The guarantee of freedom in law does not necessarily mean that the citizens of a society may enjoy freedom in reality.
The concept of freedom also has to be applied, put in place and virtually enforced by changing habits, mores and traditions of a society, especially old ones, like the Indian society.
Even though the law guarantees freedom of religion in India, still, after seven decades of freedom, the poor and oppressed are denied even basic rights like entry to holy and religious sites, over large parts of the country. There are several kinds of social freedoms that are still not available, or at least difficult to enjoy by the weaker sections of the society.
We are proud of the fact that we have created a liberal democratic society. However, it would have been still better, if a corresponding reform,take place in our society as well, ensuring that the freedoms of a liberal democracy are actually available to the people.
Somehow, somewhere, it was left to the society, to reform itself. Somehow, an idea took root in the country that social reforms would happen on their own, and that there was not a need for a social movement or a mission to affect reforms in the society.
In the present day India, everybody is telling everyone else, what is right and what is not!
There is a kind of a cacophonic chaos, that seems to have enveloped India.
The Judiciary, by adopting the approach of an activist, is making its own set of laws. A new kind of value system is being forced down the throats of the people, in which a Judge of the higher courts, virtually dictates, what is right and what is not, thereby trying to impose his own value system upon the rest of the people.
The media has also don the role of an activist. Many TV channels choose a subject that appears important to them, and then go on berating, sometimes hysterically, till the campaign reaches shrill levels, and the eardrums of the hapless audience are on the verge of collapsing.
Similarly, the social activists of India are not far behind. The entire anti-corruption movement led by Anna even created a situation which affected a change in government of the capital city.
The institution of government in India has certainly been very active in propagating new kinds of social values, as concepts of ‘social-justice’, ‘social-engineering’ and ‘social-reform’ led to the creation of a most unfair and unjust policy of reservations.
The political parties have also practiced their own brands of activism. We have seen the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi practice a strange variety of activism, which led to the creation of hoards of laws, guaranteeing all kinds of rights to the people, like the Right to information, Right to Education, and Right to Food etc.
The parties of the Right are propagating their own brand of ‘how a religion should be practiced’. Of late we have also seen events taking violent turn, as fringe groups try and browbeat the religious minorities.
In the face of such activism of different kinds, widely prevalent and propagated by various groups in power, can we say that freedom actually exists in our society?