Nation Current Affairs 02 Oct 2017 Freedom of speech wi ...

Freedom of speech with no consequences need of the hour: PCI member

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 2, 2017, 1:11 am IST
Updated Oct 2, 2017, 1:11 am IST
He said that such elements camouflage themselves with chants like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, but do not have any respect for women.
Karnataka State Journalists’ Union organised a talk in remembrance of late Gauri Lankesh at Gandhi Bhavan in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Photo: DC)
 Karnataka State Journalists’ Union organised a talk in remembrance of late Gauri Lankesh at Gandhi Bhavan in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Photo: DC)

BENGALURU: Expressing his disappointment over the disturbing trend of silencing dissenting voices, especially attacks on journalists, Press Council of India member K. Amarnath on Sunday said that more than the freedom of speech and expression, there is a need for protection to those who practise that right.

“The situation in the country has stooped to such a level that the people are scared to exercise their right to speech and expression. There is a sense of fear among the people who speak out. If one exercises his or her right to speech and expression and get killed, there is no need for such a right,” he said, while speaking at a seminar in memory of slain journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, organised by the Karnataka State Journalists’ Union.

 

Referring to the attacks on journalists, he said that there is a dire need for a special amendment in the law to ensure safety and protection of journalists as they raise the voice of the voiceless. “In a patriarchal society such as India, women journalists and intellectuals are the soft targets of those who never want their ideas and opinions to be challenged by women. If she speaks in contrast, the easiest way they find to suppress her voice is to violate her body. This they have inherited from mythologies,” he pointed out.

He said that such elements camouflage themselves with chants like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, but do not have any respect for women.

 

Lashing out at those who are making frequent use of “patriotism, national interest and national security” as an excuse to suppress opinions in contrast to those held by the ruling class, Mr Amarnath said that national interest includes every person in the country, irrespective of caste, creed and religion and not a section of society.

Mr Amarnath dismissed the belief held by many that Gauri invited bullets because of her language, and said, “There is no uniformity in language. Everybody has their own way of using words. Even PCI never considered her language violated the ethics of journalism when a politician approached PCI with a plea against her. But, PCI had advised her to be polite with words and never questioned her use of language.”  Journalist Agni Sridhar alleged that Gauri was killed by Hindutva sleeper cells and attributed their ideologies to that of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray.

 

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Location: India, Karnataka




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