Will expose surveys portraying bad picture of press freedom: Javadekar

As per the annual Reporters Without Borders analysis released last month, India dropped two places on a global press freedom index to be ranked 142nd out of 180 countries

Press Freedom in India, World Press Freedom Day, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda
On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, Javadekar said the media has the power to inform and enlighten people. Photo: PTI.

Asserting that the media enjoys absolute freedom in India, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday (May 3) said “we will expose” those surveys that tend to portray a “bad picture” about press freedom in the country.

On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, Javadekar said the media has the power to inform and enlighten people.

“Media in India enjoy absolute freedom. We will expose, sooner than later, those surveys that tend to portray bad picture about Freedom of Press in India,” he tweeted.

As per the annual Reporters Without Borders analysis released last month, India dropped two places on a global press freedom index to be ranked 142nd out of 180 countries.

This comes in the backdrop of crackdown on journalists becoming rampant in the society.

Recently, three journalists from Jammu and Kahsmir were booked for making seditious and incendiary comments on social media under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for glorifying terrorism in the valley.

Related news: J&K police defend FIR against 3 scribes, tell media to check facts

The Uttar Pradesh government had on March 31 filed an FIR against the founding editor of The Wire Siddharth Vardharajan for publishing an unfortunate misquote in an article.

The Congress, in its message on the World Press Freedom Day, alleged that the BJP is “hell bent on destroying” this fourth pillar of democracy.

“India slipped two places in World Press Freedom Index to 142. As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, we must remember that the BJP is hell bent on destroying this fourth pillar of democracy and we shouldn’t let that happen,” the opposition party said on its official Twitter handle.

“To all the journalists we would say, Daro Mat (Don’t be scared),” it said.

BJP president JP Nadda said the press is the fourth pillar of India’s democracy and plays a great role in the nation by shaping opinions and creating awareness.

“On this World Press Day, I salute our media persons for risking their lives to make public aware of various aspects of COVID-19,” he said on Twitter.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as the World Press Freedom Day.

Related news: Action against The Wire: Abuse of authority throttles the voice of criticism

(With inputs from agencies)

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