Emphasising the need for a free and fair media, Naidu said it is an indispensable prerequisite for a healthy democracy. He also said media must act with great restraint and responsibility.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called for growth of vernacular newspapers, as they promote national languages and drive the prosperity of rural areas. He also urged people to respect their mother tongue. “I hope that more and more vernacular newspapers would come up in India, promoting regional languages and spearheading the prosperity of rural areas,” Naidu said.
“Not only do the vernacular language newspapers reflect local aspirations, they are also much closer to the public. You can truly transform the rural landscape of India through your prudent, prompt and truthful reporting,” he said at the centenary celebrations of premier Odia newspaper “The Samaja” here. Naidu also said all efforts must be made to promote the Indian languages.
“We must all respect our mother tongue and after promoting our mother tongue, we can learn any other language,” he said. He also said all schools should promote mother tongue atleast up to primary level and urged people of Odisha to first practise the use of Odia language.
“Mother tongue is like your eyesight and other languages are like your spectacles. If you have good eyesight, then only the spectacles will give you a better vision”, Naidu said. The vice president began his speech in Odia amid loud cheers from the audience.
Emphasising the need for a free and fair media, Naidu said it is an indispensable prerequisite for a healthy democracy. He also said media must act with great restraint and responsibility. Urging the media to refrain from sensationalising news and present facts dispassionately, he said it must remain honest and truthful.
Noting that the media empowers people and helps in ushering greater transparency and accountability in the governance system, Naidu said it must amplify the voice of citizens and communicate their opinions to lawmakers. Raising concern over the menace of fake news, he said it threatens to destroy the credibility of media which should effectively tackle and disprove false news by taking control of the narrative. Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also spoke on the occasion.
Patnaik said media is like “oxygen for democracy” and the more independent it is, the stronger democracy will be. Patnaik and Pradhan recalled the contributions made by the Samaja newspaper for the development of the state and how the hundred-year-old institution, started by legendary Gopabandhu Das in 1919, has helped strengthening of nationalism in Odisha.