(to mark the International Human Rights Day)
How you feel if someone says: “Eat as much as you can (before the food is ready)” and when the food is ready, you are told: “That’s enough: you are eating too much.”
That’s exactly what is happening with our rights to freedom of expression and opinion!
Citizens around the world living in democratic countries were guaranteed rights to freedom of expression for long. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promulgated long ago in 1948 by UN General Assembly, has explicitly stated it in Article 19.
All democratic nations around the world have copied, rephrased/translated and pasted the text in their constitutions. As citizens we’ll thought well we’ve individually rights to freedom of expression and opinion.
We didn’t have a powerful medium through which we could effectively exercise the rights and we were made to believe media is mediating the rights on behalf of us.
But we are being deceived!
The Internet emerged as a powerful medium that every individual around the world could use to exercise the rights to freedom of expression and opinion. When blogging emerged, it was evident. If blogs were difficult to set up and continued, then social media (on internet) is the easiest tool to use to express ourselves.
But then, now governments around the world are thinking on differently. Expressions on the internet is so widespread and individual in nature that no one (including government) can control it by the means they used to control/mediate/manipulate content on ‘free media’.
And, they are scared!
So they want to curtail the rights that we were supposed to be exercising for long. We had the plates in our hand, waiting for the food to come seeing a few who have the access to little food there enjoying the meal in our names, believing when there will be food, we could savor ourselves a feast.
Now the food has arrived and the government is thinking of curtailing our access to food so that we remain hungry! You think that’s justifiable?
We should fight back!
Internet freedom is our human rights. If you feel social media is bad mouthed, sadly you are only reading those bad-mouthed people otherwise plenty of good things are happening through it.
It’s our tool to express ourselves; it’s our platform to live a life of dignity enjoying human rights and fight injustice. So we need to tell our government, the world and everyone that the Internet should remain free.