New Delhi: There is a need in the country to have a national outlook and respect all Indians irrespective of their caste and creed, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday. The Press, he said, must help develop that national outlook.
Naidu, who was speaking at the launch of Marathi daily Lokmat’s New Delhi edition, also cautioned journalists against passing off comments as news.
“There are too many news channels now…news should be conveyed as news…There is a trend of mixing news with views,” Naidu said. “There is an urban-rural divide in the country and there is a feeling that Parliament and Press don’t pay attention to rural India,” he said.
The vice president, who was earlier the information and broadcasting minister in the current BJP-led government, also spoke on regulation of the media.
“Self-regulation is the best regulation…There should be self-regulation otherwise the law will have to step in,” he said. “Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand.”
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was among the guests that included several ministers, reminded the audience of American journalist Walter Lippmann’s maxim that “facts are sacred”.
“The media has an important role to play…Pressures of various kinds can curb the freedom of the press,” he warned.
Naidu, who egged on Union minister Nitin Gadkari to speak to the audience in Marathi, also stressed that people should speak in their mother tongue. “I read 18 newspapers but I am not done till I have read a Telegu newspaper,” he said.
“As the world’s fastest growing economy, the world has its eyes on India,” Gadkari said, stressing the need for all organs of democracy to work well.
The occasion also marked 100 years of the Marathi newspaper which was launched in Nagpur.
Lokmat media group chairman and former parliamentarian Vijay Darda also announced the launched of its digital venture with Lokmat’s coming to the national capital.