Disagreement is a Freedom Priviledge

disagree.jpgMankind has an amazing history. The history of origin of mankind itself has had many versions, none of which though mention man to have been born as a slave; yet freedom has always been a major concern.

Today ‘freedom’ holds tremendous importance because man has crossed all bounds and limits in order to quench his thirst for power. Some of us have become the slaves of our minds and succumbed to our desires. As a result, something as natural as freedom has been explicitly defined in the constitution of most countries. In a country like ours which has been through a remarkable freedom struggle; independence is a lot more than ‘just another word’. ‘Right to Freedom’ is one of our fundamental rights and Freedom of Expression is an integral part of it.

Expression-of feelings, of emotions, of a viewpoint; is an important aspect of being a human being. Not only does the ability to express makes us superior to other living beings, but it has always been an important part of our evolution. Expression of thought or a viewpoint can either be in agreement or be in disagreement, but the point to be pondered upon is whether disagreement is a freedom privilege. Considering the fact that freedom of expression is a freedom privilege and also the fact that expression cannot be confined to a single thought process, it is indirectly a freedom privilege.

Disagreement is a key aspect of growth because disagreement leads to alternative scenarios. So, many inventions have been a result of ‘out of the box thinking’ implying the fact that those who disagreed to follow conventions gave birth to remarkable inventions.

Disagreement also supports democratic systems. For instance, had the left parties not disagreed on the nuclear deal, the whole nation might not have given it as serious a thought but because it was under conflict, people formed opinions and expressed them.

However, the flip side can’t be ignored. The freedom of expression is undoubtedly a freedom privilege but not necessarily disagreement alone.

‘Disagreement’ is quite a relative concept, and cannot or rather should not be termed in such absolute terms. A more contorted version might suggest that in order to disagree one needs to agree; so is it Agreement that is a freedom privilege, or Disagreement that is a freedom privilege?

The idea is not to promote disagreement among people because it can have undesirable consequences. Rebels, fanatics and others from similar species like the Naxalites, for example, disagree to the present/current system, conventions and agree to their own beliefs. Thus, in order to make a statement they adopt ways and means which prove to be harmful for the entire nation.

Hence it becomes important to encourage the informed, aware and participative citizens who contribute to build a healthy society and respect their right to freedom whether or not they agree or disagree with the fact that disagreement is a freedom privilege.

Meghna Baweja

[Image courtesy:http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindabowman/2190841219/]