Freedom Of Speech: What Does That Even Mean?

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As Oscar Wilde once said, 'I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.' Should we be protecting the freedom of speech or most importantly what does it mean exactly?

Freedom of Speech is the fundamental human right and also a political ideology that promotes an individual or a group of people to actively practice the freedom of articulating their ideas, thought, opinions without any fear of retaliation and legal sanction.

In legal sense, the term freedom of speech and expression, though synonymous, includes any activity of imparting, receiving or seeking information and ideas irrespective of the medium that is used.

The right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed as a Fundamental Right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) and is majorly a part of the Indian Constitution as well.

Freedom Of Speech In Broader Sense:

In broader sense, freedom of speech means that not only individuals but also a group of people can come together and express and impart the facts to the public at large. The most common examples of it could be Media Houses.

Media Houses also come under the ambit of Article 19, though indirectly. They have the right to speak for or against any person, establishment, whatsoever, but with facts and figures.

Mic with Freedom of Speech in white cartoon

Why Freedom Of Speech?

The right to freedom of expression wouldn’t be worth a lot if the authorities additionally reserved the privilege to imprison any individual who can’t help contradicting them. A viable media additionally relies upon the legal premise that freedom of expression gives the right to capacity and report unreservedly, once in a while fundamentally, without threat or fear of punishment.

All things considered, numerous different rights which are characteristic for our day by day lives expand on and meet with this insurance with the expectation of complimentary idea and individual expression.

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression covers everything from parody to political missions to discussions in your own home. It’s a fundamental human right which takes into consideration citizens to talk unreservedly and without impedance.

Freedom of expression is the legal supporting which permits individuals to get to data about recent developments and matters of public interest – regardless of whether that is from enormous media organizations, neighborhood papers, or from one another through citizen journalism and web-based media.

At the point when freedom of expression is regarded and perceived the media can uninhibitedly investigate governmental issues, financial aspects and cultural occasions as they happen.

Restrictions On Freedom Of Speech:

The law provides for the betterment of the society but if any such law is found hampering the sovereignty and integrity of India, it should be restricted at any point of time.

Though Article 19 at times guarantees the freedom of speech and expression, have the full rights any curb any individual’s right, if at all it is found that it can be harmful for the sovereignty and integrity of our nation or if at all it can have the slightest chance of affecting the nation’s relation with any other foreign state.

Also the morality and decency of any individual should be maintained. For example, if any of your thoughts act as a defamatory statement, for any other individual or group of individuals you can be accountable for defamation.

Freedom of speech and expression is a Fundamental Right, but it should be used in the correct sense.

The third aspect of it could be the Contempt of Court. Though individuals, have the right to get the justice, but they do not have the right to say ill about any court of law. If found doing so, they can be charged for the contempt of the court.

Illustration Credits: Wendy Kenigsberg/University Photography


Freedom of speech and expression is not an absolute right which means that though individuals have the right to express their opinions but it should not have an impact on anyone’s sentiments.

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2 years ago

Loved it

Megha saha
Megha saha
2 years ago

Very informative ✨

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2 years ago

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