Nehru on Indian Press



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The Press if it wants freedom - which is ought to have must have some balance of mind which is seldom possesses. One cannot have it both ways. Evert freedom in this world is limited, limited not so much by law as by circumstances. We do not wish to come in the way of freedom of the Press. Personally, I am convinced of the freedom of the Press (Speech in Parliament. 29/5/1951)

The press is one of the vital organs of modern life, especially in a democracy. The Press has tremendous powers and responsibilities. The Press must be respected and it must also have co-operation. (Speech in Parliament. 16/5/1951)

To my mind, the freedom of the Press is not just a slogan from the larger point of view but it is an essential attribute of the democratic process. I have no doubt that even if the government dislikes the liberties taken by the press and considers them dangerous, it is wrong to interfere with the freedom of the Press. By imposing restrictions you do not change anything; you merely suppress the public manifestation of certain things, thereby causing the idea and thought underlying them to spread further. Therefore, I would rather have a completely free Press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated Press. (Speech at the Newspaper Editor’s Conference. 3/12/1950)

Whatever we may think of the virtues and failings of the Press it is obvious that it plays a very important part in our lives; it moulds people’s minds and thoughts and this affects the policies of the government, if not always directly. Therefore, when we have to deal with any major problem, it is important that the Press should- if I say so with all humility- give it right lead…. (Address at the newspapers Editor’s Conference. 4/5/1950)

We have been extraordinarily lenient towards the Press, Indian and foreign. We have gone out of our way to tell them that we will not do anything even if they send message which are extremely disagreeable to us. (Speech in Constituent Assembly)