Mumbai, Dec 17 (IANS): If judges and journalists hesitate in their duty to take the side of truth and speak the truth to the powers that be, then democracy will collapse, cautioned eminent jurist and retired Justice B.N. Shrikrishna.
"Speak the truth to the powers that bea There are two professions - the judge and the journalist - who have to side with the truth. If they falter, then democracy will collapse," said Justice Shrikrishna, addressing the RedInk Awards ceremony here late on Friday, organised by the Mumbai Press Club.
He said that of the four pillars of democracy -- judiciary, legislature, executive and the press or Fourth Estate, "if the first three cosy up, then it's the duty of the Press to take them to task".
Reminiscing the days of the Emergency, he said that in the current times, the central probe agencies are being misused.
"People spoke of threats from the ED, CBI, surveillance, cutting off revenue to ensure the collapse of businessesa In such a situation, honesty is the best policy, and journalistic conscience," Justice Shrikrishna pointed out.
This year, 26 mediapersons from all over India were conferred the National RedInk Awards in various categories, with veteran journalist T.J.S. George getting the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Dainik Bhaskar National Editor Om Gaur bagging the Journalist of the Year Award, for the sensational Covid-19 deaths exposed in Uttar Pradesh cities and towns along the Ganga river.
The event saw a debate 'Is There A Future For Independent News Media' with the participation of former Mumbai top-cop M.N. Singh, noted criminal lawyer Satish Maneshinde, advertising professional Meenakshi Menon and others discussing the issue threadbare, said Mumbai Press Club Chairman Gurbir Singh.
Singh said that as per the latest Freedom of Press Index released by the Reporters Without Borders, India had sunk eigth points, from 142 (2021) to 150th position this year, and the country is considered as a very dangerous place for journalists with 3-4 being killed each year.
The other media persons from various media houses who won the RedInk Awards this year in different categories are: Anu Abraham, Sonali Shinde, Angana Chakrabarti, Anurag Dwary, Jane Borges, Sushmita, Tridip K. Mandal, Dominic S. Diengdoh, Aatreyee Dhar, Barkha Dutt, Kirti Dubey, Aravind Venugopal, Vaibhav Walunj, Siddharth Varadarajan, Jugal Purohit, Karishma Mehrotra, Bhavya Dore, Vandana, Vinay Aravind, Namdev A. Katkar, Sukanya Shanth, Aishwarya S. Iyer, and lensmen T. P. Sooraj, Jinse Michael.