Emergency would fail due to technology, says Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad present the 'Rural Journalism Award' to Chief Correspondent, Deshbandhu, Ruby Sarkar, during the National Press Day celebrations in New Delhi on Friday.

At a time when the Opposition claims that there is "undeclared Emergency," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said such a move would fail in current times because of the prevalence of technology.

“If Emergency were ever to be re-imposed, it is fashionable to say it is another Emergency, it would collapse for the simple reason - technology. One of the strengths of Emergency was press censorship, and technology does not permit press censorship,” Jaitley said addressing the National Press Day celebrations organised by the Press Council of India.

He said technology does not permit any kind of prior restraint and even if it did, it would collapse and fail. “You get access to information through various instruments that technology has provided you,” Jaitley said.

The minister said the challenge before the media in a free society was to retain its own credibility so that it remains the maker of public opinion.

“The media, hence, would be its own maker. Its credibility would be its own maker, and if it allows itself to be misused grossly – and there is a large opinion in various sections – then it can become its own breaker,” Jaitley said.

Earlier, Jaitley and Press Council of India Chairman Justice Chandramouli Kumar Prasad gave away the National Press Awards.

N Ram, Chairman of the Hindu Publishing Group, was conferred the Raja Ram Mohan Roy award.

Ruby Sarkar, Chief Correspondent of Deshbandhu, Bhopal and Rajesh Joshte of Daily Pudhari in Ratnagiri, were honoured for their contribution to Rural Journalism.

V S Rajesh, Deputy Editor, Kerala Kaumudi, received the award in the category of Developmental Reporting.

Subhash Paul, Rashtriya Sahara, Delhi, won the award in the ‘Photo Journalism-Single News’ category, while Mihir Singh of the Punjab Kesari, Delhi was honoured in the category of ‘Photo Journalism-Photo Feature’.

Under the category of ‘Best Newspaper Art: covering cartoons, caricature and illustrations’, P Narasimha, Cartoon Editor, Nava Telangana, Hyderabad, got the award.

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Emergency would fail due to technology, says Jaitley

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