Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, February 23rd, 2024

Why Freedom of Expression Matters


Why Freedom of Expression Matters

There have always been efforts to restrict freedom of speech in the world in some way or the other. However, the fact is that it has survived anyway and today there are as many opinions as there are human beings and might be even more and it is an encouraging gesture that everyone wants to speak. Why is it so that someone always wants that he should be heard? Why should a person desire that everyone else should be all ears just to his opinions, neglecting everybody else? Nonetheless, it is not probable to confine what the people hear and what they say.
There is an inclination among the people in our society as well that they want to give final opinion, and they always want to draw a final decision regarding others. They also desire that no one should stop them. Though this sort of inclination may be interesting, it has its own disadvantages, and this would only be possible if they were deities. Such proclivity has in fact brought troubles not only to the ones who have them but to the ones who have been influenced by them. Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”  The greatest virtue of human is wisdom and the greatest act of wisdom is to share knowledge through conversation. Conversation, in its passive form, is a thought, while in its active form it is a voice. As a matter of fact it is difficult to recognize the being of a human without his voice in the infinite expense of the universe. Our reach is to the extent where our voice can echo and without our voice we would disappear in the darkness of silence. So, it is important that we talk as long as we live. The ones who do not have the opportunity to talk they feel that the unspoken words spread throughout their bodies like poison and snatch their happiness. However, those people would be controversial who, themselves, would always talk but not allow others to do so. Their conversation would really hurt and would be an agony even if they talk about eternal bliss and peace. It can be observed that the history has never witnessed a nation that might have acquired all the truth in the world; if such a miracle had happened the world would have been free of all sort of deprivations and sufferings. It is the reality of life that its truths are distributed among different times, places, languages and minds. It would be great if all the truths could be acquired from the old men who sit under the tree and tell different sorts of stories to the people; but the reality is different.
Therefore, everyone must be given a chance to speak their minds and let the words flow through their tongues and reach others, so that they can listen to them and analyze them; in this way the speaker would not feel that his words were not given the due respect.  A very limited reservoir of knowledge has reached to us and if a major part of it remains untold and is victimized by silence, we would have a major loss – a loss that would be very difficult to compensate for. Here it is important to note that there are certain people, who, when talk, try to create conflicts and differences; however, it should not be forgotten that if such people remain silent, they would create even more divergences.
It is really important that human beings must keep the doors and windows of their inner selves open and let their expressions free like the winds in the deserts and the water flowing in the rivers. Indeed, the ones who speak are the real teachers and while those who are silent basically hide what they have. Therefore, it is necessary that the tradition and culture of speaking must be followed and pursued so as to spread what people know and let the listener judge as per his perceptions. In our society, for many years there have been certain limitations which are imposed on the people and which hamper free thinking and free expression; however, the people have not dared to stand against such limitations though these limitations influence them the most. Moreover, it can be observed that among the ruling elite there is a sort of reservation regarding freedom of expression and they try to practice it in some way or the other. They try to impose limitations on freedom of expression through certain ways – they strive to generate social pressure, and they even design laws to acquire their objective. This clearly shows that they are afraid of the realities, and they are not confident enough to face them. However, the people have to understand that only a limited number of people have their self-centered incentives behind such controlled silence; therefore, such efforts should never be supported, and people must make efforts to shatter all such chains that strive to chain their thoughts and their talks.

Maryam Hashemi is the emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. she can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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