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Crisis of India’s Socialist Democracy and People’s Liberty

India is the socialist democratic country. Here people have their liberty to form a government. But do they enjoy real freedom and liberty? Unfortunately, government holds absolute power and it works according to the will of the political parties. An individual has to obey it and it he/she protests to be considered as non-patriot.  Today, India is passing through a critical juncture. Religious divisions are raising ugly heads under sponsorship of the government and its political party. India is waiting to be witness another religious riot further. Then, where is its democratic socialism?

To Swami Vivekananda, “The doctrine which demands the sacrifice of individual freedom to social supremacy is called Socialism.” Therefore, only power of a state cannot ensure individual freedom and liberty. That’s why he believed on individual’s independent will power for real freedom and liberty. He told, ‘it is more blessed in my opinion even to go wrong impelled by one’s free will and intelligence than to be good as automation’. When a state and system ignore one’s freedom and liberty, it disregards real welfare of the people. Here it is a contradiction raised by him against Marxism. He asked, ‘can that be called society, which is formed by an aggregate of men who are like lumps of clay like lifeless machine, like head-up pebbles? How can such a society fare well?’ Today’s situation reminds us again and again.

Swami Vivekananda directed a unique democratic socialism with some principles – “Liberty does not mean an absence of obstacles in the path of misappropriation of wealth, etc., by you and me, but it is our natural right to be allowed to use own body, intelligence or wealth according to our will, without doing harm to others and all the members of society ought to have the same opportunity for obtaining wealth, education or knowledge.”

He also reminded ‘Excess of knowledge and power without holiness makes human being devils. Tremendous power is being acquired by the manufacturer of machines and other appliances and privilege is claimed today, as it had never been claimed by the history of the world. That is why the Vedanta wants to preach against it, to break down the tyrannising over the souls of men’.

According to him, ‘Everyone is the embodiment of Knowledge, everyone is the embodiment of the eternal Bliss and eternal Existence’.  So, state should provide all facilities of growth and development. And when a state limits individual’s liberty, it would destroy all. He directed, “Liberty of thought and action is the only condition of life, of growth and well-being. Where it does not exist, the man, the race, the nation must go down.

“It is the biggest crisis because government misleads the people and making them dependent on government is a wrong path for true freedom and liberty. Government should act towards a religious integrity and development.”

It remembers D. Burns’s view on Socialism- “The individualist is right in aiming at the variety of individuals, and so is the socialist in impressing on all their common interest, for the fullest development of each is to be found in the life of the whole.

“That’s why he suggested, “If we could imagine an ideal at once individualistic and socialistic, such would be the effective ideal for the most thinking men.” It is the great absence at this moment in this nation.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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