National Council meeting of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) has underlined the need for free, fair and independent journalism for robustness of the democracy. The 71st National Council meeting was held in the imposing Vishalakshi Hall of the Ashram of Sri Sri on 18th and 19th August.
Internationally renowned spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar opening the meet of the journalists, attended by more than 800 journalists from all over India, said that while all the pillars of democracy i.e. legislature, executive, judiciary and media are necessary but there should be some distance among all the pillars to have a good building. There must not be confrontation among all the pillars but interdependence of one and the other is also not desirable.
Gugudev Sri Sri said that the journalists can play a pivotal role in building up the society and the nation by informing in positive manner. The spiritualization of a person and society is necessary ingredient for building of the character.
Sri Sri said that the journalism of India has been imitating the foreign media which are not suitable for our country but Indian media persons must learn that how the western media like BBC and the CNN have become very popular in most the countries of the world.
Credibility comes with independence which is the bedrock of the greater acceptability.
Delivering his key note speech Justice Santosh Hegde, former judge of the Supreme Court said that the corruption has steeped in every section of the society. Even the judiciary has also been corrupted by unscrupulous persons.
Media is a poor man’s court because a poor man cannot approach the court due to the high cost of litigation. However, he regretted that even media has also gone astray and now it has become an open secret that some media persons do not give news but plant stories at the behest of the vested interests.
In a discussion on the topic of ‘Khichadi Sarkar or Ek Sardar’, K.C. Ramamurthy the member of Rajya Sabha said that Khichadi Sarkar is always better then government of one party as the coalition government always remains responsible to the people. Almost similar views were expressed by Mr. S.N. Shyamsunder, the Chief Editor of Asia Net Kannada.
However, the thinker Basvaraja Patil, who is also the Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister disagreed with earlier two speakers and said that any government that serves the people is a good government regardless of it being a coalition or single party government.
The Mayor of Bangalore Sampath Raj emphasized that the government and the people must ensure that the journalism remains free from any pressure.
Apart from Indian journalists, some 30 journalists of Sri Lanka Association (SLPA) and two from Nepal also attended the IFWJ’s meeting. President B.V. Mallikarjunaiah, Vice-President Hemant Tiwari and Secretary General Parmanand Pandey threw light on the activities and the achievements of the organisation. IFWJ Secretary Siddharth Kalhans and R.S. Tumkur conducted the proceedings.>