President lauds media for not compromising on freedom of speech, expression

New Delhi, Nov. 26 : Lauding the media for not compromising on freedom of speech and expression, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the media in India has always supported the freedom of individuals to speak out as per his or her conviction.

President Mukherjee, who received the first copy of English version of the book ‘The Eighth Ring’, the autobiography of late K M Mathew, former Editor and Publisher of Malayala Manoram, speaking on the occasion 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 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,” said President Mukherjee.

“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. It was only much later that people realised Nehru himself had written the article in order to encourage criticism,” he added.

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 technology.

President Mukherjee complimented the Manorama Group for treating journalism as a mission and commitment to society.

He said the Manorama group has demonstrated exemplary leadership in upholding and expanding the high values set by K.M. Mathew.

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,” said President Mukherjee.

“He was particularly fond of the Manorama Year Book and used to eagerly await the arrival of the Bengali edition every year,” he added. (ANI)