Indian politico tells journos to wake up to their power

Hyderabad, February 12:

The next time you hear a politician or a diplomat, don’t get carried away by his/her promises to do anything under the sun for your region or country, said Indian Minister for Urban Development, S Jaipal Reddy, in his keynote address at a media seminar organised here by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA). The minister’s statement took journalists, editors and media activists by surprise. The seminar will end tomorrow.

“No diplomat or politician really works for peace. The Treaty of Versailles is one of many such examples. It paved the way for war,” Reddy said. He stressed on the role of the media and compared journalists to the poets of yore. He also told them that they were unacknowledged legislators and obliged to play a definite role in shaping ideas and also opinions.

Reddy also said that “while the common man across the world is a perfect human being, the freedom of the press becomes a casualty of the frenzy of those in power”.

He pointed out that the media persons can do a lot when it comes to evolving society. “Granted that governments are formed on the face of public opinion (while the media looks on). But realize you can shape public opinion and ensure that the bad guys are ousted in the next election,” Reddy said.