Editorial | Dissent as sacred

Greater Kashmir

Days before what the supreme court underlined about the freedom of expression was actually the assertion of the cardinal value on which the entire human civilisation is based. Ever-since humans lived in collectivities, the only instrument of peaceful coexistence is the freedom of expression. If this freedom is curtailed or axed, the rest of the freedoms required for a peaceful and progressive human life disappear sooner or later. In the modern times where the concepts of individual liberty, democracy, and constitutionalism took institutionalised shape, the entire human interaction is guided by the idea of the freedom of expression. All the collective realms of modern life, be it economy, polity, law, or academics, are shaped up by this central value of the modern life. It was the freedom of expression that led to the end of different forms of oppression and bondage and allowed an unprecedented flourishing of science – physical as well as social. The institution of democracy that is so valued world over would cease to function if the freedom of expression is curtailed.

Unfortunately, there have been attempts, globally, to constrict the spaces that are needed for the expression of dissent, and are vital for the growth of democratic institutions. This has had an adverse impact on the overall functioning of the politics at the global level. The need of the times is that the political leadership at the apex level is made mindful about the threats to the freedom of expression. To this end institutions like law, of which supreme court of a country is the apex form, need to come forward and contribute in a significant manner. The political parties, and other civil society organs also need to come forward and safeguard the value that is crucial for the growth and prosperity of  human communities. If we fail to fulfil our duties in this regard, we will be facing very dark times in future, and it can lead to great upheavals in the human societies world over.