Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke at the commemoration event of the National Press Day in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi, where he stressed the importance of the freedom of press.
Addressing journalists, he said, "The press is responsible for upholding free speech. The government should not have any interference in the working of the media."
He stressed that external influence on press is not good for society. Remembering the emergency days when Indira Gandhi was prime minister, he said, "We remember how the press council ceased to exist during the Emergency. Things normalised after Morarji Bhai became prime minister."
He said, "Press can play a key role in informing the government. This new environment can provide strength to the nation. Competition (with other nations) can also help in the development of the nation. India is not limited to the pages of the newspaper or what they show on television."
Mentioning the increasing number of in the killings of journalists, he said, "Any death is worrisome, but journalists losing their lives just because they try showing the truth, it becomes even more serious then."
He congratulated the press at the end of his speech.
PM Narendra Modi hails press freedom, says external control on press not good for society pic.twitter.com/XOXcCUUoD4
— ANI (@ANI_news) November 16, 2016
Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of State for I&B Rajayvardhan Singh Rathore were also present at the event.
The Press Council of India (PCI) conferred excellence in journalism awards, including 'Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award' to veteran journalist S Nihal Singh.
With inputs from agencies