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Concept of Liberty

 Concept Of Liberty

Every citizen has the right which is enforced by the state and protected by the state and ensures freedom or liberty.

According to Harold J. Laski:

Without right there cannot be liberty, because without right men are the subjects of law unrelated to the needs of personality. [1]

The word liberty originates from the Latin word Libre meaning free.

From the concept two major perspective are there, first one says that “meaning of Liberty is not fixed, it changes according to time” and second says that:

Liberty has some restrictions but the proper statement of liberty should be explained in a way which includes fact that every individual’s liberty is necessarily relative to that of others.

It is the duty of the state to provide and protect the liberty to every individual in such a way that whatever an individual want to do he/she can proceed without any restriction but implied with some restrictions, means to say that what and how much liberty it provides to the people.

Liberty is defined in two ways:

Negative liberty:

Liberty in negative sense means absence of restrictions. People were acting in such way that they got the license of doing so. Negative liberty is not accepted by the society as only the strong one could enjoy it. Many people are denied from the opportunity on the basis of societal factors.


Positive liberty

Positive liberty means freedom with certain restrictions which is necessary for the good of the society. These restraints are necessary so that everyone irrespective of the caste, creed, gender or any other societal factors which restrict a common man could enjoy the liberty. Positive liberty is happily accepted by the society and no person is denied to enjoy the opportunity.


Nature of Liberty

Liberty doesn’t imply that freedom without any restrictions. It means that an individual cannot do the unreasonable things or act which is not good for the society.

Liberty means the presence of such favorable conditions which is necessary for the enjoyment of the rights of and individual and the development of his personality.

Liberty is the freedom to do anything but that act or things must be considered by the state.

It is the Liberty which provides enormous opportunities to all and to use their rights.

Law is considered as an essential to maintain the conditions which are necessary for the enjoyment of liberty.

Liberty got the priority just after the right to life.

Types of Liberty

Natural liberty means natural freedom of an individual without any restrictions. It is justified on the ground that:

Since man is born free, he is to enjoy freedoms as he wills. Any kind of restrictions negates his freedom. It is believed that man has got the liberty from the nature.

But in today era Natural liberty cannot be considered or cannot be accepted by the society or we can say that there is no real freedom in a state of nature. Freedom without any restrictions can create anarchy, means to say that natural liberty may lead to the rule of muscle power.

Therefore, for the smooth running of the society and so that people can enjoy the liberty there are essentials restraints based on the laws and the real and the fair liberty be possible.


Civil liberty[2] is the one which is followed by the society and each individual enjoy it. It has some restriction based on the laws and rule and the people can enjoy it only under those restrictions. Civil liberty is not unrestrained. It is imposed by the state and it is just opposite of natural liberty.

Civil Liberty Has Two Features:

State guarantee civil liberty:

It is stated in the law that what are the conditions necessary for the enjoyment of liberty. Obstacles were prevented by the law which creates disturbance in the enjoyment of the liberty of anyone.

Protection of rights and freedom is covered under civil liberty:

Civil liberty protect or limited the violation of rights of the people. It protects the fundamental rights of the people lawfully. Basically, Civil liberty is for the policies of the government which protected the people rights.


Political liberty:

Political liberty is related to the enjoyment of liberty in politics by the people. People have the freedoms like right to vote, right to contest elections, right to criticise, and oppose the government and right to change the government through constitutional means.


Individual liberty:

Everyone has got the fundamental rights and he/she can use it frequently but there are some restraints so that unlawful activity not happen.

Individual liberty is the enjoyment of his/her opportunity and desires, but in such a way that it would not restraints others liberty.

Individual freedom includes right to personal liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of residence, freedom to choose any religion.


Economic liberty:

Economic liberty related to the people who are suffering economically like people are mainly from backward classes and they are suffering from hunger, starvation and unemployment.

National liberty:

Freedom from each and every thing is national liberty. The liberty is defined itself as a Nation as well as its citizen. National liberty includes

To have its own constitution

To form own government without any restraints.

Policies and programmed must be own and must be accepted by the people freely.

To enjoy independence.

No external control.


Religious liberty:

Everyone has liberty to profess religious on which he believes. No one can force anybody to profess a particular religion. It is the duty of the state to protect and provide a religion equal status in the society.


Moral liberty:

Moral liberty states that freedom to choose to do the right things according to his own will. An individual is free to do such things which have moral values. Moral liberty is responsible for the people that how they live in the society means either with the harmony and peace or with a violence.

Some Essentials Safeguards of Liberty [3]:

Love for the liberty:

Liberty can be safeguarded if there is a continuous defend on the part of people.

Eternal vigilance:

People are committed for their liberty and they are alert and ready enough to defend it. “Eternal vigilance is the price if liberty”.

Grants of equal rights:

It is the duty of the state to provide equal rights to all without any discrimination and no one should get privilege.

Democratic system:

Democracy and liberty are responsible for each other. Means if there is liberty and absence of democracy it doesn’t matter of having the liberty and if there is the democracy is there and absence of liberty then having democracy or not shouldn’t matter.

Rights one should not be dependent on the will of other � State should take care that no one depends on other for his/her liberty. Under the law everyone has the equal right and equal liberty for the enjoyment.

Fair government action:

Government should be unbiased in the society i.e.; government is responsible if privilege is given to anyone without reason and the government should be transparent to the public.

Protection of fundamental rights:

State is responsible for protection of fundamental rights under the law through constitutional and judicial processes.

Independence of judiciary:

Judiciary must be independence in taking decision for the safeguard of liberty. So, judiciary must assign this responsibility.

Separation of power:

Legislature and Executive must have separate power for their decisions and Judiciary should be independence from the both.

Decentralization of power:

Decentralization of power is necessary so that dictatorship by anyone could be avoided. Power should be distributed among all the levels of government or the organizations.

Rule of law:

Rule of law is same for the everyone to safeguard the liberty and everyone is equal in the eye of law and no one is above the law.

Economic equality:

For the safeguard of liberty there should be equal and fair distribution of resources and adequate opportunity should be there. For the enjoyment of liberty economic equality is must.


Liberty is defined in the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution i.e., “right to life and personal liberty”. Liberty is the freedom to the citizens of the country for the enjoyment of their rights and opportunity but with the certain restraints for the good of the society and so that one who hold power in any form shouldn’t become dominative to the others members.

Liberty is defined in two ways first one is negative liberty which is not good for the society and even not accepted by the society as only strong one could enjoy it. Second one is the positive liberty which is good for the society as well as accepted by the society. In positive liberty no get denied of from the opportunity.


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