Today I attended discussion on the Concept of Liberty. Dr. Shekhar Kumta & Anand Rao introduced the topic by discussing views of Isaiah Berlin and John Stuart Mill. Discussion started slowly and picked up pace as the afternoon progressed. The discussion drifted to Indian Elections, Liberty in China & Singapore, and linkage of liberty with economics etc. Most of the discussion revolved around Liberty in the context of society and mostly from western point of view.
Made me think about Liberty of Mind rather than just looking at Expression of Liberty as we see it in day to day social context. Also made me wonder about why this topic is so dear to western philosophers specifically when slavery, colonies, 19/20th century trade etc were anything but about liberty. I’m quite shocked at their east to call people barbaric just because they didn’t speak English or didn’t argue with eloquance.
I have decided to explore references to liberty in ancient Indian literature.