Importance of Freedom of Speech and Expression

Indians always boast about their freedom of speech and expression, a fundamental right given to them by the founding fathers of the constitution. This right is perhaps the most important right in the constitution after the right to life, and we all are aware that there are millions of unprivileged people across the globe who don’t enjoy this right at present, including those among the peoples of China and most Arab nations. But are we having a double standard with the use of this right?

You mock Indian Prime Minister, but not a local Goonda Leader, Do you?

Because of the over use of bandhs, harthals, burning effigies,  black flag protests, cartoons and abusive comments and threads through the social and main stream media, it has become so natural to almost all citizens to mock their Governments, Prime Minister, President and Judges. The people are not afraid to comment on our Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh, express their anger or make a joke on him. They knew that mocking Indian Prime Minister or government will not do any harm to them (though this is not the actual case, it can be taken as disrespect to the parliament), as the government nor the PM is in the habit of taking the list of people who raised voice against them to haunt them down.

But the same people who shout at ministers and throw shoes at them are silent in many areas. They never respond even by Facebook comments on – regional fascists, religious fanatics,  naxal leaders, self proclaimed god-men,  political parties which force bands or harthals upon them, extremist mass movements which resolve to violence at even the slightest provocation etc.

Closed Mouth

Fascism vs Freedom of Speech and Expression

People know, if they open their mouth, their life will be in threat. They are forced to remain shut, and its not a decision based on choice. But what why bewilders me, is when the people who can’t open their mouth in-front of the extremists, go offensive and use extreme methods of abuse upon moderates who strive to build a nation despite many short comings.

If you can’t fight those with arms, why fighting with arms against those who will never take arms against you? Isn’t it double standard?

Importance of Freedom of Speech and Expression

Indians can feel proud in many ways, as the nation is created in the most ideal way – a vision which many unprivileged people across the globe can still only dream off – as  a democratic republic – with principles of secularism, socialism, liberty, fraternity, unity and integrity engraved in golden scripts in Indian Constitution by the founding fathers.

Under Article 19(1) (a) of our Constitution, freedom of speech is a guaranteed fundamental right. We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship, and the freedom of all media – press, television and social networks are essential to maintain a democratic state. There is a big difference between decisions forced upon and decisions taken by choice. Center or state governments should run the region in a democratic manner as envisaged by the Constitution to which he has taken oath. The worst thing to happen to India is when the principle of liberty gets overshadowed by the fear of life.

But people should show wisdom of where to use this right and where not to over-use it.