Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar has said that he ‘philosophically’ and ‘ideologically’ favoured abolishing his ministry, given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis of ‘less government, more governance’.
“Philosphically or ideologically, I’ll be willing to do that,” he said, when asked if India needed an I&B ministry when many major democracies do not have such a profile.
Javadekar also suggested he was open to hiring professional editors for Doordarshan and AIR and was also open to discussion with stakeholders on more FDI in media.
“I think you are giving a good line for us. But ultimately, when our Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that more governance and less government, so you are actually contributing to the idea of less government and more governance. That’s our focus, but to achieve that end you have to follow a process,” he said.
Javadekar was speaking to Karan Thapar on Headline Today’s programme “Nothing but the Truth”.
Thapar asked Javadekar if he meant that three of four years down the line, he would like to ensure that this (I&B) “ministry ceases to exist”.
The I&B minister said that as far as the public broadcaster is concerned, there are various models like the BBC and others available which would be studied. Javadekar said he was not in favour of a model where the public broadcaster is accountable to the minister “only”.
Javadekar said in the years ahead, words like “government-run”, “government-controlled” or “government intervention” will be less heard.
Former Union minister Manish Tewari had also reportedly said the I&B ministry belonged to a past era.
“But I would like that government becomes less and less and freedom and market forces and at the same time social justice is achieved,” Javadekar said. Thapar asked Javadekar whether Modi was also “philosophically and ideologically” in agreement with his line of thinking. “Absolutely,” Javadekar replied.
Javadekar files nomination papers
Union minister of state (independent charge) for information and broadcasting, forest and environment, Prakash Javadekar, filed his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha elections on Saturday.
Accompanied by his ministerial colleague and state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar and his wife Prachi Javadekar, Prakash Javadekar filed two sets of nomination papers before the returning officer Bhagwandev Ishrani at the Madhya Pradesh assembly premises in presence of a good number of party leaders.