Freedom of Expression is one of the most sensitive terms. The term itself when expressed somewhere, initiates a chain of thoughts, philosophical fissions and fusion of ideas in the proto-reactor of our upper cranial chamber which eventually end up with the residue of some good quotations to be expressed as tweets and the main end product which leaves another philosophically radical question ready: freedom of expression, but up to what extent?
It is true that everything in this Universe must have some limit, including Universe and Infinity itself and the Chandrashekhar limit for the mass, along with thoughts and their expressions and the limit that I have here to write on Astrophysics. Most of the Republics across the globe has viable freedom of expression available for their citizens with few countries like India and the US with undefined limits and People’s Republic of China with very strictly limited freedom of expression.
Chinese however, neither give expressions on their face nor on their newspapers.
My idea about freedom of expression, in this article ranges around Indian idea on history, philosophy and it’s current status. India, since very ancient time had a good sense about the theme of freedom of expression and thoughts which in turn, developed an ideological religion with a number of school of philosophies (Mono, Poly and Atheist) and survived, developed and enriched culture parallel to each other.
Time passed by, as many other schools and then newly developed religions with a larger fold and essence of Hindu and Vedic philosophies developed and later on, imported religions existed with a good sense of secularism. Freedom of expression, we see, thus brings up and idea of free society and secularism with it and must not be poorly and narrowly limited. Artistic representations, paintings, music, lores, literature, epics and mythology et cetera have been a part of it. An idea of expressive freedom of a person, society, culture or a nation can be derived by looking into previously stated terms related to it which can give more realistic and authentic idea than recorded word history, which might also be unreliable and can’t be proved.
More ever, history of the freedom of expression demands a liberal intellectual telescopic site to look through the mist of the time passed, into the space, where thousands of stars of a society’s history shine. Depiction, for an instance can be seen as the liberty to think about the form of the being beyond our realm which actually, is expressed as an image which one has in one’s mind and expression of it expresses the idea, thinking and ideology of the concurrent society, when it was created.
Creativity is the cousin of expressiveness and curiosity plays an important part in the creation of creativity itself. Curiosity will instigate the creation of a better, expressible creativity when it will be expressed and addressed to and through a mind in a society; with a better idea and experience (though not an important factor) of expression.
Freedom of expression has been so free throughout the history and dimensions of time that it never anchored itself down on a particular human expression. In modern time, in a democracy, it matters a lot, holds a great value; unlike it’s historical one but is expressed through different ways of expressions like media, cinema, education, society and it’s orientation, literature, arts, culture, religion, secularism et cetera.
There must be no bar or restriction on the ‘freedom of expression’ but there must be on the way someone expresses it.
Indian constitution and law has awarded the freedom of expression to everyone under it’s umbrella of influence and boundary of reign with freedom of expression. But Indians, in many fields are either unable to use it properly or couldn’t even apply it. Both, either and or have respective examples i.e. Media, Cinema and Education.
Indian media has been awarded with an unlimited freedom of expression (overseen by a Ministry). Indian media so far has been unable to use it properly. It’s not only paid news but the quality of news, unnecessary presentations, mindless and outspoken anchors, noisy and waste debates; has so far been unable to provide what we may call news itself to a common. Now there are a number of private news channels mushrooming at national and local level but none of them could bring a change.
Indians, when find themselves in a comparative dilemma and develops a sense of minute-lasting inferiority which in reverse creates an ultra self-defensive stance, when they or any part of their society is compared to any foreign and better example, regardless to country, be it China, be it the US. The usual scapegoat is the cultural comparision, along with a statement on social behaviour, history, fashion, etiquettes or a racial comments like,
Chinese! The one who eat anything? Communists? And so on.
This momentary nationalism is common and prevalent. So when we compare Indian news channel’s quality to France24, BBC Network or al-Jazeera, in order to improve them, response that springs up is a pure minus.
Education, on the other hand, is not liberal in India. Even in my school, which was a government institution, where freedom of expression was higher though dangerous than private schools (because teacher never gave a shit but if they see you answering anything better than them, you were sent out). However, situation has become a little better though most part is same as before. At the University level, liberalised education is inexistent and invisible as the dark matter.
Mercury rises when University rankings come out. A part advocates Indian Universities are still the best (some claim bad ranks as a western agenda to demoralize Indians) while other (I am in) asks for betterment, liberalization, modernization and infrastructural reforms, even after knowing that it will take years to bring the change, all thanks to the freedom of expression which can be raised outside but intellectually suppressed inside the same educational institutions.