Narendra Modi calls popular power of media, the victory of technology

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, launching the Gujarat edition of Business Line in Ahmedabad on Friday. — Paul Noronha

Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, with Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys, Arun Anant, CEO, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, D. Sampath Kumar, Editor, The Hindu Business Line, and Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor-designate, at the launch of Business Line's Gujarat edition in Ahmedabad on May 24, 2013. Photo: Paul Noronha   -  paul noronha;BUSINESS LINE

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi described as a “healthy trend’ the media following popular aspirations, but regretted that those who had protested against censorship during Emergency in 1975-77 have themselves become “intolerant”.

Speaking as chief guest after launching the Gujarat edition of Business Line, The Hindu Group’s financial daily, here on Friday, he said that evolution of the media from print to electronic to social has empowered the people like never before.

Describing the social media as a “new asset”, he said even established print medium houses were forced to go online as the readers were no longer ready to wait.

“This popular power is the victory of technology and an impact of the awareness about the social media.”

Criticism welcome

Referring to the censorship during Emergency, the Chief Minister recalled how he had himself been criticised over the last few years.

“Various Web sites are loaded with reports against me but the readers’ comments suggest that I have been on the right path,” he said. “I have never blocked criticism”.

He also differentiated between criticism and allegations, and said nothing comes out of the latter. But without criticism, democracy cannot survive, he added.

Modi also sought to differentiate between journalists and their media.

“Some journalists who follow their paper’s policies also write their personal opinions on their blogs,” he said, adding, “I have always welcomed criticism. We should be proud of criticism.”

In his 40-minute speech in Hindi, Modi pointed out that despite being strong, media have had to follow the popular aspirations, a healthy trend that strengthens democracy.

The accelerating pace of changes in technology and its absorption by the media have impacted the entire system of governance.

Business Line, he said, would benefit in a State known for its business-focused people. In turn, Gujarat will get more space in the multiple editions of the financial daily. “The paper should have come to Gujarat 10 years ago,” he said.

‘Global leader’

Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co-Chairman of Infosys, who presided, applauded the impressive growth registered by Gujarat in various fields during the last decade. Modi is one of the few Indian leaders to have featured on the cover of Time magazine, he said, while describing him as a “global leader” of a State whose model of development was sought to be emulated by other States.

The recently-elected CII chief urged the Gujarat Government to use information technology for better, cleaner and faster dissemination of information. “IT has given unprecedented power to individuals. We can’t ignore the march of technology; we should leverage it.”

Gopalakrishnan lauded Modi and Business Line for using technology.

“Here we have a newspaper and a leader who both understand the power of technology.”

Earlier, D. Sampathkumar, Editor, Business Line, in his welcome address, spoke of the newspaper’s 20-year journey.

The financial daily, known for balanced and objective approach, has, like business, followed a liberal and non-parochial policy, standing for overall journalistic integrity and proud of its 130-year lineage.

He also spoke about how Gujarat’s silk weavers and glass artisans, who had settled down in Tamil Nadu, had contributed to the State and recalled how the educational institutions of Gujarati social reformer Thakkar Bapa had served society in the State. About Business Line coming to Gujarat in its 20th year, he said a late entry need not be a disqualification for acceptance.

Arun Anant, Chief Executive Officer, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, the publishers of The Hindu Group of publications, proposed a vote of thanks.

Published on May 24, 2013

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