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Freedom of Expression
Reflections
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Expressing ourselves within limits is our inalienable right. This right has been granted to us by our Creator and anyone who takes it away is interfering in God’s grand scheme. When governments curb this freedom, they become despotic. When clerics stall this freedom, they produce fanatics and extremists in the society. When parents are guilty of this with regard to their children, they groom children who will either become rebellious or lose self-confidence. When organizations discourage it among their employees, they should not expect talented individuals to remain with them.

At the societal level, the greatest outcome of freedom of expression is a stimulus to creativity and creative ideas. Sciences and arts flourish and quench the curiosity and aesthetic sense found in people. The country becomes a model to be followed.

At the religious level, it produces tolerance and respect for people of other religions. This is especially important in multi-religious societies. It also promotes inter-personal relations between followers of various religions. Difference of opinion never results in extremism and violence.

At the family level, freedom of expression allows children to have a free hand to develop their personal taste and aptitude in whatever spheres they want. Their personalities are groomed to their own liking. They reap the benefits of self-belief and inner satisfaction. At the professional level, this freedom brings out the best in the employees, especially those who have vision and insight. This can make an organization develop by leaps and bounds. Human potentials and skills blossom. Loyalty to the organization and taking ownership of its goals are some more fascinating results of this freedom.

However, freedom of expression at all levels must be governed by a moral principle: individuals must not use it to infringe upon the freedom of their fellow human beings.

 

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