Friday, January 4, 2013

Responsible Freedom

I read with interest an article on "Responsible Freedom" recently. The author is a HR professional. His thoughts on "freedom at work" may be extended to other areas as well. With the World Dynamics changing , he advocates flexibility in the organisation to retain talent. The call has thus become necessary due to changing requirements. Now the question before us is why such Micro and Macro surveys should be confined to business circles. Is it because the employees want more and more - more personal attention and their voices to be heard and responded to and they want it to happen "Now" ? Is it not aggressively played to arrest attrition and translate business goals into  direct action? Employee development has become the key area everywhere. The multi-fold growth in business challenges has asked for complex changes to remain proactive. We need to groom people to undertake enhanced responsibilities in all areas of work.

Freedom does not mean "do what you want". It provides an opportunity to express , interact ,suggest and share the views/ideas within a framework. It encourages inputs that are innovative and morale boosting. When we apply the Business principles to Religious Freedom, the results are not encouraging. It is disappointing to see people take liberty to misuse the freedom they enjoy. Only when the legal fraternity alerts them that their action amounts to libel or slander, they realise their mistakes. To believe or not may be entrusted to the individual. But then it is not clear how atheism is allowed by Law where people are allowed to  spit venom on others. If someone keeps calm on being attacked verbally or through any media, it is taken for granted that one can go scotfree even after throwing rubbish on somebody. Some politicians are known for issuing statements against some communities who observe extreme tolerence. The statements are the outbursts to divert the attention of people. They refrain to do it only during Poll time.

A road map is to be drawn on how best we treat people honestly and improve their capabilities. Justice delayed is inferred as the inability to punish wrong doers on time. How often the Villagers gather to discuss the issues connected with their Temples? Does the Executive officer of the Temple calls for a meeting to discuss the status and share with them? Recently,the HR&CE dept had organised a training camp for Archakas. We do not know whether it served the purpose. Mere talking may not help in a big way. You need to demonstrate that you care for them. Efforts are to be taken to persuade that the Work culture and environment will be taken care of. Have we ever thought of providing shelter, education and Health care for them? The number of uninsured Priests ,if collected, may be alarming. The society has simply provided them the freedom to live and nothing more!

It should not be mistaken when we point out that Philanthropy is not totally addressed to poor sections of people and dilapidated Temples. We agree that they have the Freedom to donate as per their wish. Our sincere request at this stage is they can extend their generosity towards the downtrodden people and Temples in rural areas.

"Think before you write" is one of the messages we get from Mahabharatha. When Ganapathi asked Sage Vyasa to dictate the verses without interruption, the Sage agreed to do so if Ganesa gets the meaning of each verse before writing. People unnecessarily land into controversy by drawing sketches of Gods and Goddesses which naturally wound the believers and irks them a lot. Once the boundary of Freedom is violated, such events are likely to happen. It is better to anticipate the consequences and stop well before the limit.

Freedom of speech need not be extended to criticize the faith of others. We have heard a politician saying that his party is not a Mutt. While he has the freedom to tell that his party is supreme , his needless reference to Mutt is unwarranted. Practicing Responsible Freedom will prevent such utterences. He may show his opposition to  the policies of other parties without tresspassing into the freedom of others. Hence the Law makers should take appropriate steps to provide Freedom which can  protect the rights of people to enjoy it in the right spirit. May the spirit of Freedom attain its true meaning to make the Democratic principles more meaningful. This is exactly we mean by Responsible Freedom.

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