Media is made whipping boy by all sections while the other pillars of democracy -- Legislature, Judiciary and Executive – got away enjoying all privileges, observed the Editor of Andhra Bhoomi Telugu daily newspaper M.V.R. Sastry here on Monday.
Addressing a ‘Meet-the-Editor' programme organised by Vizag Journalists' Forum's Press Club, he pointed out that the judiciary could take action under contempt of court and the legislature through privilege motion could jail a journalist.
“But we don't have even Constitutional rights and we are covered only by the right to freedom of speech. While we will be fired -- newspapers also get closed and TV channels shut down -- the members of the legislature continue to enjoy a full term of five years without any recall,” he noted.
Mr. Sastry, a firebrand editor, explained that never did any ruling party win 50 per cent of the votes polled which again did not reflect the entire population of the country, but still managed to rule reducing democracy to misnomer.
There was talk even of a former Chief Justice of India -- of the apex court -- involved in scams. But, everyone was quick to blame the media for everything making it the whipping boy, he lamented.
Replying to questions, he said journalists could function holding the head high and do their bit for public cause.
It is the latter that should react in time and make everyone accountable, he felt. “We are watchdogs of democracy and therefore bark. It is up to the people, our masters, to respond. For, it is they who can make and unmake things in a democracy,” he stated.
VJF president M. Yugandhar Reddy and secretary Gantla Sreenu Babu spoke.