Can Public Persons Express Their Independent Thoughts? Is Yoga Evil like Harry Potter? By Fr. Anand Muttungal


As the importance of the media is increasing, the individual freedom is shrinking. The Church in India understands many of the customs, traditions, practices and certain knowledge as the common identity of the children of this country. Unlike anyone else Christians too take proud in being an Indian by sharing all its eternal wisdom. The practice of Yoga, Ayur Veda etc. are part of such eternal wisdom of this country. These are not part of the faith of any particular religion but practical application of the wisdom of this country. It is seen that the media looking for sensitive news, reports many views of the individuals who holds certain posts in the Western Church. Like the statements allegedly made by Father Gabriele Amorth, the official exorcist of Vatican, that “Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter”. This view is completely personal and said to have spoken in a Film Festival while introducing a film based on exorcism. Officially Church has not subscribed to this view anywhere in the world. So, should there be such a hue and cry? It made me to think about the personal freedom of the Individuals who are important office holders in organizations.
The opinions of people have to be seen from the point of individual growth. Perhaps the most important realization that an individual can make in their quest for personal growth is that there is no single formula that defines the path to personal success. We all have different goals and priorities, which means that different activities and attitudes will make us feel good about ourselves. We also have different natural strengths and weaknesses that are a part of our inherent personality type. It is very often seen that people expert pressure on the individuals to stop their individual opinions on various issues. It can stun the growth of the individual and the possibility of growth of the society.
The concept of a right relates to the freedom from interference by other individuals or organization or the governments. Individual rights refer to the liberties of each individual to pursue life and goals without interference from others. All individuals regardless of being part of system has the individual rights which include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is above the oath taken to safe guard the interest of the organization or community because all actions of the community leaders and policy makers need not in concordance with the letter and spirit of the constitution. Leaders very often assume many powers apart from the written constitution and it wakens the organization if it is not brought to their notice. So individual has to have freedom to express views in an agreeable manner. It is for the interest of the community.
If we define the roles of each individual, it can be understood that each person is part of a larger community. It begins from family, neighbourhood, tribe, caste, village, town, city, state, region, country and the world form a larger community in the life of every human being. Individual plays different roles according to the demands. If the individual is restricted for selfish motives then the full human potential cannot be reached which is suicidal to the individual and the society at large.
Opinions of the important persons apart from the official views have to be seen as an effort to improve the society as a whole. Such opinions should be read and understood from a larger reality rather than from the individual glasses of who seemingly are affected directly by the opinions. Community responsibilities are an individual's duties or obligations to the community but it should not hamper the possibilities of growth to the particular individual and the society as a whole

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