How Do You Interpret Freedom of Speech in Democracy?

Image: Serge Bertasius by
Image: Serge Bertasius by

Few days back, when Dr. Tharoor delivered his speech about Britain Does Owe Reparation, his prowess of rhetoric and eloquent delivery, and profound subject-matter-expertise swept through the global media. I revered the fact that we have such great leaders (we are in dearth of affluential forerunners) who are so articulate and presentable.
But his recent remarks over JNU and Democracy staggered my belief in his cognition of our democracy and its underlying fundamental rights. He considered JNU’s miscreants the flavor of democracy and advocated that our nation needed such blend of characters – Krishna as well as Kanhaiya. When he appreciated the fact of having people like Kanhaiya Kumar in our country, his credibility of measuring the right thing as well as cognizance of democracy becomes questionable.
Is this how our democracy is perceived by the dignitaries(or any civilian)? Do they really translate the “Freedom of speech” into “cough anything you want just because you got a voice”? What kind of message is passed by our diplomats and role models – are they preseting the real refacets of the constitutional privileges? Aren’t the youth induced by the notion that speaking (speaking anything really) is always favored and precursor  fame in democratic reign?
The train of popularity of Kanhaiya was anyway going towards gaining favoritism of local goons and political parties, but I didn’t speculate that prominent national leaders would also cry in support of Kanhaiya’s audacity. Well, politics is politics. What about civilians then? What amazed me more that the millennial and youth enjoy Kanhaiya’s talk, clap and cheer on his idiotic senseless repugnant ideology.
Now, keep those negative contravening forces aside for a moment and focus on what actually is the “Freedom of Speech” as per our own constitution. Many people just see the high-level title and generate their own preconceived notion that they inherit an absolute freedom under the umbrella of democracy. If you are also fogged with that illusion, then first clear out the fog and have a look into the copy of Indian Constitution [you better bookmark it]
When you go through the article 19-1a, you can grasp that the freedom of speech comes with certain level of terms and conditions.
The anti-Indian slogans hailed by some ultra-enthusiastic students (ironically, we refer students as the “future of India”) evidently assailed the ‘sovereignty and integrity of India’, disrupted ‘public order’, sabotaged ‘decency or mortality’, and conspicuously attracted ‘defamation or incitement to an offence’. Qualifying to these many misdeeds should have found them behind the bars or at least should have instigated confiscation of their citizenship.
So when our leaders – the role models, influencers – take the charge of a deck in order to pass a message or educate people, especially the students’ crowd, then they must be speaking forth the fully measured and evaluated ideas, not just a vague connotation that ‘speak right if you wish, else speak WHATEVER you wish. Do not worry, you are in democracy. Enjoy.’   But, we should not sway with misleading speech. You are the guardian of your own descretion and you must know that you have full right to say something as long as you are potent to reserve the clauses of the constitution. You must not (and cannot) repeat what JNU manic did. In no manner, such conducts should be revered as ‘azadi(freedom)’ as Tharoor did.

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Why you – a constitute of democracy – are provided the freedom of speech?


Image: smarnad by
Image: smarnad by

The cornerstone of a democratic country, self-governed nation, is the freedom of expression so that no constraint is imposed in the process of exchange of information or ideas. This freedom allows you to question your government, discourage the miscreants, sought for your own right, and to rightfully exercise your rights to prevent harm to others. The collection of disparaging and inflammatory words does not form a civil sentence.

Words are precious. This unretractable quality could either make or kill!


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Shweta Kumari

Shweta is a writer, blogger, bookohlic, information seeker, women empowerment enthusiast, and a full-time mother. Her world revolves around her two boys - her kid and her husband. She is passionate about writing, reading, writing again, and then reading again…..and the cycle goes on.

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