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.
The post-Diwali spike in the Covid-19 infection in India is subsiding, with the number coming down by the day along with more recoveries, resulting in a reducing caseload. In the 24 hours to Monday morning, 38,772 persons were found to be infected with Covid-19, while 45,333 patients recove
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had virtual meetings with three teams working on developing and manufacturing vaccine for COVID-19. These teams are from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, Pune, Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad and Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd, Hyderabad. The PM appreciated th
Oxfam Trailwalker, arguably India`s biggest walkathon-for-a-cause challenge, has gone virtual this year, with participants completing the 100 km walk within or around the confines of their homes over a span of 10 days – from November 20 to November 29, complying with the social distancing rules.
The concept of the ‘Rule of Law’ is the basic structure of our constitution. It becomes imperative to observe the rule of law in order to run the country according to the constitutional provisions. However, in reality, often politicians with criminal records get elected and even become part of
The Citymakers: How Women Are Building a Sustainable Future for Urban India, published by Hachette India this month, narrates the genesis and journey of the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), set up in 1994 to respond to t
Coming down heavily on the government for economic de-growth and job losses, Congress national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate has said that even before the Covid pandemic struck, the economy had been falling down for eight consecutive quarters. The former journalist said that while the