Today we are living in the 21st century, an era where people raise their voices for their rights, they question, they think and they demand the provision of their rights. No matter to which gender they belong the society, the culture and the law of the modern century allows us to express our ideas and thoughts. We a have an equal right to speak, to give our view and express our opinion on any subject matter, either in its favor or against it. This right is formally known as ‘Freedom of Speech’ and most of us are very well aware of this term.
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington
YOU CAN’T ARREST AN IDEA
Well! The conceptual meaning of arresting someone is to seize(someone) by legal authority and take them into custody or to stop someone. However, I believe that one can arrest someone physically but it’s impossible to arrest someone’s idea. Freedom of speech allows a person to spread his idea among the people and once the idea has been articulated in the crowd it definitely becomes difficult to stop that idea. That’s why president of South Africa F. W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela in 1990, just because of growing domestic and international pressure, and the fear of a racial civil war had become very eminent. Now the question is that how these pressures and fear took place? This fear and pressure was the result of an idea spread by Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was arrested for his campaign and ideology against racism. He embraced the idea of a multi-racial front against apartheid. The oppressors tried to put an end to Mandala’s thought and legacy and therefore was kept behind the bars for 27 years but his idea was not ceased, instead it became a dream and a passion for his people and they kept it alive in their hearts. This shows that no one can arrest the idea and words. https://www.google.com.pk/wikipedia/NelsonMandela
“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk
The central idea involved here is to demonstrate the people’s right to know. Freedom of speech should, therefore, receive substantial support from all those who believe in the participation of people in the administration. Similarly, freedom of speech also played a very important role in international relationship as well. These rights have been questioned and exercised throughout the history, and have produced extremely positive results in a lot of cases. For instance, the revolution of Pakistan is one of the best example to see the positive impact of freedom of speech where Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah came up with his own ideology & the dream of Allama Iqbal & preached the idea to the people to an extent that it became a do or die situation for each individual who understood the Quaid’s idea and stood by him. This was not easy at all to come up with an idea and to deliberately express the thoughts in front of empowered British Government. This all happened just because of freedom of speech which allowed Quaid-e-Azam to speak fearlessly in front of British government.
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” – Thucydides
Freedom of speech involves the license to express one’s own particular feelings and assessments openly by expressions of mouth, composing, printing or whatever other mode. The right to free speech is one of the most precious rights of an individual. This right gives people the opportunity to speak their mind and give their opinions of what they think should happen. It, in this manner, includes the statement of one’s thought through any transferable medium or noticeable portrayal, for example, gesture, signs, and so forth. Freedom of speech is the fundamental goal and this might be done on any stage or through the social media. Freedom of speech includes freedom to spread not one’s perspectives as it were but it also incorporates the freedom to spread or distribute the perspectives of other individuals; that is the reason that freedom of press likewise go under the class of the freedom of speech.
SOCIAL MEDIA & FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Social media is now a new platform where you can spread your thoughts freely. It is considered one of the best and easiest way to express one’s own thoughts. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more provide you a platform to show your interest and to take part in any issue of the world. Freedom of speech allows you to support any side of picture on social media. We can quote many examples of present world situation that became viral just because of social media. Social media basically plays a vital in reducing people’s fear and allows them to come up with whatever they want. For instance, we all know what is happening in Syria. People are being killed inhumanly with chemical bombs and no one is raising their voice to condemn the act on international forums. But the only place where we have seen people raising voice against this brutality is social media. Freedom of speech and platform like social media are helping the people to overcome their fears and now they confidently and explicitly spread their thoughts and float their messages. Recently many soldiers have been exercising the practice and also we have seen many videos and pictures on Facebook as well where people raise their voices to condemn some act of injustice or inhumanity or inequality. Similarly hashtags with the thoughts on twitter are also a type of freedom of speech.
Ideas & words spread like fire on social media. Social media and is a creative way to get people to express themselves. In real world, even after having the freedom of speech people sometimes seem a bit restrictive and limited, but on social media they feel a greater sense of freedom of expression and/or of speech. For people who find it difficult to interact with others in person, the social media provides them a great way of communicating and not having to feel self-conscious or nervous.
But I believe that Freedom of Speech on social media is only good if it is use in a legal and right way. In near past, we have found many cases of blasphemy. In result many Pakistani students of Islamic seminaries took part in a rally in support of blasphemy laws, in Islamabad, Pakistan and then two bloggers also disappeared from Islamabad recently. They demanded to impose blasphemy law in Pakistan and to ban all social media forums in Pakistan as well. You can find the detail on Al-Arabiya English. To avoid the wrong use of social media, government of Pakistan has issued a list of cyber crime and their punishments recently. Cyber crime & their punishment.
This picture is the best example for concluding my blog which defines the idea that you can kill a man but not his words; similarly you can arrest someone physically but not his idea. The idea must be spread forward by someone else as shown in this picture & this would be happening just because of freedom of speech, no matter through which channel you are spreading the idea. It can be further explained by taking the example of martyr of APS Peshawar. People are still spreading their ideology on social media and remember them in their hearts.
So finally at the end we can say that freedom of speech is greatest right or duty but only if it is done in a right way.
“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” – John F. Kennedy
Find More: YouCanNotKillAnIdea