The freedom to write and speak the truth is “under threat” today, said Congress president and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Tuesday.
Mr. Kharge added that it “hurts” when important things or even poetry recited in Parliament is expunged from records. He made these comments while speaking at the Lokmat Award for Parliamentarians.
The Congress president, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, said the media, an important pillar of democracy, is facing suppression from the powers that be. While a section of the media is fighting for this freedom, another has “surrendered”, he added.
“Today, the freedom of speaking and writing the truth is under threat… In our parliamentary democracy, parliamentarians and the media have the right to ask questions. But when important matters spoken in Parliament are expunged from the records, it pains us,” Mr. Kharge said.
“There are many big journalists who fearlessly opposed fascist, casteist forces and communalism, but are today looking weak. It is a matter of concern that out of 180 countries we are ranked 150th on freedom of media,” he added.
The Congress chief noted that fake news, TRP scam and sensationalism have damaged the media’s reputation.
He also pointed out that a large section of the media ignored the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra and that official channels like Sansad TV did not give prominence to the Congress’s recent plenary session at Raipur that was attended by over 10,000 leaders.