Thiruvananthapuram

Only free media can counter saffronisation: Saeed Naqvi

Senior journalist Saeed Naqvi delivering the 18th Narendran Memorial Lecture on ‘Saffron surge: can it be stopped’ at the Trivandrum Press Club on Wednesday.

Senior journalist Saeed Naqvi delivering the 18th Narendran Memorial Lecture on ‘Saffron surge: can it be stopped’ at the Trivandrum Press Club on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

‘Current situation is a very sad indictment of the entire profession of journalism’

The surge of the right wing can be stopped only by regaining control and independence of the media, veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi has said.

He was delivering the 18th Narendran Memorial Lecture on ‘Saffron surge: can it be stopped?’ at the Press Club here on Wednesday.

“The culprit for the current state of affairs in the end is the mass media, which is comprehensively controlled. You are not in control of your mind any longer. This election was unlike any other till now, in which the entire system and the corporate world decided to sell Modi, without touching on any of the real issues of jobs, farmers’ distress or the failing economy. They just picked one emotive issue, centred on minority hatred or anti-Pakistan narratives, kept developing on that, while being silent on everything else,” he said.

He said that the current situation is a very sad indictment of the entire profession of journalism.

“Journalists have all been reduced to zero. It is in the hands of journalists to balance the story rather than be the propaganda unit of the powers that be.

They have to regain control. Can they start an agitation saying that they will not serve media that is not independent?” he asked.

Mr.Naqvi criticised the Opposition for being ineffective in countering the Sangh Parivar.

“There have been doubts raised on some of the electronic voting machines. If I were an opposition political party, I would by now have started a movement demanding paper ballot for the next election. But, there is no opposition worth the salt, except little pockets in the south. Whatever you are going through today is the gift of the Congress," he said.

On the Central Government’s recent moves in Kashmir, Mr. Naqvi said that it has violated everything related to our democracy.

Distractions

“The economy has hit rock bottom, hence these distractions elsewhere. They know that things will be tough if people start coming on the street over economic issues. This country if it has to survive, needs federalism, which is now being eroded. I feel the next round will be in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:26:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/only-free-media-can-counter-saffronisation-saeed-naqvi/article28873458.ece

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