The commemoration of the National Press Day on November 16 symbolizes free and responsible press in India. It was in July 4, 1966 that Press Council of India was set up under the chairmanship of Justice JR Mudholkar as an autonomous, quasi-judicial and statutory body. According to the PCI, it functions “as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.”
The PCI can be set apart from the other press or media councils around the world with the fact that it can exercise authority “even over the instruments of the state in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press.”
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi along with several chief ministers has greeted the media houses of India on the occasion of National Press Day for their contribution to uphold the spirit of the press in the form of its freedom and responsibility in India. PM Modi expressed his appreciation of the works done by the Indian journalists and praised the role of the press in giving voice to the voiceless. He emphasized the fact that the democracy’s cornerstone is the free press and said his government was “fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms.”
“My greetings to all friends in the media on National Press Day. I appreciate the hardwork of our media, especially the reporters & camerapersons, who tirelessly work on the ground and bring forth various news that shapes national as well as global discourse,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
The chief minister of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee, too, greeted the journalists for strengthening the democracy. She said, “I wish all journalists who are fearlessly working for strengthening democracy”.
Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, also appreciated the strong role played by the press to uphold the spirit of democracy and the fact that one of the strongest pillars of democracy is media.
It is a truth that India has maintained its democratic form ever since its independence and one of the greatest strength of Indian democracy is derived from its free press. Had the curbs been imposed on the press, India would not have such a powerful democracy as it is today.