Sunday, March 18, 2007

Freedom should not be misused

It is after a long time that I am able to write something here. Had been rather busy and also rather tired. :-)

This is something that I have been wanting to write about for some time, but have not been able to. Since this blog is called "Free as in Freedom", I thought this is the right place to write about it. As you must have guessed, it is about freedom. But it is not about fighting for it, but about the responsibilities freedom comes with. It is not very common for people to realise that freedom comes with responsibilities. Hence they tend to misuse the freedom. Sometimes, this is tolerated, especially if the concerned person has some authority. But it causes resentment among others. And people start talking, which tends to build up the resentment.

People who deliberately misuse their freedom often tend to become excessive. This is when the suppressed resentment breaks out. Someone eventually has to do something about it and that could lead to curbing of the freedom. So I would say, don't misuse your freedom, or you will lose it.

Just today, I heard a senior police official, a person who is well-known for his dedication, complain during a speech about how the media is misusing their freedom, often forgetting the agony they cause to the people they are harassing. He was most probably expressing the feeling that many officials and others have had for quite some time. Especially with the visual media becoming ubiquitous, and channels competing with one another for sensational stories, their harassment also has attained new levels. The media do enjoy a lot of freedom in a large part of the world, and they need to be aware of their responsibilities too.

I remember an instance of the reporter of a particular channel questioning two teenage children about their parents. The tragedy was that their father was dead and their mother was in prison. Just imagine how shattered the children would be. No one with any sense would aks the children to explain their relationship with their parents and the relationship between the parents. I was so shocked seeing the visual (telecast during a news programme) that I was angry and shocked that no one else present there (only neighbours) had sufficient moral indignation to slap the fellows. This happened several months ago, and now a senior official has expressed the very same feelings.

So, let me repeat, Do not misuse your freedom, lest you lose it.