Individualism calls for self-reliance; it promotes “freedom” and “encouragement of diversity”. It motivates as well as allows everyone to make full use of their intelligence and potential, which expedites the development of society but in most of the countries today the realization as to individualism is almost zero. Well this reminds me of an incident at my society “Nepalese society.” A little while ago a friend of mine was given the opportunity to present her research in a seminar held in Delhi. Regrettably she wasn’t able to attend the seminar as her family did not permit her to travel alone to a far-off land because they were guided by the old lame society that created credence that a daughter shouldn’t be given such freedom of movement. And unhappily, she ended up unwillingly agreeing to it.
So forth most women, after getting married, give their jobs up and stop pursuing their career as their in laws wouldn’t want them to work. Our societies’ take on women as household job holders; the outside world taking is a man’s business.
Correspondingly, the society holds the supreme position in every sphere of individual lives. They get to choose career options for the next generation and as such. The society has somewhat fabricated a frame work of “who becomes what.” For an instance: a doctor’s kid becomes a doctor and so on. Rare is the case where a growing son/daughter gets to decide about his/her career. Although children are raised and taught that they can do or be anything. Encouraged to standout and make a name for themselves. Be unique. But when time comes to stand for own self, the society shuts the door. And the individuals who want to grow and speak up for their rights and liberties due to the fear of the social norms they remain silent as they feel that eventually they have to exist in the same society. Going against those norms and values will only create abhorrence towards them. They fear of being left out in the society. Their rights would not be perfectly secure in isolation.
Similarly the air of nepotism and favoritism hovers all around our society which is much more guided by crony societal norms and values. It has rather become a social trend today that if an individual is related to a political personality or is a close friend to a political entity then s/he is to hold utmost respect in the society. All other deserving candidates are left empty-handed; their ideas left unheard. The rule of law has been seen to lie under the societal values that have certainly demotivated people wanting to expand their business enterprise rather they prefer migration, since they no more feel secure about their life and property in the society they live in.
Another paradigm would be the quota system also regarded as a positive discrimination placed upon women specially; the positive discrimination is now what society wants since they have placed women into the level of weaker section. Why not promote free competition? Why the labeling when women are equally capable?
There are countless people who fear and are affected by societal influence. Exception is rare. Indeed it becomes illogical to believe that we are individuals, the master of our choice, instead we are just a bunch of conformity “The YES Heads” having agreed to the social restrictions every time.
Since inception the society has been the boss, it loses respect for the individuals those who disagree with their settings “The NO Heads”. This would so clearly mean that there is no road paved for any of us to attain individualism. Once more the pertinent case would be the caste based division where people are not allowed to create relationship based on their choice and consent .It’s the family and the society who choose or claim about who would be a good spouse for their son or daughter. Here again, our choice are determined by our family origin, the society we belong, our physical infirmities, our gender per se. There is barely any space for our ability and creativity.
In most places in our society at whatever time an individual has gone demanding for their individualism. There sits a check person at the entrance who evaluates the demands with the standing norms. Hence our claims of valuing freedom, choice, diversity, liberty to be respected has to be as per the societal norms and values or whether the person has close ties with political entities or not. Precisely speaking our demand has to be equal to the principles supplied by the society or we have to pay to the authorities for our demands. Since decades and long our society has been walking on the myths and always has been placed above individual.
We only have been exercising the possessory rights the ownerships rights have always been rested upon the society and the political groups.
Society has failed to realize the importance of individualism and economic growth. Countries around the world are accepting and adapting to the notion of free society. Where in freest society, arranged marriage is out of the chart per se. Individual rights and liberties are kept on the top priority, in free world people know the value of individual rights and liberties. But Nepal lags far behind and the society still walks on myth. Individuals live and liberty has not yet found its right place. We still are enslaved and barbed around by societal norms and values.
Students for Liberty – Nepal is recently making an effort by mobilizing the young groups, advocating about the individual rights and liberties and taking its awareness campaign on to the streets to let every people know of the values of individual rights and liberty. Their liberal thoughts and speech. The freedom to pursue livelihood at individual choice and consent.
Post by: Riya Basnet
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