Hitting out at the Congress, BJP president J P Nadda said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court's order and observations on pleas filed by senior journalist Arnab Goswami sends a "strong message" that the opposition party should shed its "Emergency mindset" and respect democratic ideals.
"The COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra is worrying and I hope the Congress devotes its energies towards curing people rather than silencing journalists.The people of India are watching the misadventures of the Congress and will keep punishing them for its highhandedness," Nadda said in his tweets.
The reaction from the BJP chief came after the apex courtrefused to quash the initial FIR against Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami over his news show on the Palghar lynching but gave some relief by setting aside related multiple FIRs and complaints holding they had a "stifling" effect on the exercise of freedom and expression.
Observing that free citizens cannot exist when the news media is chained to adhere to one position, the court said journalistic freedom lies at the core of the fundamental right to free speech and India's freedom will rest safe as long as journalists can speak to power without being chilled by a threat of reprisal.
Nadda said, "Today, the Hon'ble SC has made important observations. The Court's observations should make the perpetrators of the Emergency, the assaulters of free speech and tramplers of media freedom- the Congress Party - introspect and change their style of functioning."
"Regarding the bogus FIRs filed to trouble Arnab Goswami, SC recognised yet again the journalist's right to free speech and quashed multiple FIRs. It stated 'India's freedom will rest safe as long as journalist can speak to power without being chilled by a threat of reprisal," he said.
The BJP leader put out parts of the court's order to slam the opposition party.
The SC, he noted, quoted author Yuval Harari's remarks that "Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question."
The BJP president said there is a strong message to the Congress in the above quote.
"The Congress should shed its Emergency mindset and respect democratic ideals," he said. PTI KR
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