Freedom of Expression and Speech in lieu of Digital Nationalism

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to conscience above all liberties.”

                  – John Milton

Given the current scenario we can say that the Internet has provided a platform for individuals to express and convey emotions such as happiness, grief, and fury.It has not only made citizens more woke and aware, but it has also aided in the shaping of government to meet the demands of the people. In a healthy democracy, there is adequate freedom of speech, opinion, and expression in all forms.This is significant because democracy only works if people have the freedom to voice their opinions about the government and, if necessary, criticise it. Furthermore, what better platform to volumize their opinions than the divine grandeur of ‘Social Media. Today, for all intents and purposes, everybody on the planet accesses social media. It has not just confined its wings to sharing content; once regarded to be a one-way communication platform, it has now evolved into a platform for sharing opinions, ideas, and reviews, therefore exercising freedom of expression and speech to the utmost.

Robert Black has rightly said it.

“Any Government which fears Freedom of speech and expression should fear the internet more.” Though access to the Internet has been acknowledged as a fundamental human right in today’s society, where they play a significant part in everyone’s life and exercise the liberty to voice their opinions, it has also proven to be a medium to promote and defame nationalistic policies. Thus, people are no longer afraid to speak their opinions and perspectives with a clear mindset. Reinforcing the fact that Article 19 is of paramount importance in India, and it has widened the ambit of a person’s Freedom of Speech and Expression, assuring that this freedom can only be curtailed on the grounds defined under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

To commemorate and celebrate the 75 years of progressive India’s freedom and the beautiful history of its people, culture, and achievements, The Government of India launched an initiative Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, on November 26th. It embodies India’s societal, political, and economic identity as progressive. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India, who have been essential in bringing India this far in its evolutionary path and have the potential and ability to realise Prime Minister Modi’s vision of igniting India 2.0.

While the liberty of speech was often used to oppose some extremely crucial policies, there also have been some victorious social media movements that took birth on Social Media like the very significant BLM(Black Lives Matter) movement, which began as a reactive digital tool using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter evolved into a proactive one as its message on social media was used to inspire action from both an older generation of activists and an eager younger generation from all socioeconomic, racial, and sexuality backgrounds. The BLM’s use of Twitter and other social media platforms to organise protests expanded online and offline participation. Their message became more widely known as social media enabled individuals to spread essential information and share personal stories linked to the cause. The Internet and Social Media have frequently played a crucial part in such movements by allowing people to connect and exchange information instantaneously and fostering a sense of unity.

As a result, it can be exhibited that freedom of speech and expression is acknowledged as a fundamental human right regardless of the medium through which it is done. Access to the internet and social media as a method of expressing this right is also recognised as a fundamental human right. In the same notion, Symvaad, one of the verticals of Literary Club, for the last seven years has proved to be an excellent platform for young minds to speak their heart out with poise, appearing unwavering and confident. At Symcharcha 2022, the Inter-Collegiate Debating Competition,we believe in freedom of expression and encourage everyone to have unique perspectives. Instead of being a silent listener, to be someone who can express their thoughts.

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