In the last few months much heat has been generated in the country on the use or abuse of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression. At the same time it has also been felt whether it, that is, use of Freedom of expression, has promoted or curtailed the spirit of Nationalism in the country. It is welcome, if Freedom of expression has promoted Nationalism, but, at the same time, if the situation is contrary to that, that is, if we abuse Freedom of Expression to degenerate the spirit of Nationalism, then we need to ponder which to prefer Freedom of expression or Nationalism.
In such a scenario, we need to, I think prefer the line which engulfs freedom of expression with the spirit of Nationalism. This is so, because Nationalism without Freedom of Expression of vice-versa is certainly going to be a futile exercise. In simple words, in the world's largest democracy that is India the role of Freedom of expression is to ignite the minds of the countrymen about the various issues facing it. At the same time the role of Nationalism in our country is to unite the minds of the nationals in a single thread irrespective of all considerations like caste, sex, religion, class, gender, etc. to name a few in this regard.
Coming especially to Freedom of Expression which is enunciated in Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India as a Fundamental Right. This Fundamental Right along with all other Fundamental Rights as embodied in Part-III of the Constitution enshrines the backbone of our democratic system. Freedom of expression is important in a multi-cultural society like ours because without this right there will not be free flow of views and ideas about the various issues and facts facing the country. Thus to a large extent Freedom of Expression is responsible in this way in forming democratic public opinion in the country. Our survival as the world's largest democracy revolves around "Freedom of Expression".
On the other hand Nationalism too has its own role in not only in our country but also specifically in all nations of the modern world. If freedom of expression is a Fundamental Right in our country then Nationalism is certainly a uniting spirit for our nation. It is so, not only now but also since we were fighting against British imperialism. In British Raj via brutal force the English could curb to a little extent the Freedom of expression, but at the same time they could not curb our spirit of nationalism. This is the reason for our attainment of freedom from British imperialism vis-a-vis flourishing ourselves as the world's largest democracy. Thus Freedom of expression sans Nationalism or vice-versa may itself in the long run may wither away the concept of sovereignty in our country.
The debate of preferring Freedom of expression or Nationalism has cropped up in our country time and again. In the recent past it was first J.N.U. row led by Mr. Kanhyya Kumar and then the N.I.T., Kashmir embargo. These derogatory and path-breaking episodes of our democracy may be termed as a fissiparous tendencies by fissiparous forces to destroy the serenity of democratic practices and norms practiced by the world's largest democracy i.e. India. While facing such scenarios, we the nationals of our country need to ignite our mind by using Freedom of expression as a means to garner the ultimate end which is the spirit of nationalism.
Now coming specifically to the point under discussion of preferring the line which engulfs Freedom of expression with the spirit of Nationalism we come to the final conclusion that, it, culminates itself to a stage of igniting and rejuvenating the masses of our country in a path where our country through a unifying spirit blows away all inter-state and intra-state fissiparous tendencies and thereby march ahead in the comity of nations with our head high with no time to look back.
- JNANDEEP BORA