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Protection of human rights vital for democracy

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REINFORCING DEMOCRACY: Union Minister of State for Home S. Regupathy inaugurating the UGC-sponsored seminar at H. H. Rajah's College in Pudukottai on Friday. Photo: R. Ashok
REINFORCING DEMOCRACY: Union Minister of State for Home S. Regupathy inaugurating the UGC-sponsored seminar at H. H. Rajah's College in Pudukottai on Friday. Photo: R. Ashok

Staff Reporter

Every individual and institution need to play an important role in this regard, says Union Minister of State for Home S. Regupathy Appeal made to media to exhibit sense of responsibility towards accuracy in their reports

PUDUKOTTAI: Safeguarding human rights formed the base of a functional democracy, Union Minister of State for Home S. Regupathy said on Friday.

For achieving this, every individual and institution should play a vital role, he said.

The mass media had a greater responsibility in protecting the human rights by bringing out any violations in its true dimension, Mr. Regupathy said.

Inaugurating the three-day University Grants Commission (UGC)-sponsored state seminar on `The media and human rights value education' sponsored by the Department of History of the His Highness The Raja's College, Mr. Regupathy said although many countries were signatories to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its Article XIX guaranteeing freedom of expression, opinion and information, has not been implemented.

Pointing out that a free and impartial media was a key to functional democracy for highlighting views and opinions, the Union Minister referred to the action initiated against the perpetrators by the United States following the release of a few photographs on the prison abuses in Iraq, Mr. Regupathy said there was a strong case for protecting the journalists projecting stories or reports on human right violations from threats on censorship, kidnap, harassment.

He also appealed to the media to exhibit a sense of responsibility towards accuracy in their reports.

Underscoring the need for exactness in the human violation related reports, Mr. Regupathy said there was, however, a `worrying decline in journalistic standards' in a few cases.

The Union Minister assured the college authorities that he would impress upon the State Education Minister, K. Ponmudi, of extra funds and other infrastructure development programmes for the college, as part of its 125th anniversary celebrations to be held in a few months.

The Principal of the college, L. Kuppusamy, said about 150 students from different colleges participated in the seminar which included technical sessions like the social responsibility of media, human rights value education for national integration.

The report on the seminar would be sent to the UGC. He pleaded with the Minister for sanctioning funds for repairing the college library which had been partially damaged.

The Head of Department of History, A. V. Perumal, spoke.

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