The Importance Of Freedom Of Thought

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Freedom of thought and freedom of expression vis-à-vis academic freedom are necessary conditions for the discovery of truth, personal development, and self-governance which are themselves the fruits of broad liberal learning. Since universities are repositories where open debate and free discussion, which are the main instruments in the creation of knowledge and creativity, are primarily sought, it is a necessary condition, both in principle and practice, for universities to allow the main actors, especially students and teachers, use and express their thought free from interference from both outside and inside the university. Since freedom of expression and freedom of thought are the bases for other freedoms such freedom of association, rights of tenure, freedom of peaceful demonstration, etc., a very critical and special emphasis has to be given for these freedoms.
In line with this understanding, let me, with a keen interest, present a bird’s eye view of the situation and extent of these freedoms [freedom of thought and expression] in the post 1991AAU. To do so, let me begin by quoting Bertrand Russell’s idea, vis-à-vis freedom of opinion and expression, as follows: let it be remembered that what is at stake, in the greatest issues as well as in those that seem smaller, is the freedom of the individual human spirit to express its beliefs and hopes for mankind, whether they be shared by many or by few or none. New hopes, new beliefs, and new thoughts are at all times

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