Media preoccupied by corruption issues: Sibal

Kapil Sibal said continuing "preoccupation" of the media with the corruption issues is "undermining" the nation`s endeavours, good work and image.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 00:26 AM IST

Bhopal: Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday
said continuing "preoccupation" of the media with the
corruption issues is "undermining" the nation`s endeavours,
good work and image.

"While the government stands committed firmly to the
freedom of expression of the media, the need for self-
regulation and self-restraint are equally important," Sibal
said addressing the fourth convocation ceremony at the
National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal.

Observing that the freedom of expression is at its
"highest", the Union minister said "with the media being free
from any kind of restraint or fetters to report on anything
and everything they choose, this in itself is welcome.

However, the preoccupation of the media with corruption day in
and day out is now undermining nation`s endeavours, good work
and image".

Expressing concern over "growing sensationalism" in the
media, Sibal said "the `Right to be Heard` and the `Right to
Reply` for an individual "are no less sacrosanct than the
Right to Allege and Insinuate".

"For, there are many areas where the public interest
and even common goodwill suffer by either the publication or
premature release of sensitive and unsubstantiated
information".

"We, as a functioning democracy, have to be sensitive to
respect the right of individuals," he insisted.

Pointing to the changing scenario in the wake of
globalisation and liberalisation, Sibal said expanding scope
of the rule of law in India is the most important challenge.

"The process of globalisation and liberalisation is
changing the dimensions of the Indian economy and polity. Rule
of law in all its dimensions is today the single most
important challenge the country faces," Sibal, who also holds
charge of Communications and IT Ministry, said.

The criminal and civil justice systems are under
severe stress and therefore, the role of law schools in
imparting legal education and developing lawyers who are
rational thinkers and social engineers is central to the
future of the country and to the development of a knowledge
economy in India, Sibal said.

Talking about disparities between the people in the
country, he said "there exists a great divide. We have one
part of the nation that we call as India where there is good
income, growth and prosperity and on the other part we have
Bharat that is stagnant and comparatively poor".

"While India is shining, it is not shining equally for
all our citizens. For you to succeed as an individual, it is
necessary that the nation succeeds in achieving `inclusive`
growth," he said.

PTI