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National symbols need to be respected, says govt

September 10, 2012 17:45 IST

Maintaining that the United Progressive Alliance government is not in favour of "censorship but self-regulation" by the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Monday said certain ground rules for respect of national symbols have to be followed by every Indian citizen.

"UPA government is not for censorship but for self-regulation and in the last three years as an I & B Minister, we have promoted self-regulation at every step," she told mediaopersons in New Delhi.

She was responding to queries following the arrest of cartoonist Assem Trivedi in Mumbai for allegedly posting seditious content on his website.

Trivedi was arrested in Mumbai on Saturday on the basis of a complaint filed in December. He was produced before a court which remanded him to police custody till September 16.

A member of Republican Party of India, Amit Katarnayea, had filed a complaint against Trivedi that he had put up banners mocking Indian constitution during Anna Hazare's rally held last year at the Bandra Kurla Complex. It was also alleged that he had put the obscene content on his website.

Soni said though the Constitution ensures freedom of expression, it also lays down that every citizen must respect the national symbols.

"There are certain ground rules which we all have to follow. When the Constitution ensures freedom of expression to each one of us, it also lays down that we as Indian citizens respect all national symbols which represent the Indian nation," she added.

The I&B minister favoured a harmony between creativity and sense of respect for national symbols.

"We have to bring our right to expression, right to creativity and our respect for national symbols in a harmonious way," she said.

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