“Freedom of speech is a human right and the foundation upon which democracy is built. Any restriction of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy.”
Democracy is the most widely accepted form of government all over the world and the reason lies in the fact that it allows citizens to question the government’s action and decisions and to protest against policies and changes, which the people of the country believe are contradictory to their interest and to the interest of the nation as a whole.
However, seeing the current scenario in India and the activities of those in power, it seems that this fundamental right that democracy as form of government brings with its very foundation is at a risk.
Instances like attack on students and even professors protesting against some government policy or the government’s style of managing the country, and in this scenario to suppress the protest and the very movement. The students are not only physically attacked but also are falsely charged of criminal offences so that they get scared, and instead of using their rights and speaking up on what they believe is appropriate, just become a YES men and blindly support the government’s actions.
And when the government thought that this was not enough, it started to put some well known figures who are recognized as great thinkers and philosophers behind the bars for their free-thinking and communicating their messages loud and clear to the world so that people could become aware and understand what some of the governmental policies could result in shaping the future of this country.
Media, which is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy, is also at an alarming state in our country, when the media which is supposed to investigate and question the government and the policy makers about their present and future decisions and critically review the same so that the audience could be well-informed is now just praising those in power, condemning every voice which doesn’t agree with the office holders and sometimes calling them even “ANTI-Nationalists” and what not. And whenever some journalist or reporter disagrees to become a puppet of the government and shows the public which would actually benefit them in understanding the scenario of the country in an unbiased manner, he or she is threatened, given death threats, forced by his/her seniors to either alter the content which he is showing or leave the job.
If situations like these continue to exist in the Indian democracy then that day when every citizen would start hating this form of government won’t be too far. That’s why disagreement or dissent is very important for democracy for it not to become ‘Dictatorship’ of any manner. And most importantly our leaders should realize that this disagreement is in any way not against them personally but for the school for thought that they might be preaching through the set of policies.
The disagreements or debates on certain issues would only result in better policies and decisions formulation which would only benefit the country as a whole which actually or rather should be the aim of those in power in the government.