New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said freedom of the press should not be violated as it is very important in a democratic set-up.
“Freedom of the press is very important in our democratic set-up and it should not violated,” Singh said responding to queries from journalists on the sidelines of a function here to give an award to late journalist Vinod Mehta.
He was asked about recent attacks on the media by some government functionaries and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) rating India, along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan among the “worst offenders” in the region in protecting journalists in 2014-15.
In the report ‘The Freedom Frontier- Press Freedom in South Asia', which was released here yesterday, the IFJ had advocated a strong need for a campaign to ensure that those who abduct, attack or kill journalists were brought to justice.
The report also mentioned the use of word “presstitutes” by Union minister V K Singh and measures by West Bengal government to restrict movement of reporters in the state secretariat building. The newly-elected governments of Delhi and Telangana also issued similar directives, the report had said.
The report also talked about the ban on the BBC documentary on the December 16 gangrape case. At the ceremony organized by TSR Foundation to give G K Reddy Memorial National Award to Mehta, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that Mehta had an instinctive understanding of what the freedom of press meant “to our country, that it was a cornerstone of our democracy and without this freedom, all our other liberties would be threatened”.