Kochi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday stated that media freedom is the essence of a democratic society but asserted that responsible freedom does not mean "regulated freedom".
"Media freedom is the essence of democracy. But it must be also understood that in a democratic civil society, freedom has to be responsible freedom. Responsible freedom is not regulated freedom; its self-regulation using our own methods," he said.
The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting was speaking at a news conclave organised by Malayala Manorama Company limited at Kochi in Kerala.
He also touched upon the subject of media freedom in Kashmir and said, "Though there was a phase of reasonable restrictions, most of them are being progressively removed every day and we will have a completely normal, new Kashmir and new India".
The minister also outlined that during his student days, he fought against Emergency in 1975 and went to jail to protect media freedom.
"That commitment to protect freedom of media will always remain the same", he said.
He also raised the issue of growing number of mob lynching cases due to rumours spreading on social media and called for self-regulatory mechanism to deal with such issue.
"This happens because of the absence of authority or self-regulatory mechanism in social media," he said.
Replying to questions, the minister said that the government welcomes all kind of criticism.
"We believe in free institutions because they are the strength of democracy", he said.
Javadekar also stated that the 'New India' envisioned by the government will be free from corruption, terror, casteism, communalism and poverty.
"We have a diverse country. Diversification is the spirit of India. Live and let live is the basis of Indian philosophy," he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the conclave via video conferencing from New Delhi....