Govt cherishes press freedom: Javadekar
He termed the emergency period that lasted 21 months a “black period” for the media, when there was everyday censorship and complete curtailment of press freedom.Updated: May 31, 2019 23:18 IST
Prakash Javadekar, who took over as information and broadcasting minister on Friday, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government cherished press freedom and the party’s pioneers were at the forefront of the struggle against emergency rule in 1975-77, when the press was gagged.
“Press freedom is the essence of democracy and we not only recognise it, we cherish it,” Javadekar told journalists after taking charge. “In the history of free India, only once this freedom of press was curtailed, and that was in 1975 during emergency brought by the then Congress government.”
He termed the emergency period that lasted 21 months a “black period” for the media, when there was everyday censorship and complete curtailment of press freedom. “We fought against it under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, (Lal Krishna) Advani ji,” Javadekar said.
The 68-year-old, minister who has also been given charge of the environment, forest and climate change ministry, was information and broadcasting minister for six months when the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.
He, asked the media to balance freedom with responsibility. “With freedom comes responsibility, and I am confident that the media will understand that,” he said.
First Published: May 31, 2019 23:18 IST