Friday, August 20, 2010

Freedom

Once in a UN General Meeting, representatives of different countries were discussing about the degree of “Freedom of expression” that their citizens enjoy.



US representative starts out saying,”In our country, any citizen can walk into the White House, sit beside the fire place in oval office, have an espresso coffee with Mr. President and then say ‘Mr. President, you are a fool!’ Then they can discuss the affairs of the country.”


USSR representative, not to be out done says, “In our country too, any citizen can walk into Kremlin, sit beside the fire place, have a shot of vodka with Mr. President and then say, ’American President is a fool!’ and then discuss the affairs of the USA.”


Then it was turn of Indian representative who says, ”In our country, our President can walk into any citizen’s hut, eat whatever little food they have saved for the day, then while walking out will say, ’Citizen, you are a fool!’ and then walks out not to be seen for next 5 years.”


Though this may seem like a grim joke, the reality is India despite the socio-political corruption leading to economic disaster, India ranks 36 in global Gross National Happiness, while Russia is on 46 and US is on 13. Considering the population of the other two countries, we can proudly say that even 36 is a good index.


The reason, why we are what we are – 5000 years of civilization imbibed with grains of philosophical outlook of life, which the other two lack. One is extreme materialism, while the other is extreme atheism. Cultivate that “Nishkama Karma” outlook, half the worries in life will be laid to rest.

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