Rights to freedom of speech, is there a boundary?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Aparjeet Kaushal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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                The recent events happening as the Jawahar Nehru University made many people think over their basic right. As many public figures and political figures are saying that we Indians have a fundamental right to freedom of speech. But the question that has been raised here that under the umbrella of fundamental rights are we allowed to do anything, even if the outcome of those may be catastrophic.

                The recent events at JNU, where a few student echoed the campus with slogans denouncing the decision of hanging Afzal Guru and freedom for Kashmir along with more stern slogans like “We will fight till the destruction of India” and many more, gave a strong reason to go over the basics that we have.

                 The Freedom of Speech is a basic amenity provided to each and every Indian national, but to use it for engaging a social and national stress points cannot be categorised under excising the right. Take for example the slogan ”We will fight till the destruction of India ”, just remove the Indian from the last of the sentence and put your own name in place. Now imagine a few hundred people chanting the same in front of your house. It is obvious that you will get horrified and will contact for security as soon as possible. Something similar happened JNU campus.

                Flaring a vulgar comment in public is not freedom of speech. Mobilising a group of people for destruction of something is not freedom of speech. If the results of any such action cause trouble and causes a disturbance in peacekeeping then such means should be properly regulated. People must understand that they are not the only one privileged with such rights and should nor encroach over others too.

                 It is clearly mentioned in Article 19 in The Constitution of India 1949. All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression; to assemble peaceably and without arms; to form associations or unions; to move freely throughout the territory of India; to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

                 Thus, it is the moral duty of the citizen of any country to be expressive in ways so as not to hurt the sentiments of the others who also enjoy the same privileges and disturb the surrounding and the results of which can cause irreversible damage to the country and its citizen. It is our responsibility to maintain the decorum of the country as a whole and should not be causing unnecessary trouble and inconvenience to its residents or any other concerned.

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