LUDHIANA: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari today said that an independent and powerful media was must for a strong democracy. He said, at the same time the Constitution of India had not only guaranteed freedom of expression to its people, but also the freedom and discretion to choose the media they would like to opt for whether it was a newspaper or a television channel and nobody can be allowed to infringe upon this right.
Talking to the reporters during the felicitation ceremony organised in his honour by the Ludhiana District Congress for his becoming the minister here today, Tewari said, he had received complaints from across the country about certain practices prevailing at different places. He said, he had referred these complaints to his officials in the ministry and whatever measures will need to be taken will be taken in the interest of everyone.
To a question on ensuring that the cable services were not monopolised and the channels and the viewers were not held to ransom, the minister said, due process of law will be followed and every measure will be taken in accordance with the law.
Spelling out his three top most priorities, he said, there was great potential of growth in the media and entertainment industry which can create large number of jobs for the youth and he will ensure its growth. Second, he said, will be to ensure the level playing field for everyone to participate in the process of growth and third, he disclosed was to ensure that all the achievements of the UPA government reach to the people.
He lauded the work done by his predecessor Ms Ambika Soni in the I&B Ministry. He said, the process of digitisation started by Ms Soni had got off to a sound start in four cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta and Chennai and the process will be completed soon. He said, it will help in rationalising the decimation of information.
Asked about Sukhbir Badal’s recent visit to Pakistan and his commitments there like supplying power to Pakistan Punjab, Tewari said, while the government of India has been constantly and continuously in touch with the government of Pakistan on various issues, particularly bringing to book the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack, the people to people contact was a welcome step.
On the power supply to Pakistan, he remarked, in a lighter vein, let Sukhbir ensure proper power supply to this part of Punjab first only then he should think beyond borders.