There can be no regulation of the media in a democracy, feels Information and Broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who says self-regulation is good.
However, he says, there is a feeling that social media is “going haywire”.
“In a democracy, in a free society where freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution, you cannot have regulation of the media, this is my conviction,” Naidu told PTI in an interview.
He said self-regulation is good and what is required is not a new bill but political will and administrative skill.
“That is lacking at some places,” he added.
The minister, however, added that if at the end of the day, there are violations, there are laws of the land which are available already.
Freedom of expression is best utilised only when the value of such freedom is fully appreciated, he added.
“When this freedom is not exercised is judiciously, our existing laws provide for necessary interventions. We are not thinking of any new restrictions on any media. But the government expects all stakeholders to be responsible in using different platforms.” the I&B minister said.
He said for the media, there are some regulations like it should not preach something which is anti-national, not propagate against the interest of the country aspects like obscenity, vulgarity, encouraging violence etc.
“There are already broad guidelines and stipulations under the law also and they will take care of these aspects,” he said.
“For the mainstream journalists, there is some regulation by their organisations and management. But for social media there is no censorship, things go directly, he said.
“There is slowly a growing feeling of social media going haywire. And we have to find ways and means to go about it.
But at the same time if you start regulating media, the effect will not be positive. Keeping that in mind, regrading social media also there are enough laws to take care of social media also and those laws should be effectively and properly used,” Naidu said.