New Delhi: Freedom of speech and expression are non negotiable entities and there is a need to find a "golden mean" between this freedom and reasonable restrictions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Friday said. "I think at that at the end of the day there will be anybody who will say that the freedom of speech or expression is negotiable by any stretch of imagination. That is a complete non sequitur," Tewari said.
"The debate really is not about reasonable restrictions ... The debate is about finding the golden mean. To what extent the freedom of speech and expression extend and where do reasonable restrictions take over. And who ultimately will police that space of reasonable restrictions." He was speaking at a function organised by the Press Council of India (PCI) to mark National Press Day.
"Over the last one decade, technological innovation has been so rapid that I don't that either regulation or human ingenuity has been able to keep pace with it. There is a whole new paradigm in the social media space which has emerged whereby everybody has the ability to be a broadcaster at time with responsibility, at times without restraint," Tewari said.
He, however, added that media itself was also conscious of the need to self correct and stressed that self regulation was the way forward. "The media itself is cognisant of the need to self correct, if at all there are aberrations which do creep in the discourse. I do firmly believe that self regulation is really the way forward," he said.
"That is why over the past eight years the policy of the UPA government has been an essay at persuasion rather than an attempt at regulation. This course, we intend to stay the course," he added. Tewari said that the government could assist the self regulation mechanisms for the media but had no intention of playing the big brother.