freedom of speech and expression

In India, Freedom of Speech And Expression is granted by Article19(1)(a). However, the Constitution of India guarantees all citizens of India the right of freedom of speech and expression. Though under Article 19(2) some restrictions can be imposed for this right under certain purposes. This right includes the right to express one’s views and opinions at any issue through any medium for example by words of mouth, writing, or etc.

On being misused, this right is also subjected to some reasonable restrictions being imposed under the Article 19(2). It is important to note that a restriction on the freedom of speech of any citizens may be placed as much by an action of the State as by its inaction. It is being necessary to maintain and preserve the freedom of speech and expression in a democracy by imposing some of the restrictions as nothing can be absolutely unrestricted. By allowing its citizen to participate with their interest in the social and political process of the country. It is a right which available to only citizens of India and not applicable for foreign nationals. This right allows the Government of India to impose some of the reasonable restrictions on being violated by anyone. This right is the bulwark of democratic government. It is essential for proper functioning of the democratic process. Also there should be proper relationship between the restriction and achievement of public order. It occupies a preferred position in the hierarchy liberties giving support and protection to all other liberties. It is the mother of all liberties. This aspect of the right to freedom of speech and expression increasing the concept of citizenship to include socio-political participation of a person is critical in the process under Article 21 of the Constitution for determining the scope of right to life of a citizen .

In a democracy, freedom of speech and expression allows people for opens up channels of free discussion of issues. Freedom of speech plays a crucial role in the formation of public opinion on social, economic and political matters. The formation of one’s opinion and view point and debates on matters of public concerns embraces the scope of freedom of propagation and interchange of ideas, dissemination of information. However, reasonable restriction can be imposed for certain purposes as provided under the Constitution of India. This right include expressing one’s views and opinions whether it by writing or word of mouth or any medium.

Expression through speech is one of the basic guarantees provided by the society. However, in modern world Right to freedom of speech and expression is not limited to express ones view through words but it also includes expressing the views by writing or audio or visuals or any other communication channel. It also includes right to information, freedom of press, etc. Right to know information and right to speak with freedom is right to self realization. Hence, this right is important for proper functioning of democratic process.