0300 Hours; Wintery; No Coffee

Queen Elizabeth I revoked a thought censorship law in the late sixteenth century, because, according to Sir Francis Bacon, “she did not (like) to make windows into men’s souls and secret thoughts”.

Who can confirm our thoughts to be entirely uncorrupted and uninfluenced by any external agency whatsoever ? I believe, hardly anyone can ascertain that with a 100% conviction.

The freedom of conscience was first talked about by the Indian Emperor Ashoka. Since then, the idea floated throughout the planet amongst different empires and all the philosphers and great thinkers have invested their conscience to serve declarations to their respective societies, empires and leaders on the freedom of conscience.

Are the thoughts that are influencing me to pen down this parchment entirely un-influenced by any force of whatever kind? Who can confirm it?

If you give a political/administrational problem to be solved by any normal citizen, their answer may be very different from the answer of a professionally trained civil servant. So, is it safe to declare that knowledge corrupted or influenced the civil servant’s mind to produce the answer xe did?

And is the corruption by knowledge in accordance with the freedom of thought? Because the source of this knowledge can be largely influential or corrupted in itself as well. Same concepts may be explained differently in two different books by two different authors.

The history that’s taught in our schooling system majorly only comprises of dates and exact facts. Rarely there’s any value extraction involved in the process of teaching history in schools. And a mind like mine would question, why study history without deriving values from it? What’s good in memorizing dates and timelines?

If we are to allow every student the freedom to extract or derive any value within his/her own cerebral capacity, then a child may derive positive values and another, negative values. Now if we are instructing about Aurangzeb, the tyrranical Mughal ruler of Delhi Sultanate, then some child may derive his quality of being a ferrocious warrior. And some other child may pick up his Islamic fundamentalist approaches.

Similarly, if the subject at hand is that of another great Mughal Emperor Akbar, a particular child may learn the advanced dynamics of his governance model, and similarly someone may learn the fact that he ruled the country after executing a bloody invasion.

In both cases, the former values can be categorized as positive and the latter ones as negative.

Now, in order to prevent children from picking up negative values, the usual measure is to ask the teachers to teach the positive values to the children themselves in order to avoid producing any unwanted men/women who may go on to harm the fabric of the country into adulthood.

And that is where the paradox kicks in. At this point the thoughts of the child has been influenced by the values pointed out and taught by the teacher. Mind of the child is already corrupted. And the teacher has already influenced the next thought the child will get.

This activity does two things:

[1] Restricts the imagination and creativity cloud of the child, because now xe has much smaller room to derive new values which xe might have had if xis mind had not been influenced. For instance, someone may get inspired from Emperor Akbar’s mesmerisingly muscular body.

[2] Restricts brains capacity to absorb values from stories and innate elements in surrounding environment without having been delivered to it.

This begs the question: do we even have arbritrarily complete freedom to think?

I term this the To-Think-or-Not-to-Think Paradox. My friend calls it The Wahal Paradox. You may call it anything you want.

Hardly anyone needs an introduction on how the Media houses work as propaganda machines. But here’s the question: how do the elites control the media houses?

Well, that imitates the question, how do the elites control corporations like the Reliance Industries or General motors or Berkshire Hathaway? It’s easy. They own them. And if not own them entirely, then act as large stakeholders in the executive boards.

With all the journalists and media chambers selectively choosing material to debate upon, we are blindsided by the remaning news/alarms, which these houses presumed to be ‘unimportant.'

Now, an American news channel may prioritize the broadcast of some Synagogue shootings rather than some loot or murder happened somewhere else at the same time. It’s not right or wrong to do so. But it does blindside us from the rest of the important events.

Do we even have complete freedom of thought or conscience? Haven’t our thoughts already been influenced to take the path they take?

Other corrupting agencies and influencing tactics may include: advertisements, censorship, manufactured consent, corrupted knowledge or blatant propaganda.

Indians and countrymen, tell me, to think or not to think ?

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