Freedom of expression is superior or the right to protest
The fact that both the "right to freedom of speech and expression" (article 19(1)(a)) and "right to assemble peaceably and without arms" (article 19(1)(b)) share the same article highlights the fact that both these rights are dependent on each other in more than one ways. Yet, from time to time, the question arises whether the right to freedom of speech and expression should take the precedence or the right to protest, which is lately being increasingly exercised under the purview of the right to assemble. Many prominent columnists and writers are of the view that the mass protests under the leadership of Anna Hazare along with other social activists comprised the first well-organized movement after the Jai Prakash Naryan movement. Given the fact that people today are being more and more oblivious to others' lives, it is extremely difficult to organize such a hugely popular movement which has to its credit, if not any visible changes in legislation, the herculean task of tying the youth of the nation with a common feeling of rationality and self-realization. So what exactly motivated the youth of the nation, who have long been accused of being insensitive to the issues pertaining to nation's interests, to stand up and take active part in a movement which doesn't promise to provide any immediate relief to any of their problems? These sudden turn of events went on to underline the fact that the citizens are willing to push their right to demonstrate and protest to the edge to ensure that their interests are not tampered with, and that the right to assemble and protest could be exercised more freely than ever, even if it meant that the right to freedom of speech and expression had to take the backseat for a while. However, it would be foolish to assume that both these rights could be distinguished as apples and mangoes. In its verdict involving the case of Delhi police using its force on peaceful protesters...
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