Inu tells media to remain watchful of biggest challenges
14 March 2015, Nirapad News: Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has asked the media to remain watchful of the most dire challenges, including religious extremism and militancy, on the way to attain a vibrant and pluralistic media environment in South Asia.
Speaking at the inauguration of a daylong workshop titled “Saarc: Opportunities and challenges in media” yesterday, the minister also urged the media to play a pivotal role in the complex scenario of the region where democracy and secularism are in a fierce battle with religion-based politics, militancy and communalism.
The workshop was jointly organised by the Ministry of Information and Saarc Information Centre (SIC) at a city hotel. Inu said Bangladesh government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, stands for free, vibrant, pluralistic and responsible media. “We don’t have ‘embedded’ journalists or ‘spin doctors’ to manipulate media,” he stated.
Information Secretary Martuza Ahmed presided over the inaugural session. Lakshmi Bilas Koirala, director general of Nepal’s Department of Information and Director of SIC, and Abdul Motaleb Sarker, director general (Saarc) of the Foreign Ministry also spoke on the occasion.
Inu also said the ethno-cultural-religious violence triggered by trans-nationalization and religious extremism has not only affected South Asia but the whole world. And failed extremist political parties resorted to violence in the name of religion.
He underscored the need for eliminating terrorism, yellow journalism and religious extremism as they pose major threats both to free media and democracy and tend to tyranny of majority and ignoring minority people which he said are antagonistic to democratic norms.
Inu detected seven dire challenges namely religious extremism, militancy, minority exploitation, cross-border terrorism, racism, militarization and colonial bureaucracy which the media has to contemplate to overcome in attaining its destiny.
He expressed high hopes that South Asia will further flourish if all media join hand in hand to shun militancy and advocate for green, digital development and for policy of inclusion of the marginalised section of people in society and politics.
The workshop was attended by 60 people, including Principal Information Officer Tasir Ahmed and Director General of Press Institute of Bangladesh Shah Alamgir, among others.