Freedom of speech is one of the fundamental rights of the citizens of India. Many countries around the world allow freedom of speech to its citizens to empower them to share their thoughts and views.
The government of India and many other countries provide freedom of speech to their citizens. This is especially so in the countries with democratic government. Here are essays of varying lengths on the topic Freedom of Speech to help you with the same in your exam. You can select any Freedom of Speech essay as per your need:
Long and Short Essay on Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech Essay 1 (200 words)
Freedom of Speech is one of the fundamental rights provided to the citizens of India. It allows the citizens of our country to express their ideas and share their opinions freely. It allows the general public as well as the media to comment on any of the political activities and even show discontentment against the ones they find inappropriate.
Just like India many other countries also provide the Freedom of Speech and Expression to its citizens but with some limitations. The restrictions put on the Freedom of Speech vary from country to country. There are also many countries that do not allow this basic human right. The general public and the media in such countries are refrained from commenting on the activities carried out by the government. Criticism of government, political parties or ministers is a punishable offense in such countries.
While Freedom of Speech is essential for the overall growth of the society it may have certain negative repercussions too. People must not use it to disrespect or instigate others. The media must also act responsibly and not misuse the Freedom of Speech.
I am lucky to have born in India – a country that respects its citizens and provides them with all the rights that are needed for their growth and development.
Freedom of Speech Essay 2 (300 words)
Freedom of speech is one of the basic rights given to the citizens of most of the countries across the globe. It enables the people residing in those countries to speak their mind without the fear of being punished by the law.
Origin of Freedom of Speech
The concept of freedom of speech originated long back. England’s Bill of Rights 1689 adopted freedom of speech as a constitutional right and it is still in effect. The French revolution in 1789 adopted the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This further affirmed the Freedom of Speech as an undeniable right. The Declaration of Freedom of Speech and Expression in Article 11 states:
“The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law”.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted in the year 1948 also states that everyone should have the freedom to express their ideas and opinions. Freedom of Speech and Expression has now formed a part of the international and regional human rights law.
Freedom of Speech – The Basis of Democracy
A democratic government gives various rights to its people including the right to elect the government of their country. Freedom of speech and expression is known to form the basis of a democratic nation. Merely electing the government is no use if the citizens do not have the right to voice their opinion in case they feel that the elected government is not performing as per the standards set by it initially. This is why right to freedom of speech is an essential right in the democratic nations. It forms the basis of democracy.
Freedom of speech empowers the people to share their ideas and bring about positive changes in the society.
Freedom of Speech Essay 3 (400 words)
Freedom of Speech is considered to be a basic right that every person must be entitled to. It is among the seven fundamental rights given to the citizens of India by the Indian constitution. It forms a part of the Right to Freedom that includes the freedom of speech and expression, right to life and liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of residence, right to practice any profession, freedom to form unions, associations or cooperatives, protection in regard to conviction in offences and protection against arrest in some cases.
Why is Freedom of Speech Essential?
Freedom of speech is essential for the all round growth and development of a person as well as a nation as a whole. Imposing restriction on what one speaks or hears can hamper the development of a person. It can even create discomfort and dissatisfaction that leads to stress. A nation filled with people full of discontent can never grow in the right direction.
Freedom of Speech gives way to open discussions that helps in exchange of ideas which is essential for the growth of the society. It is also essential to express one’s opinion about the political system of the country. When the government knows that it is being monitored and can be challenged or criticized for the steps it is taking, it acts more responsibly.
Freedom of Speech – Closely Related to Other Rights
Freedom of Speech is closely related to the other rights. It is mainly required to protect the other rights given to the citizens. It is only when people have the right to express and speak freely they can raise their voice against anything that goes wrong. It enables them to take an active part in democracy rather than just being involved in the election process. Similarly, they can guard other rights such as the Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of Religion, Right against Exploitation and Right to Privacy only when they have the Freedom to Speech and Expression.
It is also closely related to the Right to Fair Trial. Freedom of Speech and Expression enables a person to put across his point freely during a trial which is extremely essential.
Freedom of speech gives the power to raise voice against any kind of injustice happening around. The governments of the countries that offer Right to Information and Opinion and Freedom of Speech and Expression must also welcome the opinions and ideas of their citizens and be receptive to change.
Freedom of Speech Essay 4 (500 words)
Freedom of Speech and Expression is one of the basic rights guaranteed to the citizens of India. It comes under the Right to Freedom which is among the seven fundamental rights included in the Indian constitution. The other rights include Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights, Right to Privacy, Right against Exploitation and Right to Constitutional Remedies.
Freedom of Speech in India
The constitution of India provides Freedom of Speech to every citizen however with some restrictions. This means that the people can freely express their views about others as well as the government, political system, policies and bureaucracy. However, speech can be restricted on moral grounds, security and provocation. Under the Right to Freedom in the Indian constitution, the citizens of the country have the following rights:
- Freedom to speak and express ideas and opinions freely
- Freedom to assemble peacefully without any arms and ammunitions
- Freedom to form groups, unions and associations
- Freedom to move freely in any part of the country
- Freedom to settle in any part of the country
- Freedom to practice any profession
- Freedom to indulge in any kind of business or trade provided it is not unlawful.
India is known as a democratic country in true sense. The people here have the right to information and can give their opinion on anything even the activities of the government. Freedom of Speech empowers the media to share all that is going on in the country as well as around the world. This makes the people more aware and keeps them updated with the latest happenings from around the world.
Downside of Freedom of Speech
While the Freedom of Speech allows an individual to share his thoughts and ideas and contribute towards the betterment of his society and fellow citizens, there are many disadvantages attached to it too. Many people misuse this freedom. They do not just express their views but also impose them on others. They instigate people and form groups to conduct unlawful activities. Media is also free to express its ideas and opinions. At times, the information shared by them creates panic amongst the general public. Certain news such as that related to the activities of different communal groups has even given rise to communal riots in the past. This disrupts the peace and harmony of the society.
Internet has augmented the Freedom of Speech and Expression. The advent of social media platforms has furthered it all the more. People these days are eager to give their views on anything and everything whether they have knowledge about the same or not. They write hateful comments without caring if they are hurting someone’s feelings or intruding in someone’s personal space. This can certainly be termed as the misuse of this freedom and must be stopped.
Every country must provide the Freedom of Speech and Expression to its citizens. However, it must be defined clearly so that it only helps in bringing about positive changes in the individuals as well as the society and does not disrupt its normal functioning.
Freedom of Speech Essay 5 (600 words)
Freedom of Speech is given to citizens of most countries to enable them to share their ideas and provide their opinion on different matters. It is considered to be essential for the growth of an individual as well as the society. While most countries provide this freedom to its citizens, many refrain from it.
Many Countries Offer Freedom of Speech
Not only India many countries around the world offer Freedom of Speech and Expression to their citizens. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights incorporated in the year 1948 states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
South Africa, Sudan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Iran, Israel, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, New Zealand, Europe, Denmark, Finland and Republic of China are among some of the countries that offer Freedom of Speech and Expression to their citizens.
Now, while these countries have given the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression to their citizens however the degree to which this right is rendered to the general public and media differs from country to country.
Countries that Do Not Have Freedom of Speech
There are countries that do not give the right to Freedom of Speech to their citizens to maintain absolute control. Here is a look at some of these countries:
- North Korea: The country does not provide Freedom of Speech and Expression to its citizens as well as the media. Thus, the government does not only hold the freedom to express ones ideas and opinions but also holds information from its citizens.
- Syria: The government of Syria is known for its tyranny. People here are deprived of their basic human right that is the right to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
- Cuba: Yet another country that doesn’t provide Freedom of Speech to its citizens. The citizens of Cuba are not allowed to pass any negative comment on the activities of the government or any political party. The government here has even put restriction on internet usage so that people do not get a chance to express anything via the same.
- Belarus: This is another country that does not offer Freedom of Speech and Expression. People cannot voice their opinions or criticize the work of the government. Criticism of the government or any political minister is a criminal offense here.
- Iran: The citizens of Iran are not aware what it is like to express their opinion and share their ideas freely in the public. Nobody can express any kind of discontentment against the public laws or Islamic standards.
- Burma: The government of Burma is of the opinion that the Freedom of Speech and Expression is unnecessary. The citizens are asked not to express their ideas or opinions particularly if they are against any leader or political party. The media in this country is run by the government.
- Libya: Most people in this country do not even know as to what Freedom of Speech and Expression really is. The government of Libya is known for oppressing its citizens. In the age of internet, people around the world are free to express their views on any matter but not in this country. Many people in the country have been arrested for criticizing the government on the internet.
Freedom of Speech and Expression is a basic human right that must be given to the citizens of each country. It is sad to see the way the governments of certain countries do not provide even this essential human right to its citizens and oppresses them to fulfil their own selfish motives.
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Essay On The First Amendment: Free Speech Is Free Speech
This is a sample college essay about freedom of speech, and the continuing relevance of the first amendment to the American constitution. For other sample essay please use the search bar.
Title: "Free Speech is Free Speech"
Two second-graders, little Timmy and Billy, are playing on the playground during recess. Timmy is playing with his toy car, and Billy comes up and grabs it out of his hands. Timmy starts crying and goes and tells the teacher. The teacher tells Billy to give the car back, and Billy says: No! I can do whatever I want! This is a FREE country! Although this example is a little extreme, many Americans know something about the principles of the Constitution of the United States, but they do not understand exactly why the were created.
Today, many ponder the usefulness of their freedom of expression when it is almost impossible for their voices to be heard by others without the access to TV networks. Few people realize that the first amendment to the United States Constitution was written to protect citizens from being incarcerated due to their beliefs or thoughts, and not to ensure every Americans voice could be heard by as many people as they would like. Understood in this way, the right to free speech is still valuable, even if getting others to hear your voice without having money or power is difficult.
The first amendment to the United States Constitution, concerning "Freedom of Religion, Press, [and] Expression," was written over 200 years ago, and ratified on 12/15/1791. It states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The reason that this amendment was so important to the founding fathers was that it addressed a problem which had driven many from England in the first place. The idea of free speech was virtually unheard of during the time the constitution was created. At that time, in other places around the world, people were being persecuted for what they said. In many places it was unlawful to practice specific religions, hold certain beliefs, or speak out against the government. Citizens faced prison sentences, torture, or even death for violating such prohibitions. Even today, there are many countries that do not guarantee the basic right or privilege of freedom of speech.
An American soldier tells us about one of these foreign lands: I'm trying to help provide to the Iraqi and Afghan people the same rights that every American has, which some take for granted. I believe in the right of free speech and people's right to protest and express concerns to their leaders. Most of us Americans are guilty of taking some of our basic freedoms for granted. We are born and raised here, with no experience of living in a place without these freedoms. Some of us cant even imagine what it would be like, for example, in a place like Qatar: In reality, by Western standards, freedom of speech and a free press are severely restricted in Qatar. Public criticism of the ruling family or of Islam is forbidden. Even after formal censorship was lifted, newspapers have been shut down twice for publishing articles that ran contrary to Qatars interests. By contrast, and even though it may be difficult to have one's voice heard by the masses, Americans can still benefit from the legal protection that the constitutional guarantee of our freedom of speech provides for us.
The term Free Speech implies that all speech is free from prosecution, which of course is untrue. Obviously, there are some forms of speech which are not protected, such as slander, obscenity, and speech that presents a clear and present danger, but other forms are free. For example, we have the freedom to walk down the street announcing anything we want. It costs nothing to express our opinions through whatever free means we have available.
But some still argue that this right is useless unless many others can hear what a person has to say. They point out that few Americans can afford to get their voices heard, and those who benefit most are still those who can afford television time. For TV stations typically do not just give away free airtime to whoever wants it. But television airtime is only valuable because people want to watch the programs that are put on, and production companies spend billions of dollars to make popular shows. They cover these costs with the revenue generated by the limited advertising space they have, which is of course sold to the highest bidder. Today, advertisers are shelling out a record $705,000 per 30-second spot on Fox's American Idol, $560,000 for ABC's Desperate Housewives, $465,000 for CBS' CSI, and $350,000 for Survivor on CBS, Lost on ABC and The Apprentice on NBC.
Even after these enormous costs to place advertisements, the networks are only going to accept advertisements with messages that do not conflict with the interests of the company. The networks are profit-driven companies, just like most other businesses in this capitalist economy. The only entities which can afford to purchase advertising space only do so because they believe that there will be some sort of economic return on their investment. Network advertising is expensive due to the demand from other competitive businesses, which all desire the same publicity. So it is not surprising that only businesses and wealthy corporations get to exercise their free speech on television.
But advertising on network television is not the only avenue to the goal of expressing an opinion to the masses. Many Americans forget to appreciate what's most important about the first amendment: the protection of the basic right to express an opinion without being punished by the law. Moreover, from national issues to local campus matters, the underdog group, even when they lack funding to publicize their opinions, can still effectively come out victorious. A good national example of people expressing ideas who didnt have control over the media is the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, when Sit-ins, freedom rides, the March on Washington, and Dr. Kings I Have a Dream speech captured public attention and support. This shows the publics power to share its opinion with the rest of the world, without having to spend millions on advertising space.
An exemplary local case where a dissenting group was able to overcome adversity and change the majority opinion despite having the lesser means of advertising was the fee referendum that was voted down at Cal Poly by students last year. Associated Students, Inc., or ASI, proposed an increase in student fees to fund the building of new facilities. They took a poll to see what kind of support they would have: 66% of students surveyed said they would pay to renovate ASI facilities. They started spring 2005 quarter with a highly publicized Yes campaign. This consisted of signs and posters everywhere around campus, ASI student employees and staff members wearing Yes shirts, buttons and pins, advertisements in the school newspaper, and flyers with convincing statistics encouraging everyone to vote "yes." ASI had communication resources that no other organization on campus had access to. Finally, in the last few days before the opening of the polls, one club on campus, the Progressive Student Alliance printed a few flyers which were then distributed around school. These flyers contained very convincing information as to why students should vote against the proposed fee referendum. Once the results of the vote were in, many students were shocked to hear that the fee referendum was voted down, despite ASIs campaign efforts. The school newspaper, the Mustang Daily, reported that ASI spent well over $50,000 on their campaign, a budget that no other club could afford.
It would be faulty to assume that the United States is similar to a college campus, but the concept is the same. An organization may have the dominant means to communicate their ideas to the majority of the population, but this does not mean that their opinions will be accepted, or even considered by everyone. Without freedom of speech, the underdogs would not even be able to express their opinion to anyone. Dr. King would have been arrested for his opinion. The Progressive Student Alliance could have been expelled from school for expressing public dissent.
The founding fathers intended to grant equal legal protection to everyone with an opinion. That principle of free speech is still valid, but the implications are much more complex today than they were 200 years ago. The first amendment was written in the 18th century, when there was no television, radio, or internet. We were a country with only thirteen states, and since then, we have grown in area and population. In fact, the population of the United States has grown continuously, from 4 million at the first national census in 1790, to 76 million in 1900, to 281 million in 2000. It is hard to tell whether or not our founding fathers expected this growth, but we can be certain that there was no way for them to have any knowledge of upcoming technological advances such as television, radio, or the internet. Had they foreseen this development, and intended to write the first amendment laws not only for protection, but also to ensure each citizen had equal opportunity to express their opinion freely, the complications would be nearly impossible to address.
Say, for example, the government decided to create a television network intended for the use of citizens to state their opinion. Every person would only get about one tenth of a second of air time per year. Even if you could do something with your tenth of a second, it would not be fair to give one person their time at four in the morning, and another person their time on a Sunday evening. Also, how many Americans would actually watch such a network, instead of the season premiere of American Idol? The idea of free speech is just as valid today as it is was 200 years ago. But the concept of creating equality in the means that we use to get our voices heard is still as impossible and impractical as it was 200 years ago.
Our founding fathers created this country with the belief that everyones opinion should count equally. That is why they chose the system of voting to help our country make decisions. They knew that this structure would be the most fair and efficient means of hearing each citizens voice, while still allowing for a capitalist economy. One belief which had a strong influence on the way the constitution was written is that the proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. We must not forget to appreciate the freedoms that we have, including and especially our freedom of speech.
Submitted by: Tom