Expressing concern over the "gradual decline" in the nature of political discourse, three media bodies on Thursday urged political leaders across party lines to be temperate in their criticism towards each other and the media.
While neutrality is expected of journalists, they too expect restraint from political class at large while commenting on them especially when the political atmosphere is getting charged with general elections approaching, a joint statement issued by the Press Club of India, Indian Women's Press Corps, and Press Association said.
"Terms like 'presstitute' used by a former Union minister and more recently 'pliable' by the president of a political party for the media are inappropriate and lower the dignity of discourse in general," they said.
The three media bodies expressed concern over the "gradual decline in nature of political discourse, more so in a highly polarised political environment".
"We urge all sections of civil society including sections of political leaders cutting across all political parties to be temperate in their criticism towards each other as well as towards the Indian media," the statement said.
They also noted with "deep concern" the continued incarceration of Manipur journalist Kishorechand Wangkhem under the National Security Act for his social media post criticising members of the ruling party at the state and Centre.
"We reiterate our demand that the charges against Mr Wangkhem be dropped, more so after he was exonerated earlier by a court that did not find anything seditious in his remarks," they said.