This post has been written after reading a blog post by Aadisht
. In his blog, Aadisht tries to explain the concept of private property and right of ownership to somebody who believes that collectivism is the mantra of success in India. The analogy provided by Aadisht might be distasteful from a woman’s point of view but it does get the point across. I went to his blog while reading Dilip D' Souza's
rant. DD criticizes Aadisht for being insensitive to the dignity of women.
Here is my view of the importance of the right to private property in a society:
What prevents any friend of mine to call me in the middle of the night? - respect for my personal space and privacy.
What compels a friend of mine to call me up and ask me whether I am free to talk to him/her? - respect for my time.
What prevents my boss to treat me like a slave and insult me in front of the others? - respect for my dignity.
What prevents me from treating poor people like garbage? - respect for their dignity and a recognition of their status as a fellow living being.
What prevents any stranger to get into my house and demand that I accomodate him/her? - respect for my existence and my property.
If I decide to help a stranger by inviting him/her to my house for temporary stay, that is my prerogative. It should not become society's prerogative to force me to provide shelter to any Tom, Dick, and Harry.
If I decide not to allow non-Hindus to enter my house, the collective society has no business to interfere as long as I do not harm other people physically or emotionally within the bounds of my private property. I might be a communalist/racist etc. but I have the right to not allow indvidiuals that I do not like in my private property. Of course, in return, I have to be ready to pay a social cost for my refusal to treat everybody as equal. The point is that society has to respect my existence. My hateful personality or idiosyncracies are immaterial.
I agree that I have no right to demand this priviledge on the property that is not maintained using my money.
Clubs belonging to a certain group of people with certain objectives in mind, should have the right to say "yes" or "no" to let people enter its domain. If you do not like a certain class/group of people who are part of the club or their intentions, why do you want to join them? Nobody is forcing you to respect their beliefs but you still have to respect their right for existence. I would not like to join a club that provides its membership based on how much money I earn but I definitely support their right to be snobbish. That for me is "live and let live".
Society should be allowed to interfere only when what happens inside the club or an organization affects the outside world in a harmful manner. By this I mean, if a private club disbars somebody based on race, caste, class, creed, religion, it should have the right to do so until and unless the effects of this exclusion policy end up harming individuals belonging to the club or spill over onto the mainstream society in a hurtful manner.