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’Proper criticism necessary for a strong democracy’

Kolhapur (Maharashtra), January 3: Excessive allegations by the media can weaken democracy, particularly when allegations replace proper criticism, Prime Minister rendra Modi said here on Saturday.

"Criticism can help prevent mistakes and eble reveal the truth. Every decision, every thought must be criticised. If there is no criticism in a democracy, then there is a problem. However, in recent times, there hasn’t been proper criticism, as allegations have replaced criticism," Modi said during the platinum jubilee celebrations of Marathi newspaper Pudhari here.

He termed "samvad" (dialogue/debate) as very important for a democracy to thrive, along with "vivad" (criticism).

"But these days, there is no healthy criticism. Sadly there are mostly allegations. It is like a ’tu tu, main main’ (pointing fingers) scerio," Modi said.

The prime minister called for a thorough alysis and study of criticism as it has become a casualty of speed in the modern era.

"The need of the hour is healthy criticism, not allegations."

The prime minister said people looked up to the media to provide good, truthful news as a dialogue was imperative for the survival of democracy.

"The credibility that the media enjoys today also gives it immense responsibility. Pudhari is one newspaper that has fulfilled this responsibility. It has overcome obstacles, persevered and won against all odds during India’s freedom struggle," Modi said, lauding the newspaper’s contributions.

Newspapers, especially the regiol media, displayed great courage during the country’s freedom struggle.

He appreciated the newspaper’s chairman, Pratapsinh Jadhav, for highlighting issues related to Kolhapur, especially the issue of toll collection. A few toll booths were vandalised and burnt in Kolhapur in January 2014.

Modi expressed hope that Chief Minister Devendra Fadvis would look into the matter and also prayed that Goddess Mahalakshmi – whose temple adorns the city – would provide strength and resources to fulfill the dreams of all Indians.

Earlier, Modi iugurated Pudhari’s new building and a bust of its founder GG Jadhav.

He released two books "Marmabhed" and "Sinhayan", a compilation of editorials published in Pudhari.

Governor CV Rao, Fadvis, union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Suresh Prabhu – who are from Maharashtra – were present on the occasion. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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