“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls… Contd below
The poem, Where The Mind Is Without Fear, by Rabindranath Tagore, was written before India’s independence and shared his vision of what a new, independent and awakened nation would be. The message of the poem is also applicable to our individual struggles for personal freedom and growth. When I read the poem today, it struck a chord and resonated deep inside; prompting loads of questions: As a writer/blogger, do you feel free to express all of your views? Do you feel stymied by public opinion or social decorum? Do you worry that your boss might be unhappy with your writings? Do you feel the weight of your family values and upbringing standing in the way? I ask these questions because there are times when I wonder why I changed my mind about a post or reluctantly avoided delving into an emotionally charged subject. I tell friends I don’t need the agida but I’m not sure that is the full story. There are times when friends say” Oh, you must blog about this, that and the other…” Worthy subjects, no less. But something stops our movement from conversation to topic creation. What stops us? What stops you? What’s with the self-censorship?
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way… Contd below
I’ve been mulling this over for a while because I know that what we choose to write and how we present it is up to us. Sure, we stand the chance of being sued for libel or harangued by trolls and such, but at the end of the day, isn’t the truth supposed to set us free? When I started this blog, I had visions of including a section called “A Place to Vent” but dropped the idea when I realized that I didn’t need all that negativity in a forum in order to have my voice or the voice of others heard… Yet, I am still torn by a nagging voice to delve deeper into subjects that matter to all of us. Freedom of expression is a golden gift in this part of the world and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Granted, sometimes we wonder whose version of the truth we are being fed by the mass media but it shouldn’t negate our right to speak truth to power… even with the possibility of censorship. So, What stops you? What’s with the self-censorship? More below!