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November 18, 2018

Freedom forged with discipline

Bogyoke Aung San, national leader and architect of independence, spoke much about freedom and rebuilding the nation during his campaign for independence. An important fact he highlighted in these speeches to the public and to politicians is that freedom and reconciliation requires every citizen to be involved.
Myanmar was united against colonialism and fascism, but when independence was just within grasp, the people, especially the politicians, allowed themselves to be divided. It was like picking up dispersed rice grains for Bogyoke Aung San and his temporary government.
Eventually people split into different factions and a national treason culminated in Bogyoke Aung San and other national leaders being assassinated.
What Bogyoke Aung San said when he was alive about the type of dignity and mindset every citizen should have is still relevant to the present day. This foresight he possessed is one of the reasons why people today still hold Bogyoke Aung San in high regard.
Among his speeches, the one he delivered at the Shwedagon Pagoda clearly reflects modern times. Bogyoke Aung San said at the time that we would have independence within a year but warned us that it can just as quickly be lost if we did not have unity, discipline, the drive to protect our freedom and pre-planning to prevent our freedom from being lost.
In that same address, he said, freedom does not sprout magically out of the ground. He also warned us that there are people who will do nothing but wish for freedom to grow out of a tree-people with a lazy mindset. He added that impeding another’s freedom is nothing more than an act of rowdyism. Over in Hinthada, people were drying tobacco leaves on the streets, thinking they were free to do as they please.
Whether you are working for your personal benefit or the benefit of your community, you must be cautious so that you do not harm the rights of others or destroy the integrity of the nation.
It has been 70 years since we’ve gained independence, and we need to reflect upon ourselves whether or not we have the unity and discipline that Bogyoke Aung San
spoke of, as we move forward for the greater good of the country.

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