Guwahati, May 3: Inaugurating the Celebration of the International Press Freedom Day, organized the North East Institute of Advanced Studies (Northeast-IAS) at the Guwahati Press Club today, Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendranath Goswami said, “The existence of a free, independent and powerful press is the cornerstone of a democracy, especially in a welfare State like India. It is not only a medium to express one’s opinions and views, but also an effective instrument for building opinions and views on various regional, national and international issues. In a State like Assam, the press has key roles to play in transforming socio-economic issues of the State, ranging from ‘awareness to superstitions’ to human rights, rural development and mass awareness for health and The Assembly Speaker further stressed upon on the importance of ‘freedom of expression’ provided in the Constitution of India in Article 19 (1) and 19 (2) and stated that the current Government is committed to provide a conducive and free environment to media so that journalists can report back on the possible irregularities and corruptions in the systems to the Assembly and other relevant platforms of the Government. He also highlighted that free press and freedom of expression of every citizen of the State need to be guarded by the Government so that burning issues like NRC, human rights etc. could be resolved through dialogues.
Delivering the welcome address, founder of the Northeast-IAS, Keshav Das offered his tribute to journalists who scarified their lives while stating “there are many journalists who – in spite of immense pressures they face – keep on working passionately in the pursuit of the highest ideals of their profession. These journalists are sometimes victims of threats, underpaid or faced with precarious working conditions.”