Speech by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India after presenting Pratidin Achievers Awards 2017, instituted by Sadin Pratidin Group, in Guwahati, Assam on December 03, 2017.

Guwahati, Assam | December 3, 2017

I am extremely pleased to participate in this function and present the ‘Achievers Awards’ instituted by the Sadin Pratidin Group, which publishes a daily, a weekly tabloid and a women’s magazine and operates a popular TV channel.

I must compliment the Pratidin Group for instituting the awards to recognize the achievements of individuals from different professions. Such awards will not only motivate the recipients to scale greater heights but will also inspire others to excel in their respective fields. Conferring awards and lauding the achievements of individuals or organizations will create a competitive spirit and help in promoting excellence.

I am happy that the media group has not confined the awards to Assam alone and has conferred them upon achievers from across the North East. That indeed should be the spirit in appreciating the work of talented people.

Friends, Assam and the rest of North Eastern States are known for their rich culture, traditions, literature, folk arts and of course the breathtaking scenic locales. The people of these States are hugely talented and hardworking and have contributed in no small measure to the cultural mosaic and development of the country.

Representing diverse fields, the awardees have not only done themselves proud but the entire North Eastern region and the country with their achievements. They have once again demonstrated the vast richness of talent available in this region from literature to social service. My special compliments to each of the awardees.

While appreciating Pratidin Group for recognizing excellence in different fields, I would also appeal to such media houses to conduct campaigns and competitions on issues such as Swachh Bharat to promote awareness on cleanliness and sanitation. May be, its TV channel must encourage the cleanest mohalla or locality by giving wide coverage. Such promotional coverage will not only help in creating awareness but also inspire others to follow suit. Cleanliness should become the top priority for individuals, communities, NGOs and Governments for the country to become fully ‘Swachh’ by October 2nd, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Awareness should also be created on fighting various challenges confronting the nation such as growing atrocities on women, dangers of drug and alcohol addiction, casteism, religious fundamentalism, corruption, illiteracy and terrorism. Increasing depiction of violence, vulgarity and obscenity in cinema is another area of concern which needs to be highlighted by the media.

I would also like to appeal to the media to avoid sensationalism and report news without coloring with views. Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency in the newsrooms of the print and electronic media to sensationalize isolated incidents while relegating real hard news to the background. In the long run, this will not only cause damage to the credibility of media but will harm democracy itself as media will not be able to perform its role of an independent watchdog.

Therefore, friends, media must always be free, fair and objective to champion the cause of the underdogs.

With the famous Kamakahya temple, Kaziranga National Park, Tawang monastery, the mighty Brahmaputra and several other attractive locations, Assam has great tourism potential and I must compliment Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for taking up various initiatives to promote the State.

My best wishes to all the awardees.