Men have been willing to fight and die for freedom. Yes, that is the essence of history. Where freedom fails or is denied man is willing to fight and die for it; history is repeated with examples. The countries which have found freedom newly have had to fight against the erstwhile colonial rule. The fight is still on in some countries even today. Why is this fight happening? This is a psychological question. A boy does not allow another to sit in his place in the classroom; a casual traveler in a bus or train claims his place; a child does not allow another to touch his playthings. At the bottom of all this lies the sense of ownership, temporarily or otherwise. Ownership and acquisitive tendency go together. What has been acquired and owned must be saved and protected.
Consequently, when the owner is in danger, a fight ensues. This is a basic animal instinct and man has not reached a magnanimous stage, in spite of his long sojourn on earth, to overcome this basic instinct. The ideal socialistic state is only a pipe dream. Whether the world will reach that stage at all is anybody’s guess. Another factor that leads to this sort of fight or revolt is the opposition to the imposition of the authority from outside. We see children singing or playing on their own accord. However, when someone asks them to do it again they feel shy or do not want to do it. In the case of a country, it may even lead to its own destruction. Even then, it would not like external interference. In the name of human sympathy, some western nations deliberately impulse their will on other nations and are now paying a heavy penalty for it.
Freedom is very precious. It cannot be decided on the battlefield. Freedom is essential for natural growth. A creeper always moves towards light and air. However much one tries to turn in the other way, it will always strive to seek light; so will people. They want to be free as the birds in the air. The spirit of “who are you to tell me?” is always within us. The sense of being and feeling free is fundamental to make life worthwhile and hence man has always been fighting for it. But there cannot be absolute freedom.
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- Short Composition on War and Peace
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