Media Houses Obliged To Present Facts, Says CJI Ramana

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Tuesday said that it is the responsibility of media houses to present facts, as in Indian society people believe that everything in print is true.

“Independent journalism is the backbone of democracy. Journalists are the eyes and the ears of the people. It is the responsibility of media houses to present facts. Especially in the Indian social scenario, people still believe that whatever is printed is true,” CJI Ramana said while addressing a public gathering on the release of ‘Geeta Vigyan Upanishad’ authored by Gulab Kothari.

The treatise ‘Geeta Vigyan Upanishad’ has been presented in a language that the new generation can understand. It steers clear of the reconditeness and obscurity of scriptures.

“All I want to say is that the media must confine itself to honest journalism without using it as a tool to expand its influence and business interests,” he added.

Underscoring the days of Emergency in 1975 and recalling the role of media during those “dark days”, the CJI said, “You may recall that only media houses without business baggage, were able to fight for democracy during the dark days of emergency. The true nature of media houses will certainly be assessed from time to time, and appropriate conclusions will be drawn from their conduct during testing times.

Recalling his day as a journalist, he said that he used to travel by public transport for news coverage and there was a healthy competition among journalists to do great public interest stories.

He also acknowledged the international award instituted by the Rajasthan Patrika, named after their founding editor Kapoor Chand Kulish.

CJI Ramana pointed out that there is still a huge lacuna when it comes to systemic support for journalists in India and said, “Unfortunately, we still do not have an award which is comparable to the Pulitzer, and neither do we produce many Pulitzer-winning journalists in India.”

“I urge all the stakeholders to introspect that why are our standards not considered good enough for international recognition and laurels,” he said.

Adding further, he said, “When a media house has other business interests, it becomes vulnerable to external pressures. Often, business interests prevail over the spirit of independent journalism, and as a result, the democracy gets compromised.”

During his address, CJI also said that he is religious but not an authority on religious scripts. In the courts, we often get to see witnesses taking oath on Bhagawad Gita, CJI said.

“India is the home to mythology. Even in this modern era, India continues to be the

hub of spiritualism. In fact, Bhagawad Gita is enough to show how great our country is. It is said that reading the Gita is equal to reading all scriptures. Mahatma Gandhi also considered Gita as his eternal mother,” CJI added. (ANI)

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