Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “In Defence of Self-Expression” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “In Defence of Self-Expression” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

The strict repression of all feeling carries with it very strong psychological reactions; prevented from having his say, the most foolish young enthusiast who could be laughed out of his views in a week or so if he were granted the privilege of free discussion, begins to harden like metal poured into mould; he becomes a potential martyr, and no danger is too great for him so long as he can strike a blow at the monstrous thing that is oppressing him. On the other hand, persons who delight in cool reason and abhor fanaticism, who tend towards the comic view of life, have a contempt for the absurd panics and the clumsy preposterous methods of such governments.  1heir weapon against the army of police and its masters is their bland baffling irony. By temperament, they are usually inclined to support law and order, and, unlike the born rebels and enthusiasts, they prefer a tolerable state in the hand to two utopias in the bush; but a stupid policy of repression and persecution on the part of their rulers soon puts an end to their loyalty. And as they are generally men with uncommon qualities of mind, who often take to writing, they are very dangerous opponents, for no government for all its boost of bayonets, can extinguish the sly laughter they invoke.

Every persecuting power that endeavours to crush liberty of thought, that will not allow free speech, raises up these two enemies and is eventually destroyed by them. It is the good natured government that tolerates its cranks and temperamental rebels and takes care to keep the wits to its own side which survives. Walpole was never so great a statesman as when he refused to prosecute. thereby maintaining his own easy superiority, winning moderate sensible men everywhere and maddening his more determined opponents. An increasing intolerance among government is one, and not the least, of the evils that brought about the war.

We in England too, have fallen, we have hardened our hearts (and softened our heads) with the rest. When we held out our hands to everybody and were unsuspecting and tolerant, no doubt we were sometimes the easy prey of rascality, and it may have been foolishness on our part but it was the kind of foolishness that brought us a host of friends. England became the home’ of great exiles. The new and very different kin; of foolishness into which we are falling will not bring us any friend.

It is not pleasant to and as I did the other day, a description by an intelligent and witty foreigner, a woman, of a stupid and high-handed action in the part of our military authorities abroad who treated a harmless authoress as if she were a desperate criminal ready at any moment to wade in blood instead of ink. It is not pleasant to see our fellow countrymen being turned into the police of melodramas and comic opera who see spies in every bush and bombs in every hand-bag.

Yet with us, free speech, regarded purely as a safe political policy, has been very successful. If a man can express himself in violent words, he is usually in no great hurry to accomplish violent deeds. The Sunday afternoon performance in Hyde Park, where everyone, from the Creator to the chairman of a local committee, is steadily denounced by somebody, has saved us from a great deal. We might have heard machine-gun bullets rattling down our streets before now, had it not been for these popular forums.

If I were a despot, even thoughI knew my territory was crammed with fanatical revolutionaries, I would not repress freedom of speech. Indeed, I would encourage it. I do not mean that 1 would do is simply out of deference to the principle of free speech; but as a safe policy, in order to keep myself in power. • would have little forums specially constructed in public places, where any man could go and say what he wanted. Special policemen would be detailed to show the audience to their places, to assist the speakers in any way, and even to lead the applause. The long haired young men who denounced me as a tyrant would do so on my specially constructed platforms, before the courteous smiling officers of my forces. When they had become thirsty denouncing the government, they would find at their elbows a glass of distilled water placed there for their convenience by that very government but I would go further than that. I would have a certain number of officials from my Department of Education bland, polite, faintly superior persons (specially imported from Oxford, if necessary), told off for the duty of attending such meetings and helping the speakers by giving them a criticism of their manner and style. Any revolutionary Orator able to pass a fairly elementary examination would be Coached free of charge by my education department, so that a man at the very climax of his speech, when he was prophesying disaster to the bloated tyrant might often find himself looking into the face of his old tutor from the State Department, nodding approval from the front row. No man would be punished for his political opinions or rather for openly expressing these opinions, but an orator who persistently mixed his metaphors or never tried to furbish up his historical finery from one year’s end to the other, might be told to report on one of the Educational Offices, where he might be gently chided.

Though I myself, the Benevolent Despot, would not go so far as to write revolutionary letters to the newspapers, I would certainly pay occasional visits to my little forms, beam upon the orators and graciously acknowledge the salute of their audiences. And instead of keeping up an enormous army of secret police I would spend the money pensioning off the wits in the country. Instead of subsidising a solemn newspaper, which everybody would know to be simply a government organ, a thing to be laughed at, I would subsidize the chief comic paper in the country for people would not care whether it was a government organ or not, so long as they could laugh with it. The political significance of good comic paper is hardly realized even yet, except by the journalist themselves and one or two of the leading politicians. Punch, whatever its editors may declare, has always had a side (though not always the same one, it began its career with Radical prejudices), and has always been worth innumerable votes to that side. Where I a despot, as I say, I would take care that my Country’s Punch was on my side; and although free speech would be everywhere encouraged and no man arrested for expressing violent opinion.

What with the comic Journalists and artists, the government forums with their polite uniformed attendants, the visiting officials from the education Department and tutors of oratory, I am certain that no revolution would ever dislodge me from my throne. The ordeal by laughter would be too much for my visionaries, who would cry for solemn martyrdom- but never get it.


In Defence of Self-Expression

Suppression of people’s feelings in any form not only provokes mental reaction but also amounts to asking for trouble. It is always hazardous to deny self-expression either to the born rebel or to the cool and satirical critic, for the former will go the whole hog in denouncing the policy of repression while the latter may reserve his right to support the government and may even turn ironical in his approach. A tolerant government will see to it that it enlists the hacking of all sections including the extremist and humourists. England has won a number of friends following the policy of tolerance by granting asylum to staunch opponents of their respective governments. The author bemoans the present tendency in England of too much interference by the police. Even from the practical point of view, it is safe to allow people vomit their venom against the government rather than deny them self-expression and incite them to go in for pernicious activities. Even if a government happens to be despotic, it will do well to provide and facilitate opportunities of self-expression. It will be well advised to avoid wasting money on security arrangements and go in for utilizing the stipulated sum for facilitating the openings for self-expression. Had the author been a despot, he would have platforms specially constructed at public places for the benefit to speakers and audience alike. The police instead of causing any hindrance in the proceedings would take an active part in the smooth conducting of meetings. Even the officials of State Education Department would do their bit in giving tips to the speakers in the art of oratory. He opines that no government, despotic or other, should persecute people for holding political views contrary to their own. In order to enlist the public support of government should patronize the comic papers in the country instead of subsidizing political papers. A paper provoking laughter will never be the butt of ridicule for being a pre-government organ. What with comic writers supporting it, public platforms singing its benevolence, Education Department officials symbolizing its generosity and tutors off oratory revealing its sincere intention, no power on earth will succeed in overthrowing such a government. All attempts to incite the masses against a government which has made them laugh will come to nothing.


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