The expressions and language that some political leaders, even the former Army Chief, used to describe and even threaten the media with are in poor taste. Are we getting back to the dark days of the Emergency and censorship? It appears as though the acceptance of and the equation with the media is fine as long as there are no adverse media reports. Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s recent “crush” remark is terrible. His belated explanation carries no conviction. Those in power should be more cautious and circumspect especially when they express their views on a sensitive subject. The freedom of the fourth estate is a sine qua non for a healthy democracy and any attempt to muzzle it is bound to backfire.