PM Says Free Press Cornerstone of Democracy; Now Can He Walk the Talk?

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However, his own government and supporters have been accused of coercive tactics to silence major critics in the media in recent time.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is “fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms.”

He was greeting Indian press on the occasion of National Press Day on Thursday. Unlike his last week media event speech wherein he had sermonized the press and asked media houses to use editorial freedom wisely in public interest, he has not made any such remarks in Thursday’s statement.

“My greetings to all friends in the media on National Press Day. I appreciate the hardwork of our media, especially the reporters and camerapersons, who tirelessly work on the ground and bring forth various news that shapes national as well as global discourse,” said PM on Thursday.

“The role of the media in giving voice to the voiceless is commendable,” said the PM and applauded the press for highlighting the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

He also appreciated the role of social media.

“In this day and age we are seeing the rise of social media and news being consumed through mobile phones. I am sure these advancements will further the reach of the media and make the media space even more democratic and participative.”

He supported free press while terming it as “cornerstone of a vibrant democracy”.

“A free press is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. We are fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms. May our media space be used more and more to showcase the skills, strengths and creativity of 125 crore Indians.”

However, his own government and supporters have been accused of coercive tactics to silence major critics in the media in the last few years. The CBI raids and Income Tax notices to India’s most revered TV channel NDTV were described by the channel owners and veteran journalists as “attempt to intimidate and paralyze NDTV.” “It will irreversibly hurt India’s reputation as a democracy with a flourishing and free press,” NDTV had said referring to the crackdown.

 

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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