Dear readers, this article & others (Parts-A) on “The legal doctrine of freedom of Speech & Expression under Art. 19” & related Supreme Court judgments includes the subheadings such as the legal doctrine of freedom of speech & expression, introduction, freedom of speech as god’s gift, freedom of speech in the light of science, freedom of speech as basic right: UN general assembly, freedom of speech meaning, freedom of speech definition, history of freedom of speech and expression, and other related terms of the topic like adam and eve, vocal cord, universal declaration of human rights, franklyn s. haiman, virginia’s declaration of rights, bill of rights, french declaration of the rights 1789. So part and parts: B to F will educate the general public, students, teachers, and competitive aspirants in preparation of IAS, PCS, CLAT, AIBE, UGC/NET, and other exams.
“Freedom of speech and expression is a natural and legal right of an individual to express one’s opinions, ideas & information freely and receive the same from others, without interference, through any means, media, and mode”. __ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the Government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the Government”.1 __ Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
Freedom of Speech as God’s Gift
Almighty God allowed Adam and Eve to express their views, why they ate fruit from the Knowledge Tree of Good & Evil which was forbidden, before expulsion from the Garden of Eden. It means God sent Adam and Eve to the Earth with a right to “Freedom of Speech and Expression”. Thus, freedom of speech and expression is God’s gift to mankind as a natural right by birth.
Freedom of Speech in the light of Science
Every human being is born with the most important biological organ called “vocal cord or larynx (i.e. voice box)” to fulfil the very basic needs of life. Vocal means anything, either living organ/person or non- living instrument, which has or exercises the power of producing voice, speech, or sounds to express or communicate views of its own or others and Cord is a uniting or binding force or influence between or among people. In other words,
“the vocal cord or voice box is the most important organ of the Human body which produces sounds used to express views through speech or conversation between any two people or even groups of people that have physical, emotional, social, political, official or other required relationships”.
Freedom of Speech as Basic Right: UN General Assembly
The right to freedom of speech and expression was also proclaimed a basic right by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 Dec. 1948) which contains:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek and receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.2
Read related articles:
Freedom of Speech: Meaning & Definition
Freedom of Speech and expression means the right to express one’s convictions and opinions freely by words of mouth, writing, printing, pictures, or any other mode.
- “The freedom of speech and expression benefits more the hearer than the speaker. The hearer and the speaker suffer as violation of their spiritual liberty if they are denied access to the ideas of each other. This freedom is also essential for pursuit of truth”.3 ___ Franklyn S. Haiman
2. “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”.4 ___ John Milton
History of Freedom of Speech & Expression
Virginia’s Declaration of Rights4* was drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. It was widely copied by the other British colonies in America and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776. Section 12 of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776, declared that “the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained by despotic Governments”.
Contrary to the English tradition of Parliamentary supremacy, the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States restricts the Congress as: “The Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or the press”.
In Article II of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789, in the sense of enlightenment, the freedom of opinion was proclaimed as a human right “the unrestrained communication of thoughts or opinions is one of the most precious rights of man. Every citizen may speak, write and publish freely, provided he be responsible for the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by law”.5
Copyright © Writer (Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari)
Read other parts of articles on Freedom of Speech:
- Franklyn S. Haiman, “Speech and Law in a Free Society” University of Chicago Press, 1981.
- Christian Starck, “Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom: Background and Formation of Legal Principles” in Mahendra P. Singh (eds.), Comparative Constitutional Law, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 2011, p. 409.