Politicians must realise that in a democracy people have a right to criticise them, and the media has a right to enquire about the activities of politicians and inform the public about it, Press Council of India Chairman, Justice Markandey Katju, said on Wednesday.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Katju said it was deeply regrettable that certain politicians were of late becoming increasingly intolerant towards the media.
His statement comes in the backdrop of reports of the Himachal Pradesh Congress chief, Virbhadra Singh, threatening to “break the cameras of mediapersons” in Kullu on being questioned about allegations of corruption against him.
Katju also alluded to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said ‘before that there was a statement of a Chief Minister of a certain state that a section of the media is doing dadagiri and spreading negative canards about the State Government.”
Katju said since people were the masters in a democracy, they had a right to know how their servants (which includes politicians, Judges, bureaucrats, policemen, etc ) were functioning, and it was often through the media that they know about this.
He said “if something untrue is published about a politician, he has certainly a right to get his rejoinder published, but losing one's balance or giving an ugly display of temper is just not acceptable in a democracy.”