So many things and remarks pinch us every moment and force us to rethink where our society is heading towards yet we still choose to remain silent and nourish indifference in us. We have been bought up reading the scholarly thoughts like “Be the change you want to see in others”, but at the same time we remain in fear from change. I do not advocate for a utopian change or a miraculous reform in way things function in our society, but a simple piece of piled up observations which silently takes the shape of frustrations.
There are various angles to relate change and liberal mindedness. When we say the phrase ‘liberal minded’ we let our brains, preconceived notions, conscious and subconscious thinking to evolve and grow up like an unaware toddler and free oneself from the shackles of orthodoxy and fringe elements of Narrow mindedness which have built big mansions in the way of thinking of Indian Society for generations altogether hampering the much apprehensive and fearful “change”.
It is tough to be a liberal minded individual owing to the constant scrutiny and attitudes prevailing in the world we live in. Liberal mindedness is simply self-education and self policing based on the unbiased approach aimed at having a new and humane look towards everything. One doesn’t need to compromise on values, integrity or individuality for the sake of being liberal minded. On the contrary, liberal mindedness as an essence safeguards and upholds one’s inherent nature. Being liberal minded is not just about the concept which is married to Feminism or happily accepting woman empowerment, but about every single thing which is a part of the recurrent activities – whether it is about choice in any sphere, a humanitarian issue, dispute resolution. Liberal mindedness does not discard the concept of “ghar ki maan maryada (the honor of the house)” it just equalises the effect and rapidly reduces the seriousness and gravity of the offences! At the same time one has to shun the concept of zealous feeling of revenge and ending up losing your identity in pursuit of becoming liberal minded. One owns one’s space in the peripheries of being liberal minded.
Your thinking is not determined by the material possessions or the level of comfort or flamboyancy you own or the kind of lifestyle you lead. There is just one thing which characterises your thinking and that is how you perceive things and act upon them. Liberal mindedness offers a check on educated illiterates who surround us more than the ones who have a mind of their own and are ready to use them rationally.
As I grow up each day I realise the importance of free speech, freedom and the most irritable thing, the constant speculation of a girl’s independence and the most debated topic – The presence of females at night.
I remember the narration of my very close friend when she had come late to her house after partying with her friends only to be welcomed by her furious father and emotional blackmails and promises of not stepping outside the house after 6 pm. I still remember her succumbing to their demands and the tears in her eyes which watered her hopeless face. Any incident which happens, a girl is always blamed for her presence in night as if the dark flames of night are the most dangerous for them and not for boys, as if by keeping girls “safe” inside the four corners of the walls they add to a male’s ego and pride whereas the truth of the fact is that inevitably the fear in mind is the biggest strength of a person having a criminal intent to tarnish the dignity of an individual. Instead of building a girl’s capacity so that she can fight for herself our society squeezes her role and demeans it on the basis of male predominance. Liberal Mindedness not only kills stereotypes around a girl but also of men, when you move beyond the notion that a friendly talk or gesture between a man and a woman does not always give rise to an affair. It is even hard to digest how the streak of sexism flows in the ones who are at the forefront of giving us education, so or are the so called “pioneers” of holding power in any aspect. A success or sea change in a woman’s life is always subject to unscrupulous remarks from the prying eyes of the society no matter how hard one works.
The most striking example which showcased how liberal minded our intellect is the uproar and release of the movie Lipstick under my Burkha which was banned on the pretext of defaming and promoting vulgarity. If one clearly and rationally sees the movie it does not centre around the only thing “sex” it simply narrates a tale of four women who have guts and challenge their limitations. They undertake choices and desires, the fruits of which have been enjoyed by men since ages, it becomes so radical or unacceptable that it ultimately proves the notion correct that Lack of liberal mindedness easily gives way to intolerance. Same is in the case of religion and culture. I have always imbibed the fact that Religion has to cater to the needs of people and its practice depends on individual choices and not to be derailed by the elements of fear and lose of faith propagated by those in power who are themselves not clear about the true message of each religion.
One cannot be truly liberal minded without accepting the sanctity of the truth. If we fear truth we are not liberal minded. If we choose to coil ourselves in lies and inaction in situations which demand upholding the truth we are hypocrites despite claiming to be liberal minded. For the core of liberal mindedness is when you realise that on earth every individual has a space of her/him and enjoys complete autonomy in respect of that space and no one has counter claims over that emotionally, logically or revengefully.
Why the word Destructive has been equated with existence of liberal minds because the nature of liberal minds are weighed as being potentially dangerous and loosening the fabric of the society. I say if the moral fabric of the society is so weak so as it cannot accommodate liberal minded approach, the usage of liberal mindedness becomes even more important to reshape and save the fabric. The flaw in the traditional upbringing is that boys and girls are bought up in an clandestine way of burying their individual choices and freedoms in lieu of social pressure and society’s ultimate prerogative to dictate your life, whereas the correct way of conditioning is to prepare the youth to uphold one’s integrity and make it an indisputable and uncompromising facet of your life. That in itself makes you liberal minded!