`Media should act as a corrective force'

KOLLAM Jan. 25. The senior Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, has said that the UDF Government was in total confusion. ``Whenever I try to clear the confusion, I'm branded as a votary of the Opposition.''

Inaugurating the renovated air-conditioned hall of the Kollam Press Club here today, he said the Government was confusing the people by bringing out statements every day on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan. An impression was being created that the whole future of the State depended on the ADB loan. As per the statements, the loans hovered around Rs. 3,200 crores and what had been allocated was Rs. 600 crores. The ADB loan issue had never come up before the party for any sort of discussions, he said.

Mr. Karunakaran said nationalised banks had offered loans on a par with the amount offered by the ADB at a lesser interest rate and the State Government had not responded to it.

He said journalists had an important role to play by informing people whether the politicians are doing their duty as expected by the masses.

He said that when it comes to ensuring that the constitutional rights of the people are protected, journalists, especially visual media, have a bigger role to play. Newspapers could function as a means to compel Governments take the right path as per the expectations of the people.

Mr. Karunakaran said that curtailment of the freedom of the Press during the days of Emergency was the only thing which he could never agree with his leader, the late Indira Gandhi. ``I value the Press to such an extent,'' he said.

The Labour Minister, Babu Divakaran, the Kollam MP, P. Rajendran, the Rajya Sabha Member, N.K. Premachandran, the Kollam Mayor, Sabita Beegum, and the DCC president, Sooranad Rajashekaran, addressed. On the occasion, Mr. Karunakaran, presented a special memento to the architect of the renovated hall, A. Asif. The club president, Jyothi Kumar, presided over the function and the secretary, P. Manoj, welcomed the gathering.