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Freedom of Press and CWG August 19, 2010

Posted by Ankit Poddar in Serious Rant.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

When I revived this blog, two days back, I did not wish to make it a place for serious rants. But then I came across this article in today’s Mint and I thought there was something that I would wish to add to that.

It was a matter of luck that I came across this post on Neha’s blog about Freedom of Press and I decided that it was only providence that I talk about this topic now.

Freedom of Press

If you decided to click on the Mint link that I have provided, you would have realised that it is about South African government wishing to establish a regulator to regulate Press in South Africa and corporate players out there have decided to oppose it. The grounds that the corporate players have stated are interesting in my opinion.

The corporate players have gone ahead to state that the step to regulate press in South Africa would undo the good publicity that South Africa recieved during the FIFA World Cup 2010. SA is being seen as a rising democracy today which is past its apartheid days  and democracies do not decide to curb press work. As a democracy, where every player has got the right to say something, SA becomes an attractive destination for foreign investments. Curbing of the freedom of press will be “seen” as a negative action for a democracy.

What this tells us is that mere impressions tend to decide the fate of democracies, for it is after Fifa World Cup 2010 and huge events like Cricket World Cups and IPL, that SA has become an attractive place.

In India, we have the Common Wealth Games coming up in some time this October. And the work has been lagging behind, it seems. All forms of media have been slamming this lethargic attitude by the authorities and may be, rightly so. But the point that I am trying to make is – Why not wait till the CWG gets over and then slam it, if it is worthy enough for that? Now is the time to stand together and project a view which proclaims the Indian readiness and eagerness to host the games, isn’t it?

Of course, you could argue about freedom of press and tell me that I am an idiot to talk about it in the first part and forget it in the second one. But that simply warrants the defintion of “Freedom of Press”.

Indian Constitution says the following about Freedom of Press. (Note: This is a direct pick from Neha’s Blog):

Freedom of the Press has not been expressly provided for in the Constitution, but is implicit in the Fundamental Right pertaining to the Freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed to the citizens under article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India. The term “Freedom of Speech and Expression”, includes the liberty to propagate not only one’s views but also the right to print matters which have been borrowed from someone else or are printed under the direction of that person and also includes the liberty of publication and circulation. Every right carries with it a responsibility. Likewise, every freedom carries with it an obligation. It is primarily for the Press itself to determine what are its corresponding responsibilities and obligations.

Responsibilities and Obligations. I rest my case.

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