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Do not stifle voices of dissent, VC tells scribes

Staff Reporter

Call to promote equal participation in decision-making



Media talk:Calicut University Vice-Chancellor Anwar Jahan Zuberi inaugurating a seminar on ‘Media and voices of dissent' on the university campus on Saturday.

MALAPPURAM: Journalists should ensure that voices of dissent do not get stifled in the media, Calicut University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Anwar Jahan Zuberi has said.

Inaugurating a seminar on ‘Media and voices of dissent' on the university campus here on Saturday, Prof. Zuberi said when voices of dissent are not allowed in a liberal society, it would tantamount to destroying the essence of democracy.

The seminar was organised by the Mass Communication Alumni Association (MASCAA) of Calicut University as part of its anniversary programmes titled ‘Communion 2011.'

Dissent, even when it is wrong, would stimulate the thinking. This can lead us to better and more creative solutions, she said adding that freedom of expression and independent journalism were vital pillars of Indian democracy.

Freedom of expression should involve positive measures to promote equal participation in decision-making through transparency and open government, she said.

“While people dislike the dissenter, and will give him or her no credit for the influence on their thinking, they are more likely to read more information on all sides of the issue. They will use more strategies in solving problems and they come up with better solutions,” Prof. Zuberi said.

When you have no dissent, she said, there is a tendency to disregard opposing information, rush to judgment and to assume unanimity even when it does not exist.

K.P. Rajeevan, senior correspondent, All India Radio, presided over the function. N. Muhammadali, Head, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, welcomed the gathering.

Senior journalists V.E. Balakrishnan and Roy Mathew spoke.

Hari S. Kartha, editor, Janmabhumi; M.N. Karassery, academic and social critic; J. Devika of the Centre for Developmental Studies, Thiruvananthapuram; and T.P. Rajeevan, writer and Public Relations Officer, University of Calicut; spoke on the topic.

M.P. Prasant, journalist, moderated the seminar. Mr. Prasant was elected president of MASCAA. N. Sajeed, producer, Educational Multimedia Research Centre, University of Calicut, was elected secretary.

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