Vice President advises media to curb any unhealthy trend that affects credibility

0
116
Vice President advises media to curb any unhealthy trend that affects credibility
File Photo : Image for representational purpose only

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the media fraternity to do a serious introspection and curb any unhealthy trend that affects its credibility.

Speaking at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Tughlak, a Tamil magazine, founded by the late Cho Ramaswamy,   Shri Naidu expressed his concern over the unhealthy trend of mixing news and views. He said that slanting stories and providing disproportionate coverage to certain issues in line with the management’s thinking has become the norm these days.

The Vice President said that instead of giving complete information in an unadulterated manner, a section of the media was deciding what the viewer should watch or the reader should read. “Such a trend is not good for the fourth estate and Indian democracy in the longer run”, he cautioned.

Shri Naidu observed that journalism in the past was treated as a mission and many eminent journalists like the late Cho wielded the pen without any fear or favour. He said that they never succumbed to any kind of pressure or allurement, nor had they compromised on their integrity and values. They always remained wedded to the core principles of journalism and maintained high standards of accuracy and objectivity.

Describing Cho Ramaswamy as a multi-faceted genius, the Vice President said that he had left an inedible imprint on the world of journalism, cinema, drama, politics, law and literature.

The Vice President said that Thuglak’s rise to fame was due to Cho’s fiery and fearless journalism that put nation’s interest before anything else. Recalling the resistance put up by him during the Emergency, he said that Cho always believed in journalistic freedom and never missed an opportunity to oppose any move to curtail journalistic freedom.

Shri Naidu observed that Cho’s style of journalism not only took everybody by surprise but also shook many because of his bold, courageous, sharp, satirical and witty writings and reviews.

Stating that Cho’s sharp wit, spontaneous humour and stage presence not only made him a successful drama artist but also a popular comedy actor, he said that his tryst with cinema transcended generations just as his Thuglak magazine did.  “His fans belonged to all ages, loving clean and spontaneous humour”, he added.

The Vice President appealed to the people to elect their representatives based on the four ‘C’- Character, Calibre, Capacity and Conduct of the candidates. This is very important to strengthen the democracy, he said.

A special edition of ‘Tughlak’ brought out to mark the 50th Anniversary was released by the Vice President and the first copy of this edition was presented to popular film actor, ShriRajnikanth.

The Editor in Chief of Thuglak, Shri S. Gurumurthy, popular actor, ShriRajinikanth, members of the family of late Shri Cho Ramaswamy and others were present on the occasion.

Following is the full text of the speech –

“AnaivarukkumIniyaPongalVazhthukkal”

Editor of ThuglakS.GurumurthyGaru and his entire team of Thuglak journalists and employees, beloved readers of Thuglak, members from the family of Cho Ramaswamy, Rajinikanthgaru, sisters and brothers,

At the outset, I pay my reverential homage to late Cho Ramaswamy and compliment the entire team at Tughlak for carrying forward his legacy.

It is indeed a momentous occasion. The completion of 50 years is an important milestone for any organization and it assumes greater significance in the case of Tughlak as it has been the torchbearer of ethical journalism.

Such an achievement is not easy and it was made by possible only due to the strong foundation laid by the intellectual genius Cho. It was enriched by his dedicated team in Thuglak and strengthened by the thinking readers of Thuglak.

I was happy to know that before my arrival a unique cross-examination session took place in which the readers posed a series of questions to the Editor, who answered them patiently. Such an initiative is truly laudable as it strengthens bonds between Tughlak and its readers.

I am told that organizing such a session has become a tradition at Thuglak and is being held every year on January 14. This is a unique hallmark of Thuglak.

Cho Ramaswamy was a multi-faceted genius, who left an inedible imprint on the world of journalism, cinema, drama, politics, law, literature and without question in the field of Sanathana Dharma. His belief in the civilizational assets of Bharat and the religious tenets of Hinduism has always guided his vision. As we celebrate the completion of 50 years of Tughlak, it should be remembered that the magazine became synonymous with Cho Ramaswamy.

Thuglak’s rise to fame was due to Cho’s fiery and fearless journalism that put nation’s interest before anything else. The resistance put up by him during the Emergency and the creative way in which he blackened the front page and carried a review of the old movie ‘Sarvadhikari’ (Dictator) will always remain etched in our memories.

Cho always believed in journalistic freedom and never missed an opportunity to oppose any move to curtail journalistic freedom.

On a personal note, I recall the friendly conversations I used to have with Shri Cho Ramaswamy when both of us were members of the RajyaSabha. I had always marvelled at the ease with which he used to inject humour into every discussion.

As a literary expert, Cho’s works on SrimadRamayanam, Mahabharatham, facets of Hinduism and other similar works, are eternal symbols of his unshakeable belief in Hindu philosophy, the Vedas, Itihasas and other traditions. His other works include famous novels like Muhammad Bin Thuglak which was later made into a drama and movie, Unmaye Un VilaiEnna, tele-serial EngeBrahmanan, etc. all of them espousing a cause, belief or way of life. His novels were known for their humour and satire.

He was deeply influenced by MahakaviSubramaniyaBharati. I am told that during the Emergency the literary section of Tughlak quoted Bharathiyar’sPanchaliSabhatham, in which Arjuna consoled Bhima saying “Kattundom, Poruthiruppom, KalamMaarum” (We are bound now, but we will wait! For the times to change!!)

Cho’s masterly direction and narration in theatre, I am told, has given his scripts an immortal life. Dramas like EndruThaniyumIndhaSudhandhiraDhagam, Muhammad Bin Thuglak, stay relevant in contemporary politics. I am told that his dramas were the most sought after during his times and the audience used to thoroughly enjoy them.

Cho’s sharp wit, spontaneous humour and stage presence not only made him a successful drama artist but also a popular comedy actor. His tryst with cinema transcended generations just as his Thuglak magazine did. His fans belonged to all ages, loving clean and spontaneous humour.

Cho’s contribution to journalism through Thuglak is the jewel in the crowning glory of Cho’s public life. Cho’s style of journalism not only took everybody by surprise but also shook many because of his bold, courageous, sharp, satirical and witty writings and reviews. The Thuglakmagazine started in 1970 was inspired by his satirical political drama ‘Muhammad bin Thuglak’ and hence the name Thuglak.

I have seen Cho’s brand of journalism from close quarters. At a time when media had to depend on advertisement revenues, Cho ensured that Thuglak survived on readers’ subscription revenue. I understand that even today, every issue of Thuglak carries 48 pages only. Not more or not less. Indeed, the readers of Tughlak deserve applause.

Cho’s satire and journalistic standards brought him closer to many political personalities. Despite having friendship with leaders and public intellectuals from varied background, Cho remained an intellectual centrist and spared nobody whenever due.

Thuglak is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, an important milestone that any organisation shall always cherish. Continuing his legacy in the field of journalism is the best tribute one could pay to him.

I wish Thuglak endured success and I am confident that the entire team of Thuglak under the editorial leadership of Gurumurthygaru shall continue to hold the beacon of journalistic ethics.

Dear sisters and brothers, the press had played a pioneering role in India’s freedom struggle and in strengthening the foundations of democracy in post-Independent India. Over the past many years, the media landscape has transformed profoundly with the advent of electronic media and the social media more recently.

In the past, journalism was treated as a mission and many eminent journalists like the late Cho used to wield the pen without any fear or favour. They never succumbed to any kind of pressure or allurement, nor had they compromised on their integrity and values. They always remained wedded to the core principles of journalism and maintained high standards of accuracy and objectivity.

What we see today is a far cry from all that. The media is no longer neutral. These days, one can hardly get an objective picture of the current happenings or any development by reading one newspaper or watching a single news channel.

The unhealthy trend of mixing news and views, slanting stories and providing disproportionate coverage to certain issues in line with the management’s thinking has become the norm these days. Instead of giving complete information in an unadulterated manner, a section of the media is deciding what the viewer should watch or the reader should read. Such a trend is not good for the fourth estate and Indian democracy in the longer run.

I feel the time has come for the entire media fraternity to do a serious introspection and curb any unhealthy trend that affects its credibility.

I understand that Cho’s commentary on SubramaniaBharati’s Bhagavad Gita is played every year before the Thuglak Anniversary meet. Bharati was an embodiment of both Bhakti and Nationalism and it is no surprise that Cho drew inspiration from the great poet from Ettayapuram.

I would like to conclude with a quote from SubramaniaBharati’s “Enn Thai” stressing on the united spirit of Bharat Mata:

“MuppathuKodiMugamudayalUyir, MoimpuraOnrudayalIval

SeppuMozhiPadhinettuUdayal, Enir, SindhanaiOnrudayal”

This is a beautiful poem that brings out the essential unity in diversity which has been the foundational spirit of our great country Bharat.

Thank you and Jai Hind!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here