Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday hailed technology for creating various forums and platforms because of which nobody can complain about their free speech being in danger. He also said that censorship cannot happen because of technology.
Speaking at the National Press Day celebrations, Jaitley said that the greatest challenge to the media in current times is how it retains its own credibility so that it could continue to become opinion maker in the society. He said that media’s credibility will be its own maker and it can also be its own breaker if misused.
The finance minister also underlined the significance of different media forums available today that allow every political viewpoint to find space in some section or the other in media. He also said that nobody can complain about free speech. “Neither the viewer or the reader, nor the one who wants to convey. You have alternatives available,” Jaitley added.
However, the finance minister also talked about how some of these forums are being misused. He cautioned that the alternatives are sometimes abused for personalised grounds, collateral purposes, political purposes or for lobbying.
“The worst that can happen to free speech is that if a doubt in the mind of a reader is created with regard to the integrity of the news that he is seeing,” Jaitley added.
Responding to those who allege that there is an undeclared emergency, the Finance Minister said that if the emergency was ever to be reimposed, it would collapse for the simple reason that one of the strengths of the emergency was press censorship and technology won’t permit press censorship. “You suddenly get access to information through a various instrument that technology has provided,” he said.
Jaitley further said that he has not been able to understand the criticism of those who criticise the most. “Your speech can’t be in danger if you are criticising seven days a week,” he added.