Individualism. Though I might not know the definition of the word, neither do I attempt to define it, it has been the biggest cause of success and also sometimes been the biggest cause of my being perpetrated as a garrulous and proud person. I solely believe in the concept of the individual and his rights.

Every time that someone takes a decision, he is doing an experiment in individualism. The biggest treatise, so as to say, is that for almost everything in the (visible) universe, the individual should be at the center of it all. You might disagree that man is a social animal and by nature humans have flourished as communities which later swelled onto become civilizations and to the modern world today. Individualism doesn’t take away the community or the social aspect of human existence. All it does is to exert the influence of the individual on his own life. Though it may sound trivial, yet for a person that is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

What does taking control of your own life mean? Aren’t we all control our lives? No. We do not. Hard it may be for some of us to believe, most of our decisions and actions are determined by the almost incomprehensible morality of the society. Right from the time that a human is born, he is fed information and knowledge about what is right and what is wrong; this is good and this is bad. It may not sound too bad but the fact is that once the person does start to conform to these perceptions, he has no escape. From that point on he is governed by the laws of what we call morals, ethics and sometimes the code of conduct. A human being is supposed to behave in a certain way. Yes, I agree that it is necessary for sustenance of life. More serious and somewhat cynical people might go on to say that without morals etc, we would be hurled into chaos. It may or may not happen. What my version of individualism demands is the right of the person to ponder, decide and choose his own morals, ethics and what he thinks is the correct code of conduct. Cynics may again argue that it may differ from one person to another. Yet that is what individualism promotes: The identity and the virtues, even the most trivial idiosyncrasies of an individual that in fact make him an individual.

We always talk about the variations in people’s opinions, the diversity of thought and even in the way we look and remark upon the greatness and the remarkable nature of the human race. This is what individualism promotes and some. The fact is that today people are afraid to voice their opinions for fear of being outcast from the society. The present system of governance anywhere in the world takes away the spirit of individualism. Nowhere is it more evident than in India. Every decision that the polity takes is based under the almost farcical assumption that the people have to be ruled and without them the country cant survive and will surely descend into anarchy. They are partially correct but mostly they are wrong. The whole of spirit of individualism argues that you should give the people a chance to decide what is right for them. Cynics may argue that we give them the right to vote, the right to freedom of speech and the other fundamental rights upon which the Indian polity gloats not only in India but abroad also. The fact is that the governing bodies in India treat us like sheep, with it assuming the comfy position of the shepherd. What it forgets is that although the sheep may speak up they have only one meter, the so called shepherd-Indians have many voices. A shepherd may look after the sheep it can certainly never look after the Indians.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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