RNG Awards: Need to reflect on Emergency so that no leader dares to repeat it, says PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi said that the media should be an effective tool in the hands of every subsequent generation to “sharpen” democracy. He stressed that every generation must also reflect on the breakdown of democracy during the Emergency.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Updated: November 3, 2016 11:53 am
rng, rng awards, ramnath goenka, ramnath goenka awards, emergency, narendra modi, india news, indian express, indian express news Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering speech during Ramnath Goenka Awards Express Photo by Abhinav Saha.

AT a time when news and information were surplus, the biggest challenge facing the media was credibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday, while stressing on the need to develop a world-class media organisation that could match the dominance of BBC or CNN on the global stage.

WATCH: RNG Awards: Narendra Modi On Role Of Media

 

Speaking after presenting the Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism for work done in 2015, the largest awards in the news media, Modi said that the media should be an effective tool in the hands of every subsequent generation to “sharpen” democracy. He stressed that every generation must also reflect on the breakdown of democracy during the Emergency.

READ | Farm suicide to bad loans: RNG award stories, 2015

“Aaj nishpaksh bhaav se us (Emergency period) ki mimansa har peedhi me hoti rahni chahiye, taki is desh me aisa koi rajpurush paida no ho jisko is tarah ke paap karne ki ichcha tak paida ho (Every generation must keep reflecting on the Emergency period in an unbiased manner so that no future political leader can even wish to commit the same sin),” he said.

“There were very few people who could challenge the Emergency. And that challenge was led by (The Indian Express founder) Ramnath Goenka and The Indian Express,” he said. He took a swipe at “one family that everyone knows of” whose blessings everyone wanted. “But it was Ramnath Goenka, who despite being close to this family, had the courage to break off ties on matter of principles and ideals (during the Emergency)”.

READ | RNG Awards: People today don’t get news but views, says PM Modi on media’s responsibility

Modi honoured 37 journalists from across the country with the Ramnath Goenka Awards that are given every year. The event was attended, amongst others, by Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, CPI’s D Raja, JD(U) MP K C Tyagi and chairman of National Green Tribunal Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The Prime Minister said technology and social media had put new challenges before the media and brought about tremendous changes in the way people consume news. “They still pick up newspapers in the morning as a matter of habit. But they do not read news, they verify news. They check whether what they have read on social media is correct or not. So I think the challenge (of credibility) is very big,” he said.

READ | It was an honour to meet Ramnath Goenka: PM Modi at RNG Awards

“Social media has become extremely influential. Empowerment of people is a good thing. But at times like this, maintaining credibility is a big challenge. It is the biggest challenge media has faced in the last one century,” he said.
To cheers from the audience, Modi quipped that he personally was forever thankful of the media. “Otherwise who would have known me. After independence if any political leader has received this kind of (special) attention, I think I am the only one,” he said. The Prime Minister said journalism was a profession that had a right to question everyone, and this right itself could not be questioned.

READ | PM Narendra Modi at RNG Awards: To maintain credibility in media has become a real challenge

“The more a government is criticised, the better it is. I have no problems with that… but unity of the country must be our priority. If we compromise even a little there… then for you it is only news, you will move ahead to different news, but sometimes it can leave deep wounds,” he said.

“I can give an example. Earlier, when accident was reported, the news used to be like that a truck and bicycle had an accident at such and such village. And then it changed to something like a drunk car driver ran over an innocent man in a case of rash driving. And now it would be like a BMW hit and ran over a Dalit person. Pardon me but that BMW driver might not know that the other person is a Dalit. But we sometimes ignite fires because of such reporting,” he said.

He said for an emerging global player like India, there was a need to have a global media that could present India’s viewpoints at the world stage.  “Even today, people refer to BBC. Now, Al Jazeera has also become a big player. So, CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera. People in this field (journalism) should look at it as a challenge. We should have an Indian (media institution) of world-class quality. Because if we are a major player in the world, our every concern should get reflected effectively in the world. This should be our dream. I certainly feel that we must have influence in the world,” he said.

rng, rng awards, ramnath goenka, ramnath goenka awards, indian express journalists, indian express awards, narendra modi, india news, indian express, indian express news PM Narendra Modi and Express Group CMD Viveck Goenka at the Ramnath Goenka journalism awards in the capital New Delhi on wednesday. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 021116

But he said this role could not be played by government media. He said in this context, he is reminded of the phrase used by Acharya Vinoba Bhave who used to say “Asarkari asarkari (Non-government is effective)”. Viveck Goenka, chairman of the Express group, said the presence of Modi at the RNG awards showed that “politicians are the only public figures whose shoulders are the broadest when it comes to criticism and questioning…whether fair or unfair”. He said the awards applauded journalism that, in the true spirit of the Ramnath Goenka, “speaks truth to power”. Goenka recalled his meeting with the Prime Minister when he invited him to the awards and his prompt acceptance. “That spontaneous response affirmed my belief, in fact, my conviction, that despite the bitterness in our public discourse these days, despite the name calling, the tu tu main main, our politicians are the only public figures whose shoulders are the broadest when it comes to criticism and questioning. Whether fair or unfair. That’s a testament to our democracy — to the world’s largest democracy of which Shri Modiji is the Prime Minister — to the space that it offers to facilitate consensus. And yet nurture argument, dissent and disagreement.”

modi-rng-759 PM Narendra Modi and Express Group CMD Viveck Goenka at the Ramnath Goenka journalism awards in New Delhi. Express Photo

In his vote of thanks, Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor of The Indian Express, said that the Prime Minister was right to underline credibility as a value for the news media. He said that the PM’s presence was a message that the best of journalism should be defined by the work of the award-winners.

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First Published on: November 3, 2016 3:56 am
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    Onkar Singh
    Nov 3, 2016 at 6:47 am
    Correction: why did he not allow Kejriwal,Sheila Dixit,Rahul hi to meet the Army Jawan's family who committed suicide on the issue of OROP?
    Reply
    1. O
      Onkar Singh
      Nov 3, 2016 at 6:44 am
      Name a good work done by this govt to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the disadvantaged.Any thing to lessen the pain of the suicide farmers families.Only hollow talks.Dont forget Modi connived to get Muslims murdered.No previous PM of this country has blood on his hands of his own countrymen.Dont forget it.Its another thing that he has deleted evidence against him,that does not prove his innocence.Can he face Mrs.Jaffri whose husband sought Modi's help.Did he come to help him.He is a criminal and on top it a liar.There are countless books depicting his complicity in the Gujrat riots where Muslims died.And he talks about emergency.Why did he allow Kejriwal,Sheila Dixit,Rahul hi meet the Army Jawan who committed suicide on the issue of OROP?
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      1. T
        Thunga
        Nov 3, 2016 at 12:53 am
        By saying that BUTCHER MODI tries to fool that the present situation is not as bad as emergency.
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        1. P
          Paradarshi
          Nov 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm
          Sir, have you lived through the emergency? and remember how things were then? In both New Delhi and Bhopal, media's reporting has been heavily one sided. It need not be in govt.'s favor but need to at least be neutral. Also to offer judgements, before proper investigations are conducted,amounts to dishing out opinions (and not news). That's exactly what he is saying - people who are politicking over a dead body and its reporting in media are completely obvious to how it will affect the moral of the police and the army and its consequences for national security.
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          1. B
            Bharat
            Nov 3, 2016 at 9:42 am
            This guy is funny .. it is an undeclare emerency .. no one allow to question govt .. ristricted every department .. this is guys is really charactor
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            1. T
              TIHAEwale
              Nov 3, 2016 at 5:00 am
              now take mine. Indira hi is a true patriot and in June 1975 emergency was needed and today also it is required otherwise we will have hot air balloons released by Feku56 and Akela Arvind and now a new upstart Vyapam Shivraj.
              Reply
              1. A
                Asma
                Nov 3, 2016 at 4:25 am
                Your comment shows how your mind is so corrupt. Brains speaks and not your skin. Are you holding a fake degree ?
                Reply
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                  Abhijit Bhattacharya
                  Nov 4, 2016 at 6:34 am
                  Editor's speech is edited by the management. Chamchagiri at its worst. You deserve an award for insulting Ramnath Goenka. He would have fired you, Mr. Vivek Goenka, the way he fired one of your reporters for doing chamchagire of a CM.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Abhijit Bhattacharya
                    Nov 4, 2016 at 6:30 am
                    The Vote of Thanks by the editor was the most valuable speech, which unfortunately edited out in this report. The editor has shown real guts to tell the truth on the face of the PM. Unfortunately, freedom of expression it seems has limit even for this newspaper, what could be a more insult to Ramnath Goenka?
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      achche Din
                      Nov 3, 2016 at 2:32 am
                      Shut up Feku
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Anil Sabaji
                        Nov 3, 2016 at 2:55 am
                        What a joke...Only you up-voted your comment.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Anuradha Kalhan
                          Nov 2, 2016 at 11:47 pm
                          Forces that compelled Mrs Indira hi to announce the emergency are ruling now!lt;br/gt;They pla a long a devious right wing game.lt;br/gt;A rewriting of the post independence history of India is over due, after all who nationalised the banks, abolished the privy purse, added secular to Indian consution, launched IRDP, called out for a war on poverty and Green revolution?It was a revolutionary agenda by post independence standards in India!lt;br/gt;And the demonizing of Mrs hi has a purpose and it must end.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            ashok
                            Nov 3, 2016 at 2:01 am
                            The Indian media is no where near BBC or CNN it just repeat the same news from morning to night calling breaking news this should change
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              Barb Dewyre
                              Nov 3, 2016 at 1:11 am
                              Detaining a duly elected Chief Minister and the member of opposition in the parliament simply because they wanted to meet the relatives of a man who committed suicide because of government apathy is not an emergency feature? Killing undertrials, who according to a government sposperson, were not carrying guns in a fake encounter is not an emergency feature? Not allowing anybody to question the government decisions is not an emergency feature? Lying to the citizens from a public forum and labelling any criticism of such a speech as anti-national is not an emergency feature? This government has mposed emergency in everything but a name.
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                bitterhoney
                                Nov 3, 2016 at 2:05 am
                                Modi is dictator.
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                                1. G
                                  Gora Chatterjee
                                  Nov 3, 2016 at 5:29 am
                                  I thank Modiji for his views on "Emergency.' But ,only last year, Mr.L.K. Advani who was in jail during Emergency said that , he was not sure as yet and could not say that Emergency wouldnot be proclaimed again in India. Does he,being close to BJP get a hunch that emergency may again be imposed ?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt; Gora Chatterjee,Pondicherry.
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    Deeply Concerned
                                    Nov 3, 2016 at 2:04 am
                                    There was on family that built India that is Congress, there was another Tedha party that went against Indians and Congress right from pre-Independence. This Tedha party not only sided with british but also ensured that freedom fighters go to jail and die. They were instrumental in creating Pak with their communal violence. They did not swear by Indian Consution and were banned. The only mistake done by Congress was to revert the ban. If the ban had continued India would have progressed socially and financially
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Rajiv Dua
                                      Nov 3, 2016 at 5:00 am
                                      Look who is talking? Current administration is no better. Pot calling the kettle black.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sreenivasan
                                        Nov 3, 2016 at 7:29 am
                                        The then government in power needed Emergency to avoid answering questions. Today, the government says those asking questions are anti nationals. We need journalists who will suffocate every mind that might dare to ask a question. Let such people be awarded and celebrated. It is the rule of the day. Let us all celebrate this PM as well.
                                        Reply
                                        1. J
                                          JayHind
                                          Nov 3, 2016 at 12:53 am
                                          INDRA DIVIDED PAKHISTAN IN 2lt;br/gt;RSS DIVIDED IHINDU MUSLIM IN 2lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;WEAK PEOPLE WHO DIVID HIS OWN CIVILIANS
                                          Reply
                                          1. J
                                            JayHind
                                            Nov 3, 2016 at 3:25 am
                                            That is why you still hindu Just look north south America Australia Africa 100 % christun in only 300 yr Muslim ruled Hindustan 900 yr Good deed never go unpunished Still blaming muslim
                                            Reply
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