M.K. Narayanan calls for constant vigil against terror

The West Bengal Governor and former National Security Adviser, M.K. Narayanan, said on Sunday that the country must be on constant vigil against terror.

“The Pune attack is a reminder that we have to be constantly careful,” he said, inaugurating a seminar on national security and the role of media at Thunchanparamba, Tirur. The seminar was organised by the Indian Journalists Union and the Kerala Journalists Union.

Mr. Narayanan cautioned the media to be careful and responsible while reporting matters of national security, as the country was dealing with dozen-odd credible threats. “Freedom of the press should not degenerate into a licence.”

Mr. Narayanan, back from the Munich Security Conference, said global connectivity and inter-dependence added to the complexities and made the future more uncertain. To achieve the kind of global governance needed to deal with the formidable challenges, he said a rule-based international society was imperative. He, however, pointed out that durable peace and security could not be built without sustainable economic and social development. “Development must go hand in hand with addressing internal extremism.”

Mr. Narayanan said Pakistan’s unwillingness to accept the basic reality of nurturing terrorism as a weapon against India had become that nation’s problem. The coming together of the Pakistan-based terror organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad with Tehreek-e-Taliban and Al-Qaeda made it extremely difficult for India to adopt an accommodative approach.

The country’s print media displayed far more responsibility than the electronic media.

He also despised the craving of the electronic media for sensationalism. “Don’t go for momentary glory,” he said, reminding journalists of the importance of integrity to uphold commitment to facts and truth.

Delivering the keynote address, M.P. Veerendrakumar, Chairman and Managing Director of Mathrubhoomi, said an independent media was essential for the country’s security.

He too despised the tendency of journalists of the visual media to create news.

Chairman of the Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences Azad Moopan, who was the guest of honour, said the Indian media was fearless, whereas the media in the Gulf was afraid of terrorists. He also called upon the media to avoid sensationalising news.

P.K. Hormis Tharakan, National Security Advisory Council member and former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, said the media had a significant role to play in forming public opinion on terrorists. The media often failed to understand the sensitivities of official secrecy while dealing with issues of national security.

Mr. Tharakan suggested that police personnel be trained in post-event management, mobile media centres be created and an institution for media management and studies for security personnel be established to streamline the role of the media.

G. Prabhakaran, Press Council of India member and president of the Kerala Journalists Union, presided. Union secretary P.A. Raghavan proposed a vote of thanks.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:01:28 AM |

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