There is a scene in one of the hindi movies I watched long time back, where a woman, married to the person she loves, is getting ready for an evening party. For that, she wants to wear a dress she adores. Happily, she takes a hot shower, scents her body, slips into that gorgeous dress, and then glides into the party like a goddess, where every eye that fell on her, resulted in a gasp of appreciation and admiration for her true beauty. Her husband saw her too and realized how ravishing and stunning she looked.
That night he beat her to the pulp. And at one time, he was her true love.
Freedom of expression, like this endless universe we inhibit, and the uncountable joy in art we feel, has no survival value for human existence. It is not something we can have sometime and can’t at others. Rather it is one of those few concepts that give value to our existence, and is a bedrock on which the human existence sprouts from nothingness of ether and air and takes form of a being who can think and create.
We need freedom of expression like we need air, and water, and food for survival, without which we are nothing but a mechanical contraption programmed to live each day as is, bottled up all over lives until one day we burst, break and dissolve into the sea of nothingness we call universe.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of expression is the right of every individual to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. The world we see is modeled in these opinions that we form about this world. It is our view, a spectrum through which we form the ideas about this world. And from this model comes the need to express it.
Every moment we are expressing ourselves, consciously or subconsciously, verbally or non verbally, through the body postures we take when we are confident, the words we chose when we confront the ideas that oppress us, the expressions we form on our faces when we look at the pain and hunger around us, the songs of freedom and revolution we hum. All this and more we do every second of our lives. We express and express and express, to let out that creative zeal that is inside us, the pain that we feel, the happiness that envelops in a frantic energy that begs to come out.
Can we then live a life without expressing all this we feel? Does any thing else becomes paramount than this ideal of expression that have found places in the archives of human existence, in the dark caves in the form of scribbles signs and symbols?
In light of all this, can we then separate love and freedom of expression? Can love take birth and bloom if there is no freedom of expression? Won’t it suffocate without the very essence that gives love its beauty?
For love is the ultimate form of freedom of expression, that is unadulterated from all the other factors that we keep hinged ourselves on.
It is hard to imagine a life without the freedom of expression. It is unimaginable. And if one has to chose a life in which one can have a ‘so-called’ love but without the expression of freedom, it’s akin to a life in a decorated castle with everything you need to survive, but not an inch to explore beyond its barren walls.