On social media content, BJP spokesperson says self-regulation is the best way
GN Bureau | November 4, 2020
India has a robust media and if that was not the case news channels and outlets would not be reporting against the government and the ruling parties, BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli has said.
Terming media the fourth pillar of democracy, the BJP leader said that media is free and vibrant and what you see on social media is demonstrative of the right to freedom of speech. He refuted the allegation that media is muzzled and said that media has been muzzled only once during the Emergency. “Everybody remembers those days,” said Kohli, who is also an advocate at the Supreme Court of India.
“If media was really muzzled, then how are people using media to abuse prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government so openly and freely? I believe and am convinced that media is independent,” he said.
He was in a live webcast with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, on Tuesday as part of the Visionary Talks series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.
Watch the video:
To see the previous episodes of the series, click here: www.governancennow.com/visionary-talks-series
Kohli accused the opposition of manufacturing issues and blaming the government for stifling the freedom of speech, and said that it is a charge leveled against the government without any foundation. “As opposition they have a right to manufacture issues. Unfortunately, issues are manufactured without foundation,” he said.
While responding to a question on how government can regularise social media content, Kohli, who has also been convener of BJP’s national media cell, said there is an issue of territorial jurisdiction when it comes to social media. He reiterated that that freedom of speech is extremely valuable fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution but it also puts reasonable restrictions on that freedom. He said that nothing can be beyond the constitutional framework and the best way is to self-regulate.
“There is always a way to express yourself with civility and you cannot threaten anyone. To threaten a lady or her daughters with rape, obscenity, and abusive language is a reflection of an individual’s own self. If we forget to be civil, how can we have civilization?” he asked.
“Freedom of speech does not mean curtailing other person’s freedom by fear…because Article 21 provides for life and liberty. If a person feels intimidated or stalked or threatened because of exercise of the freedom of speech of someone else that too needs to be reviewed. We are reaching a point where these issues are being discussed... perhaps they will be debated and over a period of time… some kind of framework may come… may be self-regulation by the platforms. Whether it would require court to intervene, laws to come in… that’s a much larger debate,” said Kohli.
At least 79 people were killed and 56 were missing as the flood situation in Maharashtra remained grim on Saturday. Torrential rainfall in various parts of the state, coinciding with high tides and also discharge from dams, led to inundation of many regions and floods caused landslides in some places too.
Within days of announcing its new Electric Vehicle Policy 2021, Maharashtra Friday announced its partnership with Climate Group’s EV100 network to push and promote electric vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions. The policy, meanwhile, was also notified on Friday. Climate Gro
Severe rains battered Raigad, Thane, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur and Satara regions of Maharashtra with rains in Ratnagiri district breaking the 40-year record. As rivers in these districts crossed warning levels, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Coast Guard, N
Dr. Praveen Kumar, director, department of pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, talks about various issues including impact of Covid-19 on children, the need to protect them, and vaccinating pregnant women and lactating mothers. How has the pandemic affected
There has been an active debate globally and in India about the digital divide. This debate has gained additional weight during the Covid-19 pandemic because the acceleration of the need for digital access to health and other social services has thrown this issue into sharper relief. A critical public poli
The need for digital connectivity has never been more pressing. The pandemic has changed work ethos and day-to-day lives of people across the globe. The new norm is ‘Technology First’, as with people moving to digital connectivity to fulfill their requirements in daily life. India’s dream