Leonardo da Vinci, the ingenious inventor and one of the great minds of the Renaissance once said, ”Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.” As the saying goes, the human race has progressed throughout history by someone choosing to voice what he or she thought was right instead of being silent, often at the cost of his or her own life. Being one of the many mortals who often choose to stay quiet, I always wondered what went through their minds when they decided to risk various ways of execution, such as beheading, facing a firing squad, or in worst cases, excruciating torture that lasted until death to do what they believed to be right.
Nowadays, the consequence of speaking out is not severe compared to the past, thanks to them. On the contrary, it is now considered as a basic human right and protected by legislation in many countries. The most prominent form of this is protest is where many people gather to voice their needs and wants in unison. But, another problem arises because now it’s inside the boundaries of the law. For example, the recent 1st anniversary of the Sewol tragedy resurfaced this issue that lay dormant for many years. Is the law protecting or limiting the right to protest? Between the law and the people’s right to protest, which should be considered as a higher cause? Can there be a balance between the adherence to the regulation and the right to speak? In this edition of INDIGO, we have tackled this controversial issue and offered some insights to the matter.
The line between the rights of the individuals and that of the legislation(s) that limit it has always been very thin, mainly because both factors are considered important and crucial in our lives. Personally, it is a huge irony that modern legislation, which was put in place to protect the people and their rights, now is looked upon as something that is trying to restrict the concept of which it was made to protect. The problem of where and how to draw the line has been an ongoing debate since the modern form of government was established, and is currently happening with growing interest around us as we speak. Times change, and with it the situation in which these debates take place. However, if there’s one thing that does not, and should not change, is the fact that we as citizens should always remember that the right to speak has been carved the figurative cornerstones for the world we live in. Thus, legislation and regulations are there to honor that fact, not undermine it.