The Indian perspective and its system of Parliamentary form of Democracy, it is true that, the Press and media is free but subject to certain reasonable restrictions imposed by the Constitution of India, 1950, as amended (“Constitution”). Before the impact of globalization was felt, the mass media was wholly controlled by the government(parliament), which let the media project only what the government wanted the public to see and in a way in which it wanted the public to see it. However, with the onset of globalization and privatization, the situation has undergone a humongous change.
But in general, what’s media and how is manipulated and controlled, is the real question here. Practically speaking there are 2 sides to a situation. The truth and the reality but there’s another way too, i.e., grey. The grey one is, just a mixture of a situation with facts and manipulation. Sometimes, some news cause communal havoc against a certain issue, government or religion, it’s actually caused drastic and damaging consequences.
Mass Media laws in India have a long history and are deeply rooted in the country’s colonial experience under British rule which is both eye-opening and traumatizing. The growth of power of media is huge. The earliest regulatory measures can be traced back to the year 1799 when Lord Wellesley promulgated the Press Regulations, which had the effect of imposing pre-censorship on an infant newspaper publishing industry. The onset of 1835 saw the promulgation of the Press Act, which undid most of, the repressive features of earlier legislations on the subject, i.e., in aspect of press and media regulations.
Then followed the ‘Press and Registration of Books Act’ in 1867 and which continues to remain in force till date. Governor General Lord Lytton promulgated the ‘Vernacular Press Act’ of 1878 allowing the government to clamp down on the publication of writings deemed seditious and to impose punitive sanctions on printers and publishers who failed to fall in line, thus protecting the government in general. In 1908, Lord Minto promulgated the ‘Newspapers (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908 which authorized local authorities to take action against the editor of any newspaper that published matter deemed to constitute an incitement to rebellion of any kind.
However, the most significant day in the history of Media Regulations was the 26th of January 1950 – the day on which the Constitution of India was brought into force. The colonial experience of the Indians made them realize the crucial significance of the ‘Freedom of Press’. Such freedom was therefore incorporated in the Constitution; to empower the Press to disseminate knowledge to the masses and the Constituent Assembly thus, decided to safeguard this ‘Freedom of Press’ as a fundamental right. Although, the Constitution of India does not expressly mention the liberty of the press, it is evident that the liberty of the press is included in the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a). It is however pertinent to mention that, such freedom is not absolute but is qualified by certain clearly defined limitations under Article 19(2) in the interests of the public.
It is necessary to mention here that, this freedom under Article 19(1)(a) is not only cribbed, cabined and confined to newspapers and periodicals but also includes pamphlets, leaflets, handbills, circulars and every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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