Right to freedom of speech and expression is one of the fundamental right provided by our Indian constitution. This right comes under Article 19 (1)A; which states that every person living in India belonging to any caste, creed, colour or status has an equal right to express themselves, that means every person has the right to express their views, thoughts, creations or idea though any media without any interference or obstacles. But this right is imposed with certain reasonable restrictions or limitations which comes under Article19(2). This law is one of the most important part of the whole democracy as it describes how the democracy of the particular nation works.
But now the question arises ‘Are we really getting the right to freedom of speech and expression?’ Well! the answer can be both yes or no because this right to freedom of speech and expression has positive impact on society as people can reach to the world easily by sharing their views or idea and an individual’s idea can incarnate thousands of lives but it can also have negative impact on society as people misuse, violate and misinterpret this right by abusing or defaming others image through their words. Even though many popular journalists, reporters, cartoonist were arrested under this law on the charge on defaming other party.
There are cases where people are arrested under the law of freedom to speech and expression:
- Teenage student of Uttar Pradesh was arrested on 17th march 2015 because he commented against Azam Khan on Facebook.
- A cartoonist of Mumbai was jailed on September 2012 on publishing drawings which were based on anti-corruption. So, he was arrested in the charge of sedition of the drawings.
- A teacher in West Bengal was arrested in 2012 because he mailed a cartoon to his friends that was against Mamta Banerjee-chief minister of Bengal.
- Recently one of the most popular journalist of India Arnab Goswami-Chief-in-editor of Republic tv was arrested by Maharashtra police. FIR was registered on him for showing inappropriate content on his channel which created disputes between communities and groups.
- According to Supreme court the ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ case is most abused case of freedom of speech and expression in recent times.
There are many other cases which proves that how much this law is threatened in India.
Lastly, I want to conclude that, Positive and negative impacts does not end here, there are many other reasons which lead to the violation of this right so giving right to freedom of speech and expression does not mean giving right to use abusive and bad language which can harm others and can create disputes between communities, groups or individuals. If this right will be taken positively and as responsibility by every citizen of the country, it would give us better results as it will lead to the development and sake of the society as well as the whole nation. So, you decide freedom of speech and expression still exists?