Hyderabad: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu said that the Union Government was committed to protecting the free speech.
Speaking after inaugurating the Orientation Programme for Urdu journalists, organised by Telangana State Union of Working Journalists, in association with Telangana State Urdu Academy and Moulana Azad National Urdu University,
at Salar Jung Museum Auditorium on Sunday, Venkaiah Naidu said that the Centre has high regards for free speech and media. Stressing that the media played a key role in the society, he asked journalists to work in the larger interests of the marginalized sections of the society and nation as a whole.
Venkaiah Naidu said that Urdu was a sweet language and said that it played a key role in freedom movement along with Hindi language in unifying people.
The minister said that it was a matter of concern that some people were trying to link language with the religion.
He said training for journalists was highly essential and learning should be continuous for everyone. He said training enhances knowledge.
He said old perceptions like “Automation was anti-nation” have changed and now Liberlisation, Privatisation and Globalisation is the reality.
He said journalists should upgrade their skills and maintain high standards, values and innovate. “Information with confirmation is the best ammunition,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali assured that the State Government would resolve the problems concerning journalists.
He appealed to the media not to distort information or twist the news. He said news, in its original form, help the government and he himself get information related to his department (Revenue) through newspapers.
He also announced that the State Government would organise a week-long World Urdu Conference early next year.
Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir asked the State Government to bifurcate the Urdu Academy within a week.
He also demanded that the government declare Urdu as the second official language in all 31 districts of Telangana.
BJP floor leader in Assembly G. Kishan Reddy said people trust media more than the politicians. Therefore, instead of approached the local MLAs, they contact the journalist to express their grievances.
State Minorities Commission Chairman Abid Rasool Khan advised the Union Minister to provide funds for a comprehensive survey on Urdu language.
He also advocated introduction of Urdu as a compulsory subject in all schools across the State.
Information & Public Relations Commission Navin Mittal listed out various measures being implemented by the State Government for the welfare of journalist.
He said that the government was providing Health Cards and Rs. 5 lakh insurance cover. He also assured that new Accreditation Cards would be issued soon to all working and non-working journalists.
Prof. Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, Dean School of MCJ, senior journalists including K. Sreenivas Reddy, M.A. Majid, Faiz Mohammed Azghar, F.M. Saleem, Press Council of India member K. Amarnath, TSUWJ President N. Shekhar and General Secretary K. Virahath Ali also addressed the programme.
The TUWJ has also felicitated several veteran journalists on the occasion. Monetary assistance of Rs. 25,000/- has been provided to senior journalist Khurram Nafees, who is presently ill. Other journalists who were felicitated on the occasion are Basith Quadri and Jabbar Siddiqui.
Tributes were also paid to noted journalists Saeed Siddiqui and Baquer Hussain Shaz, who passed away recently and their kin were given a citation and a shawl in their honour.
Technical sessions on reporting skills and future of Urdu journalism were also held during the day. These sessions were addressed by experts and senior journalist.
More than 300 journalists from across Telangana State participated in the programme. (INN)