Saturday, March 7, 2015

Charlie's world

The French cherish their freedom. When a leftist leaning magazine was attacked for publishing the controversial cartoons, the French government put its full weight behind the magazine. The message was very simple- we may not agree with your views but we will defend your right to have it. The French paid a heavy price for their policy on freedom but doing so would have jeopardized the very ideals of the French Republic.
The multi-cultural society exerts its own pressures on the various organs of the State. The legislature is constantly influenced to bring in laws to protect the interests of the minorities and thereby bring about their integration into the larger society. The judiciary is also under pressure to review and interpret the laws in tune with the changing needs of the society. And finally, the executive performs the task of delivering the policies to the people.
Freedom is non-negotiable. Any dilution of this freedom is the beginning of a restricted society. A society that is restricted will find alternative and sometimes violent ways of expressing itself. Freedom is a safety value-  it allows the frustration and anger to be channeled into various modes of expressions- films, literature, theatre, arts and even political action. One thing Charlie Hebdo episode has driven home to us Indians is the fact that basic freedom is worth defending.

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