Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Why Najam Is Necessary

In the era of social change, autocratic regimes and minds want to edit both history and news

Why Najam Is Necessary
Why Najam Is Necessary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Listening to Najam Sethi’s Kewal Singh Memorial Lecture, my mind went back over several eras of Pakistani history. In the course of half-a-century of sovereignty, many dictators and autocrats had tried to suppress Pakistan’s inherent spirit of liberty and outspokenness, until a democratic polity finally dawned. Now, though they occasionally experience difficulties, elected governments, a free press and courageous ngos are still centrestage. The task of social transformation in traditional societies is onerous, particularly in the initial stages when the mask of cultural hypocrisy is laid bare. But Parliament can perform its role effectively only with the assistance of the media.

Najam Sethi was not saying anything that we in India had not heard before. Nor are our own shortfalls hidden from the gaze of neighbouring countries. Satellite television and the Internet have lit up previously dark corners, broadcasting to all and sundry the existence of wide chasms between the pretensions and practices of the ruling elite, who believe they can suppress independent views with the help of police and hoodlums, that government-sponsored propaganda can black out reality. But why talk of Pakistan? Here in our own country, we have witnessed our worthy minister of information expressing similar beliefs while eroding the autonomy of Prasar Bharati. In the era of social transformation, autocratic regimes and minds want to edit both history and news. Bold practitioners of the media whose only tool is their credibility are bound to resist.

Najam Sethi was only re-stating what he had already written in his newspaper. But a false sense of national pride overcame Pakistani diplomats: the spirit was "why say it here in India", still "enemy country" despite all the bus journeys and the lauded Lahore Declaration. The Pakistani high...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

The Mumbai High Court is hearing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Oct 3.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Rahul Dravid Formally Applies For India Job

Rahul Dravid Formally Applies For India Job

Reports also claimed that Rahul Dravid is the first and only choice of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement