Research Analyst, with a mandate to cover real estate, but often strays into imaginary castles in the air. Women and finance is another of my interests, being a woman and all. I believe in rebirth and evolution into a higher life form (ala journalist).

Meera Siva

Freedom from choice

| Updated on August 14, 2013 Published on August 14, 2013

Most choices are non-choices or between trivia

Come Independence Day, there are always heated debates and discussions on the state of our freedom. However, the freedom I personally want is not that of more choices, but the one from choices.

Born free

One did not have any choice about the country, religion, caste or economic background one is born into, karma theory aside. Nor is there any selection possible on skin colour, features, height or hair. Not even can I prefer being a male or choose to be a female. And one grows up in a home with parents and siblings pre-selected.

One is spoonfed food and values and sent to school to learn things that are deemed worthy by a Board of education. Pretty much, the formative years are spent choice-less. One wonders whether this is the reason for childhood being the happiest time of one’s life! Yet, the fact is that one craves freedom.

Hobson’s choice

Unfortunately though, the freedom we crave, revere and fight for, involves choosing between non-choices or for trivia. Should I buy a toothbrush bent 45 degrees or one with double coloured bristles or one with a differently shaped head? How about a neem stick?

In other cases, the choice is better termed as a dilemma. Should I bribe the employees at the local electricity office or pay the electrician who will manage the bribing part? This is rather amplified, come elections. Most choices are between the devil and the deep sea or between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Should I vote for the candidate who amassed Rs 100 crore in his last term or the one with 15 criminal cases?

Voter apathy is understandable and one certainly wants freedom from these choices. After all, if all roads lead to discontent, I cannot be happy about the freedom to choose my route to it. Rather, I want to be untangled from bondage masquerading as choices. I may then have a chance to understand the depth of my slavery and look towards true freedom.

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Published on August 14, 2013
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