Calling upon the media to preserve its credibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government has made a New Year resolution to take even “sharpest of criticisms” in the coming days.
“Democracy will come to a standstill if there is no criticism. Water is clean when flowing, but dirty when still. Criticism is the best way to purify democracy,” said Modi, while addressing a function to mark the platinum jubilee celebrations of Marathi newspaper Pudhari.
He added: “Criticism can help prevent mistakes and reveal the truth. Every decision, every thought must be criticised. If there is no criticism in a democracy, there is a problem… In a democracy, criticism must get due importance. It will only ensure refining of thoughts and policies, which would last for generations to come.”
The Prime Minister, however, said that in recent times, there has not been proper criticism as allegations have replaced criticism. “It is unfortunate for our democracy that mere allegations are made in the air. It is very easy to level charges against anybody.
It requires no effort. But to do criticism, one needs some study and hard work. It is required to understand views of both parties,” he said, adding that excessive allegations by the media could weaken democracy. He said “samvad (dialogue)” as well as “vivad (arguement)” were important for democracy to thrive.
Referring to the media as the “best means” for constructive criticism, Modi said, “There is some race, competition taking place in the media. The print media is competing with the electronic media and the social media. I feel it’s best in the interest of the nation if the media carries out criticism and thereby ensures refining of the country’s overall system. “If media confines itself to levelling allegations, we would lose our power as a nation.”
Modi spoke about role of the media plays in public opinion. “People, at times, will not believe in what the government is saying, but would tend to have faith in what media is saying,” the Prime Minister said. He said the media should realise the growing “hunger” of the masses for “true” news, which would help it maintain its credibility in the long run.