On the wrong side: On PCI backing Kashmir restrictions


On the wrong side: On PCI backing Kashmir restrictions

The PCI must act in the interest of a free media and not kowtow to the government
The Press Council of India (PCI)’s support of government restrictions(प्रतिबंध) on communication(संचार ) last week was brazenly contrary(विपरीत) to its mandate(जनादेश ) and purpose(उद्देश्य ). It has sought(मांग की) to intervene(हस्तक्षेप ) in a petition(याचिका ) by Kashmir Times executive(कार्यकारी) editor(संपादक) Anuradha Bhasin, pending(विचाराधीन/पड़ा हुआ) before the apex court, seeking an end to the restrictions on communication in Jammu and Kashmir that were imposed(लगाया गया) before the Government’s decision on August 5 to revoke(रद्द करने/हटाना) the special constitutional status of the erstwhile(पूर्ववर्ती ) State. The petitioner(याचिकाकर्ता) has cited Articles 14 (equality before the law) and 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution of India, and the PCI’s intervention, if any, should have been on the side of the petitioner. Instead(बजाय), it has justified(उचित ) restrictions on communication “in the interest(हित) of the integrity(अखंडता ) and sovereignty(सर्वोच्च /संप्रभुता) of the nation”. The notion that an open society, and an independent media, are somehow(किसी तरह) a threat(खतरा) to the nation’s integrity and sovereignty is nothing less than a rationale(तर्क) for despotism(निरंकुशता). That it is coming from a statutory(क़ानूनी), quasi-judicial, autonomous body whose mandate it is to protect and reinforce(मजबूत) a professional(पेशेवर ) and objective media is shocking.

The PCI explains its raison d’tetre as “rooted in the concept that in a democratic society the press needs at once to be free and responsible(उत्तरदायी)”. Of course, freedom(स्वतंत्रता) of expression (अभिव्यक्ति )like any other freedom is subject to reasonable(उचित) restrictions. But the operative word is ‘reasonable’. “Where the norms(मानदंडों ) are breached(उल्लंघन ) and the freedom is defiled (अशुद्ध)by unprofessional conduct(आचरण), a way must exist to check and control it. But, control by Government or official authorities may prove destructive(हानिकारक/घातक) of this freedom… Hence(इसलिये), the Press Council,” it says. The PCI’s stance in the instant(तत्काल ) case goes against(खिलाफ ) the letter and spirit of this claim. Its track record may not have been stellar; nevertheless, its interventions occasionally held the mirror to deviant(विचलित/भक्त ) journalists and publications and, at the same time, sought to shield(ढालने ) the profession and professionals from the highhandedness of the state and non-state actors. It supported the Punjab Press in its “efforts(प्रयासों) to inform the people truthfully and impartially(निष्पक्ष रूप से)” during(दौरान ) the years of militancy in the early 1990s; around the same period, it pulled up several publications that showed communal(सांप्रदायिक ) bias in coverage of the Ayodhya agitation(आंदोलन.). In fact, the PCI considers(विचार करना) “defaming(बदनाम करना/) community a serious matter” and believes “ascribing(“वर्णन करना) to it a vile, anti-national activity is reprehensible and amounts to journalistic impropriety(अनुचित )”. India is currently witnessing(साक्षी) a disturbing(परेशान) debasement(दिखाना/उल्लंघन) of standards(मानकों) in journalism, and the PCI’s legal and ethical(नैतिक ) obligation(दायित्व) has never been so critical(महत्वपूर्ण). Media is often(अक्सर) called upon by the state to privilege (विशेषाधिकार/सुविधा)a narrowly defined national interest over truthful reporting; professional media in a democracy must view truthful reporting in itself as in national interest. The PCI must play its mandated role and not kowtow to the government of the day.


Important Vocabulary

1. Breached(उल्लंघन )
Synonyms: breach, contravene, disobey, encroach, impose
Antonyms: give, obey, receive, comply, discharge

2. Contrary(विपरीत)
Synonyms: adverse, antithetical, conflicting, contradictory, discordant
Antonyms: agreeable, agreeing, consistent, friendly, harmonious

3. Critical(महत्वपूर्ण)
Synonyms: demanding, analytical ,belittling, biting, calumniatory
Antonyms: complimentary, laudatory, praising, trivial, uncritical

4. Ethical(नैतिक )
Synonyms: honest, honorable, humane, principled, proper
Antonyms: corrupt, dishonest, immoral, improper, unethical

5. Integrity(अखंडता )
Synonyms: honesty, principle, probity, purity, rectitude
Antonyms: deceit, dishonesty, corruption, disgrace, dishonor

6. Impartially(निष्पक्ष रूप से
Synonyms: accurately, correctly, decently, duly, equally
Antonyms: wrongly, unfairly, unjustly

7. Impropriety(अनुचित )
Synonyms: indecency, barbarism, blundergaffe, gaucherie
Antonyms: correction, correctness, propriety, suitability, tastefulness

8. Pending(विचाराधीन/पड़ा हुआ)
Synonyms: imminent, impending, undecided, awaiting, continuing
Antonyms: distant, later, improbable, unlikely

9. Privilege (विशेषाधिकार/सुविधा
Synonyms: advantage, allowance, authority, authorization, benefit
Antonyms: disadvantage, handicap, hindrance, loss, misfortune

10. Restrictions(प्रतिबंध)
Synonyms: check, condition, constraint, control, curb
Antonyms: allowance, liberation, permission, advantage, freedom

11. Revoke(रद्द करने/हटाना)
Synonyms: abolish, abrogate, annul, deny, dismantle
Antonyms: affirm, allow, approve, corroborate, enact

12. Responsible(उत्तरदायी
Synonyms: answerable, culpable, guilty, important, liable
Antonyms: innocent, right, unaccountable, excused, exempt

13. Reinforce(मजबूत)
Synonyms: add to, bolster, boost, build up, buttress
Antonyms: decrease, diminish, discourage, hinder, hurt

14. Sovereignty(सर्वोच्च /संप्रभुता)
Synonyms: dominance, jurisdiction, supremacy, ascendancy
Antonyms: submission

15. Statutory(क़ानूनी)
Synonyms: lawful, legal, judicial, rightful
Antonyms: illegal, illegitimate, illicit, unlawful

16. Threat(खतरा)
Synonyms: blackmail, hazard, intimidation, menace, peril
Antonyms: certainty, safety, surety.

Facebook    Twitter          Youtube


Print Friendly, PDF & Email