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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Man is Born Free, But He is Everywhere in Chains” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

“Man is Born Free, But He is Everywhere in Chains”

 

It was the great philosopher Rousseau who uttered this wonderful sentence and which now has become synonymous with pitiable condition of man on earth where he is born; he is born of free and cheerful spirit, but the spirit and cheerfulness undergoes a miraculous metamorphosis in the presence of obtaining social structure which is almost created on the freedom of man. He is not even allowed to breathe the free air in this man-made world. All sides of him are tightly gripped by the social bolts and then the weight of social structure is almost killing him. He groans but the society does not permit him to groan. He is not free to cry. What is miserable plight ! No freedom to weep even.

Rousseau was a witness to the pitiable plight under which man suffered. The French monarchical tyranny and its other agents like the feudal lords were eating into the vitals of man. Lords and clergymen had almost let loose a reign of terror and exploitation.

The masses were groaning under the all-pervasive oppressive regime. Rousseau led a crusade against the tyrannical state which had reduced the entity of man just to nothing. According to him, Nature has endowed man with some basic instincts, body structure and mental make up to enable him to grow and develop to fullest capacity in an atmosphere of freedom. But as a member of State, he is bound by certain laws and social conventions. He has to adhere to those laws without grumbling and if he grumbles, the heavy hand of State comes down upon him instantly and makes a short work of his grievance and of him in no time. It is told to him that as a citizen, he has some duties to perform, however unfavourable, because he has been enrolled as the member of a State. He never knows that he will have to carry out all those obligations against his own wish.

He was born free. But the society made him its slave and told him in quite explicit language that he is a ‘social animal’. A society is composed of individuals, and for the so-called good of society his freedom is curtailed. Faulty upbringing, defective social conditions and education distort and disfigure his mental and physical development. What society renders a man in return of his slavery to it is his dwarfed or scrabbled personal progress. And even then society expects man to be obliged to it, indebted to it and what not. He becomes an object of exploitation by the society and a cog in the wheel.

There is a tendency on the part of the States to usurp the rights of the individual and to reduce him to a non-entity. The capitalist society drains the sweat, nay sucks the blood of an individual and yet expects him to live. What a pity ! People are not allowed to speak their minds. They are gagged by the vested interests. Communist countries have gone a step further and they proudly declare that they have given the man his right to work but they, however, out of shame forget to declare that they have taken away his tongue and the poor fellow cannot voice his grievances. And even if he could use that tongue, who is there to listen to him ? Yes, the prison bars are ready to welcome him; that is the only solace he can derive from that welcome. But, then he is afraid to go there, knowing pretty well the consequences.

Man is born free. Yes, he is. None denies the truth of that statement but everyone finds that his truth is strangulated in practice everywhere. Still capitalists exploit the working class. There is a tendency on the part of the super powers to bind the whole of mankind under their influence, willy nilly. What is all this? It is a large-scale slavery and exploitation of man.

Man is the slave of himself in the end. The habits which he has cultivated in society have chained him quite securely and he cannot get rid of them. He is the slave of the unnecessary manners and civilities. He is the slave of flattery and he is the slave of superfluity. Thus on every step he finds himself chained. He is chained as soon as he steps out of his house. He has to be within his limits, he has to follow the rules of the road as doggedly as the dog follows his master, otherwise he is to be knocked down next moment by imprudent car driver. He is chained outside home and inside home. He cannot say what he feels before his children, wife, mother or father. Everywhere there is a binding chains and he is to function within that framework of binding chains.

Who is responsible for all this ? The people either voluntarily forge chains for themselves or have these imposed on them from outside. The philosopher advocates breaking of all chains that fetter man, but the society comes in and again he is branded as a social rebel. Shelley tried to do so and he was called a rebel. Socrates did so and the result was quite painful. Christ tried to speak out the truth and he was crucified. Therefore, a man in this world of man is a slave of man, and wherever you cast your eyes, you shall see that the man though he is born free in his spirit, here the cruel and selfish society does not permit him to enjoy himself with his freedom. Naturally, an individual is compelled to say :

“Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”

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