Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Comfort of slavery


Slavery has a comfort. Freedom is responsibility.

Slavery is the most hated human condition. Man is born is free and should live free. No man is born as Indian, American, East or West. None is born as Christian, Hindu or Islam etc. No child is ever born as wealthy or poor. Every child is born as a free human being.

But from the very moment of his first cry, he is in chains. It may be national, religious, financial or social. The division is based on certain constructed concepts. The child is called a boy or a girl, constructing gender difference. One may wonder whether the child’s first cry is an involuntary response against these shackles.

The observation of the great philosopher that man is born free but everywhere he is in chains, is apt.

Allow me take the freedom to think that the child stops crying after a few moments and goes to sleep because he realizes the comfort of slavery. He starts enjoying this comfort from his birth. From there onwards all his clamor for freedom is only a struggle to change the slave master.

The greatest political governing system contributed by the honorable ancient Greeks, the democracy, contains a minimized slavery. The right of the people is happily limited to their power to vote. In parliamentary system that exists in India, people elect a representative to the parliament and go to sleep comfortable with their free life. All responsibilities of ruling the nation is left with the members of the parliament. What if they turn anti people?

Freedom is responsibility. Shifting the responsibility is the comfort of slavery.

In the Bible, there is a concept of ‘free slave’. Every 50 year is to be celebrated as Jubilee Year. During the Jubilee Year, freedom is declared to all slaves. Slaves can walk out of their master’s bonds. But if any slave feels that his master is a good person and living under his mastership is better than the life of a freeman, he can confess it to his master. Then the master cast a mark on his ear to distinguish him as a ‘free slave.’ This concept has deep religious implications. Here I do not wish to discuss those religious implications. This state of slavery as a ‘free slave’ is the most preferred social condition by men everywhere.

While travelling to their promised land through the desert, Israelites often missed the delicious food and elaborate funeral the dead. Their leader was Moses. He was leading them to the promised prosperous free land. But they complained and plotted against Moses. They wanted to go back to Egypt where they were slaves for the past 430 years. They preferred slavery in Egypt to freedom in the desert and the promised free land. Freedom demanded responsibility to find their food and water. They had to adhere to rules and regulations and fight wars against enemy. Anxiety about tomorrow disturbed them.

A slave has no dream, no tomorrow and no worries. He has entrusted everything to his master. He does what his master orders. He never bothers about the consequence of fulfilling the order of his master. Even obeying rules and regulations are not his responsibility; the master has to ensure it. How happy is a slave.

Reservations based on gender, cast, religion or finance is a good example for the comfort of slavery. It is disguised slavery. It is conspired slavery to keep us in subjugation. Reservation has created an impression that, it is chaos without it. It is a false security. Its foundation is emotional fear.

Reservation has the magic power to keep us in chains. We accept the chains of cast, religion, gender, financial poverty etc. Why struggle to walk out when we have the comfort offered by reservation. Why dream of responsible life, when we have the comfort of slavery.

Futher readings:
Freedom is responsibility

Professor Jacob Abraham

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