Pranab lauds Indian press for upholding high standards and free speech

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee said today that the media in India has always supported the freedom of individuals to speak out as per his or her conviction and saluted the media for not compromising on freedom of speech and expression.

He was speaking after receiving the first copy of the English version of the book The Eighth Ring, the autobiography of late K M Mathew, former editor and publisher of Malayala Manorama. The book was released by Mammen Mathew, Chief Editor, Malayala Manorama. Eminent Jurist & former member of Parliament  Fali S Nariman and Dr. Prannoy Roy, Chairman NDTV spoke on the occasion. 

The President said the history of Indian journalism is intertwined with that of the freedom movement. From the time of Hickey’s Gazette which came out during the days of the East India Company, the media has highlighted problems faced by the common people. Many national leaders founded newspapers or were closely associated with it during the freedom struggle.

Relatng an interesting story from history, he said Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in October 1937 in The Modern Review of Calcutta under a pseudonym and criticised himself for having dictatorial tendencies. People wondered who had dared criticize Nehru but it was only much later that people realised Nehru himself had written the article in order to encourage criticism. 

The President expressed confidence that the media in India has always fought authoritarian tendencies. He was confident they would be able to succeed in meeting all modern day challenges, including those posed by techonolgy. He complimented the Manorama Group for treating journalism as a mission and commitment to society.

The President said he knew Mathew personally from the early days of his public life. He has been familiar with the Malayala Manorama Group for long and attended the 125th year celebrations in Kottayam in 2013. The Malayala Manorama group has established a significant presence in the media world with numerous publications, TV and Radio channels. He was particularly fond of the Manorama Year Book and used to eagerly await the arrival of the Bengali edition every year. 

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