ARTICLE-19 of the Human Right declaration acknowledges that everyone has a right to seek, receive and impart information through any medium without being worried about the consequences.

The chief theorist that brought to light the importance of freedom of expression was the 19th century British liberal thinker John Stuart Mill.

He argued that the only way a society can progress is by letting human beings express their opinions and views freely.

Moreover, he said that the West transformed itself into the leading civilization of the world because of freedom of expression, which underpinned freedom of enquiry thus paving the way for scientific research and discoveries.

While freedom of speech may have its own disadvantages, the benefits far outweigh them.

Firstly, freedom of speech plays a vital role in the creation of a tolerant and pluralistic society, which ensures that people of different colour, creed, class, sects and religion can all coexist peacefully.

Secondly, freedom of expression also plays a critical role in developing democracy as it is the backbone of a democratic state. It can allow the common man to pressurize the government and the concerned authorities to work for the welfare of society instead of their own interests.

Thirdly, freedom of expression helps enhancing accountability. Accountability is another key tenet of democracy that seeks to hold leaders, individuals and policymakers accountable for their decisions by acknowledging that states that no institution or individual  is above the law.

Lastly, freedom of expression also helps to get rid of evils in society.

No social evils can be eliminated until and unless the people have the power to speak up against malpractices.

It is important to ponder on the idea of freedom as it is at the very heart of society and human nature.

Governments and international communities around the world need to make a collaborative effort to ensure the right to freedom in order to create a better for all.

The World Students Society thanks author, Bilawal Ali Lakho, Shikarpur, Pakistan.


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