Tag Archives: liberty

Freedom: Beyond Rights, Towards Power

To be free is to be political. For we cannot escape the very power constraints which form us, but only transmute them according to our intent.

Unfortunately, we have been made to believe that freedom is something we are born with and need only to protect either by begging to our governments, or merely being aloof and apolitical — isolated from the world which sustains us.

We live in an age where freedom instantly evokes images of outrage and placards.

Incidentally, we also live in an age where states around the world are brazenly constructing precise machineries of surveillance and control — and we aren’t doing shit about them.

Freedom and rebellion have always been twins. It was the French Revolution which resulted in the Human Rights Charter in which Liberty became the inherent, inalienable right of every person.
Using this humanist doctrine all the European colonies kicked out their oppressors – – Gandhi being an emblematic figure of this kind modern rebellion.

This non-violent form of protest, with marches, sloganeering and placard-waving was soon picked up by civil societies around the world.

Although quite effective in the 20th century we see these kinds of protests fizzling out with no results in the 21st century. The Governments now know that a march, or a strike here and there barely dents their international power network.

The Occupy Wall Street, the Gender Equality protest in India, the so called Arab Spring – – all they could achieve was media hype, but none of their practical goals.

It is time we wake up and face reality:

If our Right to Freedom has to be granted by someone else, then that is no freedom at all. Liberty then is a slave to the whims and strategies of the government which rules us.

What the heck are we demanding out on the streets, in front of our parliaments? How is it freedom if it can be ‘granted’ by someone else?

The very idea of freedom as it exists in the current form is delusional.
Freedom is envisaged as this independence from the world which allows an individual to do what she desires.

This is simply a impossible. No one can be independent from the world simply because we are and always will be a part of it. Our food is grown by someone else. Our clothes are created by numerous unknown people. Our houses are constructed by others. We are bound by the laws of physics. Our bodies are made out of the food we eat, the air we breath.

Where the heck is any possibility of in-dependence? We can never be separate from the world. We can never be isolated, self-sustaining units, floating in the universe, powered merely by our free will.

Freedom is not a right. Freedom is an ability. It is a skill. It is a technique to interact, negotiate and mold our surroundings according to our intent.

Freedom is always an active, political act. It is the sum total of our abilities which form us and our environment in a cyclical way. It necessarily has to be a way not only to do what you desire, but to protect yourself, act against forces which intend to annihilate you.

Thus, our freedom, quite simply means acting according to political intent.

It is a fact that we are born into a network of relationships with our fellow beings and our environment.

It is a fact that we form our identities only in these constraints. I am whatever I am because I am no other person and I am also not a rock or a tree.

It is also a fact that these relationships are relationships of power.
Our parents are the dominant forces who decide our initial fate. We live because our immune systems constantly win every war against the pathogens always besieging us. We either mold nature to make it work like we want it to or nature shatters our illusions by sending disasters once in a while.

Thus to be free is necessarily to be political. The trend, especially in this generation, to be fashionably apolitical is something which is destroying our collective freedom.
In our relationship with the world we are either politically victorious or politically oppressed. Being apolitical simply means to be a passive recipient of other people’s politics.

Power has been usually seen as something dirty which intends to annihilate freedom. But it is only through power that freedom can be exercised in the first place. Power is not only domination but it can also be a positive force which results in growth, happiness and productivity.

Power is the medium of our being.

More importantly, it is the only way, in our current situation, that we can ever escape from universal, flawless dictatorship.

Rather than acting as if we already have the ‘Right’ to freedom, we should consider freedom as intent combined with the potential to act on them. Something which is both inherent in us and yet has to be learned and perfected like language, logic or art.

Freedom then is not some Right, but a life skill which has to be practiced, exercised, honed and implemented by all of us.

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Anatomy Of Change

The Slave is in a quest for himself.

His armor is heavy,
His feet are shackled
In boots of war
He didn’t start.

When he rips them off
There is filth.

A black slime which he inherited.

He claws on this skin
Which chokes him from within.

He is black
He is poor
He is white
He is rich
He is not just his parents’ progeny
He is not just a vessel for their filth.

He is the child of his own dreams.

He hates it when they say
He’s trapped in their heresy
Slave of the body
They decided to give him.

He wears the pearls
Which he stole from her mother
Simply because they forbid him to.

But he realizes
Its free to be naked.

And he burns his skin away.

He shall betray his DNA.

And all that remains
Is his bare bones —

The Anatomy Of Change.

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Love, Art and Lady GaGa

If you have revolutionary potential,

Then it’s your moral imperative to make the world a better place.

It was in 2009 that I saw the latex-clad beast called Lady GaGa for the first time.Those were the days when India was relatively ignored by Hollywood and the hype was always late to reach the Indian shores.

By that time Pokerface, Paparazzi and all other videos from ‘The Fame’ had already been released and the label of attention-whore had been slapped on her forehead.

But from the very beginning, when I had seen her emerge from the pool wearing a disco-mask and catsuit, I knew that she was the person who’ll show me the way. It was as if my hymen-like sense of reality was torn apart by her pure avant-garde force. In a metaphorical way, my virginity was taken by her dick.

And thus began my obsession with  my idol, Lady GaGa.

People have often asked me why a pop-star chameleon means so much to me that I take every insult hurled at her as a personal attack and I laugh and cry along with her.

To tell the truth, I don’t know.

Perhaps, it’s the sense of liberation that I feel when I watch her singing with her teats on fire. Or is it the power of accepting myself when I see her bathed in the spotlight, talking about being dumped in the garbage.

Maybe, it’s the sense of unity that I feel when I see her talking about female empowerment, gay rights, being who you want to be and art — everything in which I believe in.

Or it could also be that watching the first pop star of our generation to wear a meat dress when she accepts her VMA simply gives me voyeuristic pleasure. Her homo-erotic, pop opera — The Monster Ball — was indeed an emotionally charged glamour show.

But who cares what the reason is?

The inspiration that I derive from GaGa will remain ignorant to logic and reason.

After all, fantasy is what we have created together — GaGa and us little monsters.

And as she says, our bond is an exorcism — She is me and I am her.

Singing and dancing, with our glitter and hairbows on, we have effectively slayed reality.

But some say that all of it is a lie. Lady GaGa is just a synthetic pop-star, hungry for fame and money and her image is just an illusion.

But, at this point it doesn’t really matter. The image is what we have ever known.

The lie is the truth.

And the dream which we have created together is now immortal forever. 

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Flight Towards Freedom

Fear, rejection and silent screams;

they seek approval and freedom dreams.

Mask, diamonds and fancy dress;

their soul chokes under the glittery mess.

Joy, happiness, for them they beg;

they all are slaves with chained legs.

Tired, defeated, they give in,

but I do not, for this is a sin.

Revolt, rebellion and my war cry;

I take off my clothes, my soul won’t die.

Hated, scorned, I am loathed,

but they are blind, they are clothed.

Liberty, freedom, my limit is the sky;

With my wings outstretched I soar high.

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