Media and Entertainment players flay attempt to curb freedom of speech
"We are not far from a point where someone's sneeze or a cough on a television show will be a source of offence and outrage for many...It is time for us to recognise that free speech is what is sacrosanct...," Ficci's Media and Entertainment Committee Chairman Uday Shankar told Ficci-Frames summit here.
The three-day Ficci Frames is the largest media and entertainment (M&E) jamboree in Asia.
It got off to a glittering opening here today with the global and domestic industry leaders like Walt Disney International Chairman Andy Bird and Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks & President, Disney-ABC Television, attending the function, among others.
Shankar, who also heads Star India, said: "I am shocked that there are still groups and interests who continue to debate on the right amount of freedom that can be granted to the media; as if this is something to be granted and as if this is even negotiable."
He further said the country should leverage on its democratic credentials over others like China and Russia to have a robust and truly free media.
The comments come in the wake of a string of controversies in the recent past like the releases of the film 'Vishwaroopam', in which veteran Tamil actor-producer Kamal Haasan had to face troubles in getting the film released even after a clean chit from the Censor Board, after a minority group opposed
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