Thursday, March 1, 2012

the freedom of speech and utter not those words of 'no use'


In a workplace, or anywhere else – there would be discussions and one would be too tempted to talk, to talk out of turn – empty prattle.  Thirukural – Adhikaram 20 is devoted to ‘Not speaking words that are not of use’….   In Thirukural 200 Thiruvalluvar says :

Utter only those words which are useful – otherwise do not speak at all.

The Constitution of India contains the right to freedom, given in articles 19, 20, 21 and 22, with the view of guaranteeing individual rights that were considered vital by the framers of the constitution. The right to freedom in Article 19 guarantees the Freedom of speech and expression.

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's ideas via speech. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity and incitement to commit a crime.  The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Quite often we see infringements as some tend to overstep and utter words or expressions which sure would cause hurt to others.  Law or no law, Incendiary speeches, words promoting hatred and enmity, treason and sedition are not to be allowed.  In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

There are always strange and eerie law suits in US and in a reported case in Massachusetts, a  man reportedly  has settled a federal lawsuit that claimed his free speech rights were violated when he was removed from a public meeting where he criticized school officials’ handling of the case of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after allegedly being bullied by other high school students.  It is reported that upon his suing that he was improperly ejected from a School Committee meeting when he criticized the officials, he gained International attention  and now has been effected a  $75,000 settlement.  The triumphant man claimed that his  lawsuit was about “social justice, which has been served.” !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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