‘Freedom’ it’s not just a word that’s written on paper but it itself a whole different world that everyone thrives for to live in it. Where it’s like ‘Eutopia’; everyone dreams for it in real life to really exist but in reality it doesn’t exist. Where everybody should get the same privilege as it showed to the showcase in our country basing on different perspectives but reality is a bit different combining all the contexts and situations we have today. Along with all the aspects socially, religiously, psychologically our views along with the liberal thoughts is more important to bring justice, freedom, stability, liberal practice for eradicating the social taboos, as well as a proper reinforcement against the obstacles we have in our perspective and establishing a state where a balance must be maintained in between the obstacles we have and the prosperity we achieved; only then it can be stated as ‘Individual Freedom’ from the best possible way.
Freedom & Individual Freedom
Basically the core meaning what we are actually bearing in our society is not the same as the justified meaning of ‘Freedom’. And this also resides in between of the contradictions what we really are and what are our purposes behind all of the conditions those are relatively adjusting according to our present condition. In terms of ‘Individual Freedom’ what we actually believe in; those matters are the most clarified aspects along with the perceptions, conceptions, traditions that we are practicing. The right or power of an individual to express, act, think, speak, develop as per the minimum agenda on which anyone can deliver or practice their minimum rights can be stated as ‘Freedom’ as well as ‘Individual Freedom’.
But there is a big difference as per the broadest definitions those we follow as per the notions and the prevailing conceptions those we practice in our country. As a Bangladeshi knowing the basics of the ‘Freedom’ and thus to practice in the society is tough sometime as per the values we bear in ourselves and practice from generation to generation. It sounds bit different and difficult but it is the bitter truth that we all are seeing from time to time but we are not restricting or doing anything against it because of our mindset. And there comes the most important and significant chapter in our open book of social life the ‘Liberty’, ’Liberalism’ concepts; of these we all are well-known but there is a vast gap in between of knowing all these and practicing those, persuading others as well as ourselves to regain the premises that we never achieved fruitfully.
We all are giving away ourselves in the wave of ‘Modernization’ but actually we are stuck in the ‘Traditional’ aspects. And these two words have the most gigantic leap of trust as well as the misconception bearing in it. What is the value of being modern only physically or verbally; when our mind set still holds the conventional approach anyway. Where is the clarity that’s shown in our constitution but in the real context of our nation its nothing but a faded glimpse. According to the context that’s stated in the fundamental rights of our constitution; really are we practicing all those freedom rights individually or nationally like those are stated and prescribed in our own constitution. According to ‘Part iii’ of our constitution article 27- ‘Equality before law’; but is this really prevailing that all the people as an individual getting the same privilege on the law, of course it’s not. It’s like an open secret to everyone but no one really takes the step to raise voice against these perspectives. As per the article 39 we know about the ‘Freedom of thought, speech’. But it’s not the actual scenario of our country if we come to the aspect of individuals it’s even worse. Not only these aspects but also there are many other situations, contexts, conditions prevailing in our country but for those we don’t have an actual solution from any perspective without a shadow of doubt. But even though this very aspect that we don’t have the courage that we won’t talk, it’s not the matter. But we are afraid to think or express ourselves in this very way and that’s where we are lacking behind as a nation. Not only these two aspects those are discussed in the above but also there are many more aspects like this; those have many limitations and thus have no actual finishing in it. The heinous crime in my mind what always bothers me inside that is the ‘Child Labour’. What we have known from our own constitution; that as per the article-34: “Prohibition of forced labour”. That is all forms of forced labour is prohibited and if found with this guilt then there will be serious punishment. But what’s the actual scenario in our country; according to the survey conducted by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics 2016, 3.45 million children are involved in this child labour and the age is in between 5-14 years. And from the very beginning it’s a very common scenario in our country. Let us assume all these children are not forced in the work but at least 2 million children are forced for sure, it may be for a cause that they have no parents or something for their need. We people always talk about our freedom, our nation with pride but many of us still don’t know the actual margin from where the counting starts.
National & Social Perspective
As a whole there are some issues basing on how we are actually living and thriving for our actual freedom in the context of our present situation it should be cleared in our thoughts. It’s not like we are not having our freedom or we are being suppressed but there are some aspects of liberalism that we should be practicing to nourish and express ourselves as a complete nation. There are diverse people in our country with many setbacks.
In our society we can see that there are many misconceptions arising which cause many obstacles in the path of freedom as well as on the individual aspects and also in the whole community. There are many questions above our mind set, system in which we are running, setbacks those we have, reasoning that’s not paid off all of these has no answer.
- When our country is in the peak of development, GDP hits the landmark of 8.13% which is a record in the present fiscal year according to the report published on March 19,2019 in “The Daily Star” then why still we have misconception regarding ‘Feminism’ and ‘Gender Equality’. Then why there are misrepresentations on these issues where half of the population is women; why the people always make a generalization about feminist women that they are not proper in their behavior and also in other aspects.
- Then in other aspect, why religious concepts still hampering other religion as we are a country where the Muslims are the majority. We all are talking about ‘Secularism’ even though we are not maintaining it anyway. Then why people still hate internally or restrict the inter-religious marriage in our society. Someone can love or choose to live with anyone from own religion or it can be other religion. But in our country this system is not supported and the people of the society hate this so much. It’s kind of a social taboo that’s prevailing successfully in our society. But as per the definition and terms of condition of individual freedom it seems to me, that this is not appropriate at all.
- From another view, why sometimes racial aspects coming up in this 21st century where all these causing great hindrance to individual freedom.
- Due to the aspect of freedom of thought, speech sometimes bloggers are considered among the atheists. But in reality this two has no connections in it. Many illogical representations converging to a point where the point is fluctuated and misrepresented. Everyone can write in social platforms, in webs, in blogs. But why their expression, point of view must be pointed as ‘Atheist’. In my opinion it’s not appropriate at all to make this generalization.
- As a part of the society, still in our country ‘The Third Gender’ this word is not appropriate in my sense because they are also included in our community, so why they shouldn’t have the proper rights as we are getting from our nation. They also belong to our society. They must be given the same priority as we all are getting. They are transgender but they are also a part of our community as well as they should get their personal freedom in what aspects we got. It can be in the job sector and many more aspects obviously.
- In other view, the indigenous people why they are apart from our rights properly even though it is stated in our constitution that they should get the same opportunities but in reality they are not getting their proper values. In every prospect they should get their individual freedom along with all the aspects as we are getting.
- Even those who are really atheists, they are not that much comfortable to express themselves in their way in the society because they know it should affect their personal life as well as they will not be treated well by the people. Because even we are asking for secularism but in the reality the religious fundamentalists are so strong to have a great impact on the following community as per their explanation. Because people take those in a level of trust where influential people can misinterpret the religious aspects. And thus the individual freedom is being hindered.
- In the broadest of prospects, if we see the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) in the world how they are involved and expressing themselves and in our country this can’t be even expressed in thoughts. This is their fear and our society taboo what’s holding them back from their freedom of expression.
- We all always talk about or see many activities regarding the ‘Women Empowerment’. But when it comes to the self-dependency many people from our society do not step forward in this regard. Even the female personalities those who talk about this aspect, they are awarded with a tag ‘Feminist’ in negative way. Even in our society sometimes feminists are call regarded as they are not secular, they are not religious. Such as: they don’t live in a way; what a normal women lives; how the normal women acts. But one thing for sure, equality in the gender doesn’t mean that you should be a non-secular personality or an atheist either way. Anyone can be in the female side as they work for their family, they believe in gender equality, they speak for women, even they are not an atheist or anything uncommon. We all have to accept this in this way. Obviously ‘Feminist’ is a positive word but our society representing it in way that we people sometime even don’t judge the actuality in the prospect.
- If we see the section 57 of the ICT act which was controversial in many ways that it will hamper the right to express, the freedom of press and it can be misused by the people they want to do it. It was a tricky decision to split the provisions into four new sections, were as it was the same law that was just all together in section 57 and now it’s been renamed as ‘Digital Security Act-2018’.
Now if we look a bit critically to the structure of our society as well as our nation then we can easily see some deep lines those are drawn to differentiate those also can show what we really representing through our society in the way of hindrance most of the times in the individual freedom as well.
When all the above points converges together to a common point that’s the individual freedom where everyone’s right must be ensured thoroughly and as a Bangladeshi in my opinion with the perceptions and conditions we have to ensure that all the matters discussed above is basically means to me to have individual freedom in my opinion as a Bangladeshi. Where there are obstacles, hurdles we have to jump and cross.
Liberal Aspects & Individual Freedom
Emphasizing on individual freedom as a Bangladeshi the criteria where all the aspects resides in between our values, morals and the reality where we are floating that comes to some liberal principles; those must be present and practiced well with proper respect according to different contexts as well as diversely. The conceptions about the prevailing system with which we are living will not be the same after 20 years from now. And it was not also the same 20 years before. It will keep changing and along with the change we have to accept the minimum prospects of liberalism basing on various perspectives.
Some people say they are with ‘Radicalism’ but whole heartedly this is very complex at least in our present situation where it seems to me the basic difference where we are lacking behind.
Every aspect has own political value, social meaning, economic perspective and along with all these, liberalism and individual freedom is the icing on the top of a cake.
- Gender equality and Feminism
- Racial equality
- Freedom of speech and thought
- Freedom of press
- Freedom of association
- Freedom of religion
- Political views
- Traditionalism despite of modernization
- Fundamental rights
- Capitalistic society
- Individual freedom(LGBT community, atheists, human rights, civil rights)
Generally we all see the side of the coin which others direct us to see. But always there are two sides of a coin; only a few can understand and tries to reflect those in our society. If on that very portion of people is biased in any contexts those are discussed above as the main principles of liberalism in my opinion, then it will be a disaster which will burst away our individual freedom as a Bangladeshi what we should have. And also misinterpretation and fluctuation will grasp our mind thus we all will set our mindset. But in my opinion we must have the sense to see the other side of the coin and thus judge others to regain what’s my freedom as an individual as a Bangladeshi.
As a Bangladeshi individual freedom is like an unborn child to me. We all have many expectations, desires with our freedom but actually many of us even don’t know the latent meanings behind and how to regain those. Before the birth of a child we even don’t know the exact shape of the baby but we dream; exactly in this aspect also we don’t know the shapes, outlines how to practice and regain our basic individual freedom which unfolds our desires but at least in this peak we can try to taste the core individual freedom to unleash our thoughts and practice liberalism to bring justice, prosperity, stability and freedom; this all means to me to have my individual freedom as a Bangladeshi.