Freedom of speech is inherent in a democracy. It is one of the six pillars of a free society. In a democratic country, everyone is free to agree and disagree. Even if you criticize the government and talk about how bad they are running the country, they will respect your opinion and work to protect your rights including the right to speak out against them. That is the beauty of a democratic nation. It is what makes the country strong and makes the government machinery work efficiently. Without an informed electorate to keep them on track, the system can go haywire and destroy everything that the people have worked hard and fought for.
Freedom of speech helps to maintain a balanced and stable internal environment for the country to operate smoothly despite any abrupt or disruptive change in the external or international environment. Regardless of events that are happening elsewhere in the world, as long as the citizens are free to voice their opinion and stand up for their right, no amount of threat or coercion from the outside can cow them into submission.
Freedom of speech and freedom of information allows information to flow freely through different media such as television, newspapers, radio, internet and other sources. People will grab at any source to get the right information because they want to be knowledgeable about the topic. Ignorance is the handmaid of destruction and for this reason an informed populace is the strongest weapon against terrorism and other forms of threats to the stability of the nation. It is a wrong notion for government or other agencies to withhold information on grounds of protecting the citizenry.
Some sectors of society may clamor for freedom of speech to be limited or censored claiming that it is dangerous to allow people to disagree with some policies being enforced by the government. On the contrary, a well informed population is better able and better equipped to defend and protect themselves from the unknown. When people are left in the dark about what is going on in the country or how other people are placed at a disadvantage because of restrictions to their rights, it can create discontent and chaos among them. It is better to allow them an avenue to air their sentiments and listen to what they are saying otherwise, they might resort to violence or uprising to get what they want.
In a society where everyone is free to speak up, there is a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions. Freedom of speech allows for unfettered flow of information and everyone is encouraged to contribute their two cents worth to help solve the problem. It provides a rich soil for new knowledge to sprout without being stifled by prejudice and ostracism. It makes communities thrive with vigor and vitality because everyone has a voice and decisions are always based on general consensus. Even disagreements are considered a necessary evil if only to give both side of the argument equal opportunity to be heard and discussed. That is what we call democracy in action.