Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The heart of the republic

Freedom is not simply a matter of being fed. The technical lack of a cage also does not define freedom. She may be trained to perform on stage through a judicious mix of fear, pain and food, but a lioness balancing on a chair and being ridden by a clown cannot be called free.

Hunting and killing also do not necessarily translate to freedom. A lioness must also be free to not hunt and not kill when she chooses. One who is expected to tear into a gladiator, or an unarmed Christian convert, is no freer than the human she will kill.

Freedom, then, is a form of self-determination. Being able to make one’s own choices is vital to the process of achieving it, and inhabiting it. And what is the republic if not a human attempt towards self-determination?

Some thoughts on the republic, freedom and Born Free today in the Indian Express: 


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