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About The Myth Called Freedom

Naom Chomsky had observed a few years back that America was fond of championing the cause of freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of choice and many such freedoms which happened to be related to the Rights of Man which had been the fuel that had powered both the French Revolution and America’s war for Independence.
“But in fact and effect,” Naom Chomsky had emphasized, “no other freedom happens to be dearer to the United States than the freedom to rob the weaker nations of their resources and the freedom to exploit the peoples of the underdeveloped countries to the best of her advantage and interests.”
I am quoting from Naom Chomsky to make an important point in the context of the Press Freedom day being observed today as I write this column.
In fact what once used to be “freedom of press” should now be described as freedom of expression, for journalism recently has discovered new methods, forms and media for its practitioners. What is important in this context is the multi-directional, and multidimensional nature of the meanings the term Freedom can carry.
It was Naom Chomsky again who had argued in his book “The World Order” that it was mistakenly believed that any such thing as Freedom of Media existed.
“All media,” he had concluded, “was owned and run by powerful and resourceful groups who weren’t interested in ‘freedom’ as a core value, but required it to advance their interests and agendas.”
“Journalists, writers and reporters etc,” he had argued, “were in one way the heroes of media freedom, and in the other way the pawns in the hands of the barons and the interest – groups who controlled the media.”
Being a practitioner of journalism – both as a writer/editor and an owner/publisher, I hate to subscribe to Chomsky’s views. I love my image as some one engaged in upholding TRUTH heroically.
But can I ‘in any honesty’ deny that the truth which I am upholding is only my truth? Just as the truths being upheld by the tycoons of my profession are their truths.
We all have a tendency — weak or strong — to gravitate towards our special, hidden agendas.
Still there is a joy in joining the chorus:
Long live freedom!
In our case the freedom to express, to inform and to have access to information!!

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