Invitation To Health: 13 ►There Is A Need For Introspection

Published: 23.03.2017

Limits of freedom

Individual freedom and individual constitutional rights-between these two words is vacillating the future of countless people. Abortion is an example. Many movements are working in its favour and against it. Its supporters proclaim the individual liberty and individual constitutional right of woman and do not regard the law against abortion as justified. Recently American Supreme Court gave a judgment against abortion which is violating the individual freedom and fundamental rights according to American Women's Liberation Movement. Does this viewpoint not raise a question about freedom? Is freedom absolute? Is it limitless? If it is then it is not an object of this world. If it is not limitless then we shall have to realize its expectation and limits. Can killing of an unborn baby be said to be individual freedom? Can it be regarded as violation of fundamental rights? One person is not free to kill another person whether that person is born or not. That is why there is a need to reconsider the limits of freedom.

Context: use of chemical fertilizers

The second example is use of chemical fertilizers. Everyone wants to increase production of crops. Population is increasing; consumption is also increasing. To fulfill the demands of increasing population there is a need for increased production. The agricultural scientists gave an alternative— use of chemical fertilizers. There by production increased. Now the productive power of earth went into the hands of fertilizers. There was indiscriminate use of fertilizers. Every farmer has this individual freedom that he may use chemical fertilizers as he wishes and he is also using this freedom. Its consequence that is taking place is very dangerous. Environmental scientists and geologists are telling-by the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers underground water is getting polluted. From ground water resources, potable water is provided to a great extent. If those resources get polluted and water does not remain drinkable, then will the fate of human race not jeopardized. The underground water alone is not getting polluted, crops are also getting polluted. According to World Health Organization fifty percent of used fertilizer gets absorbed in the crop. Does the foodstuff produced from that crop or other materials not affect the health? Should the individual freedom to use chemical fertilizers indiscriminately remain limitless?

Constitutional rights: moral duty

Freedom has limits-other's freedom should not be hindered, natural riches should not be destroyed. Freedom cannot be given, and should not be given, to pollute earth, water, and environment. Constitutional rights are important for individual or society but they are not supreme. The place of moral duty is higher than constitutional rights. For the protection of constitutional rights there are police, army, weapons, and legal codes. There is no such line of protection to safeguard moral duty. Its protection parapet is awakening of social consciousness alone. At present, it appears to be covered up by individual selfishness. When people seated on the top of power and social set up get engaged in fulfillment of individual self-interest, then the very foundation of freedom gets shattered.

Context: religious conversion

Third example is that of freedom for religious conversion. Every individual can accept or give up a religion as per one's own thought, but at present the basis of religious conversion is less of change of thought and more of force of circumstance, use of might or allurement. If someone indulges in religious conversion after proper explanation and advice or if someone gets converted after due understanding, in that situation there is no question mark against freedom. Schedule caste people are changing religion. This is not change of thought. Before them there is compulsion of circumstance. The ego of upper caste is so strong that they are not willing to give equal status to schedule caste people at the human level. If some schedule caste person takes a marriage procession seated on horse, then also their ego is hurt. From this compulsion of circumstance is individual freedom being respected? There are so many reasons and causes of slavery that freedom comes under the ambit of questions again and again. It has immense value; it is highest achievement of human being. One writer of Smrti (book on moral code) had evaluated it as follows: -

"Sarvam paravaśam dukham, sarvamātmavaśam sukham.i.e., "All that is controlled by others is painful, all that is self-controlled is pleasant."

Freedom is the greatest happiness. How difficult is its achievement and how difficult is its protection? Every individual and also the whole society have to reflect on this.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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  1. Consciousness
  2. Environment
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