What is the purpose behind freedom of speech and expression?

In Romesh Thapper v. State of Madras ( AIR 1950 SC 124), Justice Patanjali Sastri observed that –

“Freedom of Speech and of the Press lay at the foundation of all democratic organisations, fir without free political discussion no public education, so essential for the proper functioning of the process of popular government, is possible.”

 

Article 19 (1) (a) provides the right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens of India. Before we delve into the purpose, let’s understand the meaning. Freedom of speech and expression means the right to express one’s opinion or view freely. As right is restricted in the same way your freedom is reasonably restricted on the following grounds –

Security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency and morality, contempt of court, defamation, incitement to offence and integrity and sovereignty of India.

 

Apart from this, you can express your ideas through any medium. The purpose behind Article 19 (1) (a) is –

  • To help an individual to attain self fulfilment by expressing themselves.
  • To discover the truth
  • To help the individual in strengthening their capacity and help them to inculcate decision making power.
  • To establish a reasonable balance between stability and social change.

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