The conflict between man and the State is as old as human history. Although attempts have been made for centuries to bring about a proper adjustment between the competing claims of the State and the individual, the solution seems to be still far off.
This is primarily because of the dynamic nature of human society where old values, ideas and forces constantly yield place to new ones. It is obvious that if individuals are allowed to have absolute freedom of speech and action, the result would be chaos, ruin and anarchy.
On the other hand, if the State has absolute power to determine the extent of personal liberty, the result would be tyranny. Hence, the eternal problem that faced statesmen and political scientists was how to make a fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control, the need for protecting personal liberty against governmental power and that of limiting personal liberty by governmental power.
This problem assumes extreme difficulty only under a democratic system of government. For, the success or failure of a democracy depends largely on the extent to which civil liberties are enjoyed by the citizens in general. A democracy aims at the maximum development of the individual’s personality; and the personality of the individual is inseparably bound with his liberty.
Only a free society can ensure the all-round progress of its members which ultimately helps the advancement of human welfare. Therefore, every democracy pays special attention to securing this basic objective to the maximum extent without, at the same time, endangering the security of the State itself.
A common device that is adopted by most of them for this purpose is to incorporate a list of fundamental rights in their constitutions and guarantee them from violation by executive and legislative authorities.