“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
Abhivyakti ki azadi- freedom of speech and expression. In literal sense, it refers to expressing our opinions and views freely without any hesitation or fear. But as some wise folk said “with great power comes great responsibilities”, it is well understood that while we have this freedom to “express” we should also take care how we are “expressing”. Abusing, defaming, putting baseless allegations shouldn’t be counted in the freedom.
Article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution says that all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of Speech and expression means the right to express one’s own convictions and opinions freely by words of mouth, writing, printing, pictures or any other mode. It thus includes the expression of one’s idea through any communicable medium or visible representation, such as gesture, signs, and the like.
In order to understand our rights and freedom we should always keep our duties in our minds as well. Protecting other’s rights should be our foremost duty.
Sometimes, our statement can “offend” some people and can make way for a great trouble. When we say “it’s not a priority” for something we don’t want to do, instead of saying “I will not do it” makes a great difference. Exactly the way if we choose our words properly while expressing ourselves it will make a big difference. Quoting Mr. Maajid Nawaz “In an open society, no idea can be above scrutiny, just as no people should be beneath dignity”, others dignity should be given importance. Stubborn or irrational minds can be opposed by advocating right amount of proofs and arguments but difference of opinions and belief should always be there in the minds of the debaters.
When we fulfill our duties, our rights are protected. While looking at the bright side of the picture, one should always see the pale side too.
“Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”
– Albert Einstein.