Modi govt welcomes healthy criticism: Venkaiah

Union minister for Informatiom and broadcasting M Venkaah Naidu today said the Modi Government always respected the fourth pillar of democracy, its role, responsibility and ideas in taking forward the vision of Transforming India with the single objective of Reform, Perform, Transform & Inform.

Speaking to media at his residence at Banjara Hills, Venkaiah Naidu said the Government has always believed in healthy criticism of its policies and initiatives from all stakeholders including media and press. The aim has always been to debate and discuss the issues to deliver Good Governance. “This Government welcomes dissent, disapproval and differences of opinions and perceptions. However, this should not be used as a means to flare up passions of anti-national sentiments, thereby creating an environment of false reality and indulging in manufactured dissent”, he said.

The Union minister asserted that innocent minds and youth of the nation should not be misled from hate slogans, fashioning dissent movement against state institutions. Universities should be knowledge hubs and temples of learning and not become the instigation factories of disruption and chaos. The Modi Government has been using Social media at unprecedented speed and scale to gauge public feedback and sentiments leading to positive course corrections in policies and initiatives. The platform of MyGov has brought about a new medium of participatory Governance, Naidu said.

Criticising the Congress, the union minister said emergency imposed in 1975 was a blot for the freedom of press in the country. Emergency was the worst form of attack on freedom of expression and Constitutional Rights. Such a party is now talking of freedom of expression. The Congress has repeatedly refused to learn from the bitter lessons of the past where it humiliated the basic principles and constitutional provisions of freedom of speech and expression, he said adding that they keep on ranting on muzzling of dissent in public spaces and educational institutions. What they do not realise is the great disservice they are rendering to the nation by raising the false alarm bells of non-existent issues. There have been many instances wherein, the Congress during their rule arm twisted media and citizens for expressing their views, he alleged.

The Union minister said it is blatantly false and unfair to allege that Modi Government is stifling the freedom of expression. Instead of raising non-issues in the context of fast growing disconnect with the people, Congress needs to introspect and reiterate its commitment to democratic way of functioning and in a responsible manner, Venkaiah Naidu said. (NSS)