Keeping Freedom of Speech Alive in India
What does it mean to keep freedom of speech alive? Does it mean saying whatever we want, or is there a place where we draw the line?
Q: Sadhguru, today we see a lot of people taking an anti-establishment stance in the name of freedom of speech. But where do we draw the line between freedom of speech and anarchy?
Sadhguru: “Freedom” is a bad word because I have always seen, the moment somebody starts talking about freedom, they start doing irresponsible things. “Responsibility” is the right word because where there is no responsibility, there will anyway be no freedom. Only if all of us behave responsibly, there is some freedom. If we start behaving irresponsibly towards each other, there will be no freedom.
The Outdated Romance of Revolution
Right now, there are a lot of people still living in the romance of revolution. They do not understand that it is a romance of another time. There is no place for such a thing in today’s world. At one time, in South America and Mexico, it was very romantic to be part of a revolution. You pick up a gun and shoot some guy, and you are in revolution.
Today, if you want to cause a revolution, educate a hundred children or plant a million trees. Today, solution is revolution.
There is a small segment of population in India who is still in that mode, and certain parts of the country are still in the romance of revolution. Every day, they are bombing or shooting someone. And there are a lot of people in the universities and schools who are fired up by this romance and are talking about the same revolution. They do not know what the purpose of this revolution is, but they want revolution – just like that.
When people are young, it is very easy to fire them up against something. But this idea of revolution is over. Today, if you want to cause a revolution, educate a hundred children or plant a million trees. Today, solution is revolution. In those days, the world was ruled by tyrants with guns, so fighting and killing them was a revolution. Today, almost the entire world is democratic. You just have to wait for another four or five years – they will go! Today, what matters is whether you have a revolutionary idea for a solution.
True Freedom of Speech
When we say freedom of speech, it means everyone can say what they want. Everyone will be allowed to say what they want only if they speak responsibly. If we start saying whatever we feel like to each other, people will start slapping each other on the face, no matter what the law may be. Once somebody slaps you, you will slap them, then they shoot you, then you shoot them, then there will be no freedom of any kind.
Only if all of us behave responsibly, there is some freedom. If we start behaving irresponsibly towards each other, there will be no freedom.
Once there is strife, there is no freedom left. If you look at Iraq or Syria and wherever Islamic State is going on, do you think you would have freedom of speech there? If you open your mouth, you may catch a bullet. There is no freedom of any kind. Once strife happens, slavery is what happens, not freedom.
If you want freedom to exist, responsible behavior is most important. If you value freedom of every kind, the most important thing is to maintain law and order, to follow the rules of the game in which we are, and express what we want to within that. Maintaining order and keeping the balance of everything is the only way we will have freedom.
Editor’s Note: Download the ebook, “Culture of Peace”, which includes Sadhguru’s insights into the basis of conflict, misconceptions about peace and how each of us can help to create a generation of peaceful human beings.