don’t you know who I am”. Look around and see special number plates, special statuses are on display. In case you come from a privileged class(industrialists, Bureaucracy, Judiciary) or from religious orthodoxy, the entire system will come forward and will facilitate. But if you are poor or from a minority or have your opinion which is not in line with the establishment, the system will ensure your freedom is seized and there is no justice for you.
Freedom and Equality are being deliberately strangulated by the politicians and Government officials to keep fooling the people and taking financial benefits in the name of tradition, family and religion. People are not allowed to question, and it allows politicians and bureaucracy to perpetuate the colonial systems and laws. Even schools, universities and media do not spread awareness about the true meanings of freedom and equality. The religious merchants fully understand that their business will topple if people are liberated from the chains of sectarianism. Similarly, politicians make full hay on the Bradarismand ensure people look up to them as deities and they portray themselves as mini gods.
Society can only progress and evolve once the true meaning and spirit of freedom and equality are understood and practiced in essence. When all belief not only in their own freedom but also start to respect the freedom of others. When all belief in inequality, not for themselves but also take others as their equals. Society must provide equity for underprivileged citizens, especially who are living in underdeveloped areas. When all believe that children belong to everyone when all believe that all occupations need respect when all believe that there are no entitlements and no one is superior based on Bradari, religious ethos or money.
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Two words, Freedom and Equality through simple and used every day, need to be translated and their magic needs to be cascaded to everyone. Not only the society will become more respectful tolerant but would start appreciating merit and justice. Once people start believing in these two words, only they will challenge the status quo politicians, bureaucrats and injustices around them. The evolution can come from very basic, and everyday used concepts.
So simple and easy yet so difficult and far!
Moied Javeed is a senior telecom executive in Pakistan and can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.