Here it is not a philosophical question of predetermination vs. free will. It is about our daily life. Freedom is an essential precondition for happiness and peace of mind. Most of us who are not imprisoned may call ourselves physically free. But the question is not about physical freedom. There are several constraints in our social and political lives which imprison us, and prevent us from acting as free citizens of a democratic country.

First comes economic freedom. Freedom from wants, freedom from hunger; the availability of basic needs such as shelter and clothing and medical care. It is also about affordability.

The shelves in shopping malls may be full, but the goods and services may not be available to the poor. There may be courts, but justice may be a.distant dream for the marginalised sections of society. Hospitals may be available and there may be many doctors, but the services may not be affordable for those in need.

This is true of....

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