Explain the meaning, forms and safeguards of Liberty.
The term ‘Liberty’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘Liber’ which means free from all shackles. The Latin word ‘Liber’ denotes the absence of all restraints. It means one can do whatever one likes, regardless of all conditions.
Exponents views on Liberty
“Liberty is the positive power of doing and enjoying those things which are worthy of enjoyment and work”- Gettel
“Liberty is the freedom of the individual to express without external hindrances to personality”- Professor G.D.H. Cole.
“Liberty does not means the absence of restraint but it lies in development of liberty”- Mahatma Gandhi
“Without right then cannot be liberty, because without rights, men are the subjects of law unrelated to the needs of personality”.-Harold. J. Laski
Two Phases of Liberty
- Positive Phase:
Positive liberty mean freedom to do something that the individual should have rights and opportunities to develop his personality.
- Negative Phase:
For J.S. Mill Liberty means Negative Liberty. He submitted that there should not be any restraint imposed upon man and his actions. He also asserted that there should not be any hindrance in the path of man.
Types of Liberty
- Natural Liberty:
Natural liberty means absence of all restraint – an unrestrained freedom to do whatever one likes.
- Civil Liberty:
The concept of civil liberty reflects “Rule of law”. It denotes the enjoyment of our rights within the limits of law. The protection of civil liberty is guaranteed by the laws of the state.
- Political Liberty:
The concept of political liberty means liberty of citizen to participate in the political life and the affairs of the state. These rights are the right to vote, the right to contest elections, the right to hold public views and criticize the government and right to petitions.
- Personal Liberty:
The individual can act as he pleases without being under any type of arbitrary and illegitimate restraint. It also means that every individual has the right not to permit any other individual to interfere in the affairs of his personal life. Every individual should have the liberty to dress, food, standard of living, marriage and education of children etc. The state should not interfere in the personal matters.
- Economic liberty:
The concept of economic liberty means the liberty to earn one’s daily bread. Beyond the distinction of caste, colour, creed and gender every individual should have liberty to earn his daily bread by fair means.
- Fiscal Liberty:
According to this principle; there should be no taxation without representation. It was the slogan given by middle classes who claimed that they should be allowed to decide as to how and on whom their money was to be spent.
- Domestic Liberty:
It covers equal right for women and children. They need to be protected against maltreatment, cruelty and exploitation. They were also have the right to education.
- National Liberty:
It means the liberty of the country. National liberties exist where the nation is independence and sovereign.
- International liberty
This concept involves peace and international cooperation and the formation of world federation of states.
Safeguards of liberty
Liberty is safer in democracy than In any other form of government. Democratic government is the government of the people Opposite parties are given due respects in democracy,
Authority of the state dwells in the constitution of the respective nation.
The Preamble of Constitution reads like a poem on democracy. It contains the philosophy on which the entire Constitution has been built. It provides standard to examine and evaluate any law and action of government, to find out whether it is good or bad. It is the soul of the Indian Constitution. iii. Fundamental Rights
c) Fundamental Rights:
Fundamental rights confines the authority of the state. Fundamental rights assure us that the state cannot interfere in the matters of personal life.
d) Decentralization of powers
Decentralization of power is required for the safeguard of liberty. Power should be divided into central, provincial and local government and such decentralization leads to efficient administration.
e) Independent Judiciary
Safeguard of Liberty depends upon the independence of judiciary. It should be free from the control of the executive. In the communist countries or in the countries which have dictatorship. fundamental rights are given to the people but judiciary is not free from the influence of the executive. In such countries, the safeguard and security of fundamental rights, liberty and constitution is not possible.
f) Economic Security:
Economic security is a condition to liberty. “Where there are rich and poor, educated and uneducated, we always find a relation of master and servant”. – Laski
g) Rule of Law:
Rule of law is established in England, USA and India Rule of law mean that there should not be any distinction of caste and creed colour and race. In the eyes of law all are equal and all are liable to be punished if they commit crime.
h) Political education and eternal vigilance
Permanent safeguard of liberty is possible. Educated are acutely aware of their rights and duties. Eternal vigilance is the prices of liberty and in it absence one can act according to his will whenever the government crosses the barrier of its authority and interference in the personal life of the people, may rise in revolt against the government.