Essay on Freedom of Speech in India | Freedom of Press

India Vis-a-vis Freedom of Speech

700+ Words Essay on Freedom of Speech in India.

Outlines of the Essay –

  • Why is freedom of Speech a burning issue today?
  • Freedom of Press
  • Freedom of Press in India
  • Media Vis-a-vis Freedom of Speech and their responsibility towards the Society.
  • Limitations on Right to Speech

India, the largest and one of the most mature nations of the world has incorporated the freedom of speech in its Constitution, soon after its independence, when our learned leaders net down to write the rules, principles, and directives on which the country shall be served by its elected representatives.

The Constitution of India provides the Right to Freedom, under Articles 19,20,21, and 22. The
right to Freedom in Articles 19 guarantees the Freedom of Speech and Expression Articles 19 states that ‘ Every citizen has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

This right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

Why is freedom of Speech a burning issue today?

Today the world is a global village. The incidents of violation of human rights have repercussions throughout the world.

Recently the freedom of speech saw an unprecedented reaction in France. On 7th January 2015, two assailants stormed the office of the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo and gunned down 12 people including the Editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier and four Cartoonists in retaliation to the Cartoons of Prophet Mohammed published in the weekly.

Charlie Hebdo has known infamously in the Muslim world for its audacity to publish cartoons of the most revered Prophet of the Muslims had been the target of a terrorist attack on 2nd November 2011 too Since 2006 this weekly magazine has published a series of Cartoons that have offended the Muslim world.

Recently the movie PK was opposed by certain sections of Hindu Society that termed it anti-Hindu and certain cases were filed and demonstrations were staged but the High Court of Delhi dismissed the case sending a strong message of ‘ nipping the growing instances of religious intolerance in the bud’. Down the line a few years back, M.F. Hussain’s controversial paintings of Hindu Goddcascs created such an unfavorable situation for him that he had to leave India.

Tasleema Nasreen’s fate too met the same result and she had to leave Bangladesh and then
buckling under the minority’s pressure, the West Bengal Government and later the Indian
Government asked her to leave their India bag and baggage. She moved to Sweden. Her fault was
that she wrote essays and novels with feminist views and criticism of her religion Islam.

Freedom of Press

Freedom of the Press is a cherished right in most of the democratic countries of the world.
The attack on Charlie Hebdo brought this issue again to the forefront. The magazine was sued
in 2007 by two French Muslim associations which were rejected by the French Court.

Freedom of Press has time and again caused great agitation among the masses of many countries growing into a full-blown revolution. In 2014, the countries at the top in the matter of free press were Finland, Netherland, and Norway while the last free press were Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Syria. This ‘ Press Freedom Index’ is published by ” Reporters Without Borders’ every year.

Freedom of Press in India

The freedom of the Press is nowhere mentioned in the Indian Constitution. The Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression has been provided in Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

It is understood that Freedom of Speech and Expression in Article 19 of the Indian Constitution includes the freedom of Press.

Freedom of Press includes Freedom of Communication and Expression through different mediums including various electronic media and published materials.

Media Vis-a-vis Freedom of Speech and their responsibility towards the Society.

Media is the fourth pillar of the constitution. Amongst the remaining three, the Legislature enacts laws and statutes, the Executive implements them and the Judiciary ensures that all enactments and implementations are done under due process of law.

The fourth pillar ensures that the citizens of the country stay enlightened and they perform their social and moral duty in the larger interest of the nation staying within the limitations of Indian constitutional and legal provisions.

Recently the media’s impartial deliverance of news came under the scanner. They allegedly failed to remain impartial during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. One news channel was termed pro-UTA and the other BJP.

Every now and then we find some ridiculing one religion while the other intruding into the private life of someone in the garb of the sensational sting operation. Every day certain advertisements amid news, serial, etc.

Cause great discomfort due to their indecent contents and certain gossips are exaggerated to garner TRP (Television Ratio Point) Saving certain very important news of national and international importance uncovered.

People related to electronic and print media must understand the gravity of their responsibilities towards society. Social Media Loo is now playing a very crucial role in shaping society and it is
very interesting to note that this media is run by overzealous, gung-ho, and impatient youths
of the country.

Limitations on Right to Speech

The right to Freedom of Speech granted by the constitutions to Indians is subject to certain restrictions. Under Indian Law, the freedom of speech and of the Press docs does not confer any absolute right upon us to express our thoughts absolutely freely.

Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution enables the legislature to impose certain restrictions on free speech in the interest of public order, the security of the state, decency, and morality. The following are the grounds on which this freedom is curtailed.
(i) Security of the Sate.
(ii) Friendly relations with foreign States.
(iii) Public order
(iv) Decency and morality
(v) Contempt of court
(vi) Defamations
(vii Incitement to an offense and
(viii) Sovereignty and integrity of India.

It is crystal clear that the Freedom of Speech enshrined in our constitution does not grant us any absolute right. No person can exercise this right if the exercise of his right infringes the rights of any other person.

The reasonableness of restrictions on freedom of speech is decided on a case to case basis. Our
The constitution guarantees the intervention of the state in case the right is over-exercised ar
exercised in violation of the rights of our fellow countrymen.’Our right end when the nose of
other citizen starts ‘. It is said. This sentence itself explains everything.

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