Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), one of the premier institutes of journalism in the country, is soon planning to include a chapter about Emergency and its effect on media.
A new chapter titled ‘Emergency: A Dark Phase in Media’ will be included in the section which deals with the history of the press.
“It is important that the new generation knows about what happened in 1975. As a young media person, it is imperative they know what censorship really means, so that it does not happen again,” said KG Suresh, Director General of IIMC.
Suresh termed emergency “a black phase for media”, and said that the change in curriculum was not meant to target any political party or government. He added that the faculty was consulted before and nobody raised a concern.
“Journalists must be prepared to not let anybody encroach on their freedom. We always talk about freedom of speech. The upcoming journalists must know that there were a handful of media institutions that stood up in 1975, and the rest had surrendered,” he said.
Ironically, India’s current position in 2017 World Press Freedom Index is not very good. In a survey of 179 countries, India is ranked at 136.
Besides the chapter on Emergency, a new chapter on Indian history will be included for visiting students. Since 1969, 1600 journalists from 127 countries have visited IIMC for a 17-week program, which has been built on the lines of British Chevening and Fulbright scholarship programs.
“When we have a program for journalists from abroad, we must also teach them something about our culture and history. The Course titled Discovering India is a compact module of around 15 lectures on India — its history, economy, polity, foreign policy, defense and strategic vision,” Suresh said.