“The greatest threat to freedom is the

absence of criticism.”

-Wole Soyinka

 

In December 1993, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed the World Press Freedom Day. Since then, 3 May of every year is marked as World Press Freedom Day. Throughout history, the press has served the purpose of the watchdog of any society. All democratic nations believe in the idea of freedom of the media and free speech. This day reminds us all of the sacrifices that the journalist give in the line of duty while attempting to bring an accurate picture of a story before the public.

However, in this “age of anger,” we are living in, even the so-called democracies are keen on gagging the press freedom and free speech under the pretext of national security. Many thinkers, especially, Vaclav Havel had warned the world long ago against the temptations of falling for the “end of history.” He was amongst the few commentators who saw with clarity that the post-totalitarian society would be no different than the ones they replaced. And his words are haunting us.

Besides, if we think of the South Asian countries, especially India and Pakistan, the freedom of the press is severely compromised nowadays. While the Prime Minister says that Pakistan’s media is amongst the freest media in the world, independent sources are concerned about the principles of a free press and speech.