Indian Concept of Liberty




Indian Concept of Liberty:

In India, Liberty is understood as emancipation. Traditionally, this is a spiritual idea, salvation or emancipation from the cycle of birth and rebirth is considered as liberty. However, in modern times, liberty is understood as liberation from social constraints.

  • For example, law of abolition of Sati system. The British propagated and promoted western education which introduced western idea of liberty in India. This influenced the social reformation and Indian freedom struggle in India.
  • Mahatma Phule and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar spelt out various dimensions of liberty in India in the context of Indian society.
  • Mahatma Gandhi accepted the concept of Swaraj as liberty. He spelt this out in his work, ‘Hind Swaraj’. The term Swaraj implies a combination of two ideas: Self (Swa) and Rule (Raj). Swaraj means Self-Rule. His concept of Swaraj was comprehensive. Mahatma Gandhi did not accept Swaraj only as freedom from British rule but also as freedom from western cultural domination. Swaraj would mean a freedom from the trampling of humanitarian values. This concept gives more importance to self governance, self-discipline and human values.


Types of Liberty:

  • Natural Liberty:

The concept of Natural liberty indicates unrestrained freedom to do whatever one likes. Natural liberty means absence of all restraint –an unrestrained freedom to do whatever one likes. It is pre social and pre political in nature.

  • Civil Liberty:

It denotes the enjoyment of our rights within the limits of law. The protection of civil liberty is guaranteed by the laws of the state. It is given to every individual in the state.

  • Political Liberty:

The concept of political liberty means liberty of citizen to participate in the political life and the affairs of the state. The power of the citizens that is ‘Popular Sovereignty’ is recognised in the concept of political liberty.

  • Economic Liberty:

The concept of economic liberty means the liberty to earn one’s daily bread. Civil and political liberty is best enjoyed with Economic Liberty.

  • National Liberty:

It means the liberty of the nation or the country. National liberties exist where the nation or the community is independence and sovereign. National liberty can otherwise also called as National sovereignty.

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