Kochi/New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the media to avoid sensationalism and rather focus on fair, objective and balanced reporting to ensure the unity of India. Reacting to his advice, BJP said the prime minister should introspect why the press was critical of his government.
"The desire to be sensational should be avoided, even though it is very tempting at times. Restraint should be exercised so that nothing that divides our society and country is written, broadcast or telecast," the prime minister said at a function of Kerala Union of Working Journalists here.
"On the other hand, a conscious effort should be made to build bridges between communities and regions. These are no more than the abiding values that constitute responsible journalism, which the Kerala Union of Working Journalists has been promoting," he added.
He also noted that the reverberations of tragic developments in Assam were heard in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other Indian cities, "which have shown that we cannot and we should not afford to take social peace and harmony for granted," he said.
"We need to be constantly vigilant and work continuously towards promoting greater communal harmony and inter-group and inter-community dialogue and understanding," Manmohan Singh said.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson J. P. Nadda, however, said that the government was facing criticism from the opposition, civil society and the media.
"The prime minister has criticised the media. Time is ripe for prime minister to go for self-introspection. His remarks are objectionable and condemnable," Nadda said.
The BJP also repeated its attack on the prime minister over coal block allocations and said he should resign. It demanded cancellation of allocation of 142 coal blocks and special investigative team inquiry.
The party said inter ministerial group and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into irregularities by companies were "an eyewash".
The prime minister, who inaugurated the Emerging Kerala summit here on Wednesday, concluded his two-day visit to the state with the Kerala Union of Working Journalists' function that marked its 50th anniversary, and returned to Delhi Thursday afternoon.