Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday called for a unbiased debate on imposition of emergency during 1970. Speaking at a function to hand over Ramnath Goenka journalism award in New Delhi he said there were very few people who could challenge the emergency.
He urged the young generation to keep reflecting on the emergency period in an unbiased manner so that no future politician can even wish to commit the same sin, (Aaj nishpaksh bhaav se us (Emergency period) ki mimansa har peedhi me hoti rahni chahiye, taki is desh me aisa koi rajpurush paida no ho jisko is tarah ke paap karne ki ichcha tak paida ho).
Prime Minister Modi said: “There were very few people who could challenge the Emergency. And that challenge was led by (The Indian Express founder) Ramnath Goenka and The Indian Express.”
Prime Minister Modi also took a swipe at “one family that everyone knows of” whose blessings everyone wanted.
“But it was Ramnath Goenka, who despite being close to this family, had the courage to break off ties on matter of principles and ideals (during the Emergency)”.
Prime Minister also recalled the rich tradition of the fourth estate that India has enjoyed. PM Modi reminded the media world of the responsibilities that it shoulders. He called on them to work together with the govt in maintaining the unity of the country and in projecting India a global leader.
PM said that he welcomed criticism from the media as a sign of a healthy democracy; however he suggested that media refrain from sensationalizing news for the sake of headlines.
Prime Minister Modi recalled his meeting with Ramnath Goenka as an inspirational one. He described him as a man who went beyond the calling of journalism in his support to the JP movement.
Prime Minister highlighted the role that journalism played in the writing of India’s history and nation building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave away the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards across 28 categories for exceptional work in print, broadcast and online journalism in English, Hindi and regional languages.
The awards were instituted by the Ramnath Goenka Foundation in 2005 to celebrate the legacy of the founder of The Indian Express Group.