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Role of Freedom of Press, Speech and Political Parties in Democracy

In a democracy, the press should have full freedom to criticize the government because press acts like a beacon to the government.

The press brings the difficulties of the people to the notice of the government and it gives useful suggestions for removing them.

The press makes the people aware of the policies of the government. In this way the press is an important link between the government and the people.

The press should be impartial and it should ciritice the government for its faulty policies.

World Press Freedom Day events highlight changes needed in ...

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The press plays an important role in removing the drawbacks of the government. The ministers of civil servants, who indulge in corrupt policies are criticised by the press for their anti-social activities and thus it checks them from doing so.

It checks the autocratic policies of the government. It is also the duty of the press to adopt a code of conduct and the policy of constructive criticism of the government. The government can impose adequate restrictions on the press in case the latter tries to misuse its powers.

The press is quite free in our country, but in order to check the misuse of its powers, our government imposed certain restrictions on it during the emergency. The duty of the press is not only to criticise the policies of the government, but to help it in the nation-building programmes also.

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For this, it should give a wide publicity to national plans to make them popular. It is also the duty of the press of popularize the policies of the government and to get public co­operation for them. For this purpose our government has formulated certain national policies and it is the duty of the press to take them to the people.

There is no gap between the government and the people in a democracy, because the government is the representative of the people. It is, therefore, the duty of the press to create co­operation between the two, without which no national policy can become successful. The development and future of the country depends upon these plans. The press has thus a vital role to play in this direction. The responsibility of the press does not stop here.

It should make people conscious, to enthuse them for public affairs and to create proper public opinion through articles and editorials. The press also gives the latest news to the people. In short the press acts as a lighthouse both for the government and for the people.

Besides the importance of the press in a democracy, the right to speech, to form associations, to organize peaceful processions and to arrange meetings, is no less important. Through this media, the people get the opportunity to express their views and bring these to the notice of the government.

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Lord Bryce has rightly said. “Parties are inevitable. No free country has been without them. No one has shown how representative government could be worked without them. They bring order out of a chaos of multitude of voters. If parties cause some evils, they avert and mitigate others.”

MacIver has said, “Without political parties, democracy degenerates into totalitarianism, there can be no unified statement of principle, no orderly evolution of policy, no regular resort to the constitutional device of parliamentary elections, nor of the course of any of the recognised institutions by means of which a party seeks to gain or maintain power.”

Where there is only one party, dictatorship is inevitable there and democracy cannot flourish. This was the position in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Russia, China, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and East Germany previously.

After that the situation changed rapidly. Political parties are important for two reasons. Firstly, through political parties people get the opportunity to elect their government Secondly, political parties warn the people about the danger of the other parties’ programmes and policies. They place their programme before the voters and with their support try to win the elections.

The party that wins the election forms its government and other parties act as opposition. Since the majority party forms the government, the functioning of the government becomes easy. The ruling party can easily enact laws and get the budget passed by the Parliament with the help of the majority. The Opposition party keeps a check on the ruling party by criticising its faulty policies.

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