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MADRAS: Delivering the Presidential address at the Newspaper Editors’ Conference today [Jan 10] Mr. Syed Abdullah Brelvi said that there was nothing in the present political situation in the country to warrant any restrictions on the Press except those necessitated by purely military considerations.

On the contrary, the situation demanded that the Press should be absolutely unfettered to ventilate legitimate grievances, regarding, for instance, the treatment of prisoners and detainees. The Press as a whole, Mr. Brelvi noted, had remained “loyal to the Conference” and to the agreements with Government made by it and the Standing Committee. Provincial Committees and the Central Advisory Committee had not hesitated to take fringe newspapers to task and even to agree to the imposition of drastic penalties in proved cases of default. “This is a record,” said Mr. Brelvi, “of which we may well be proud. ... On the untenable plea of Provincial Autonomy the Government of India has permitted certain provincial Governments to go counter to policies accepted by themselves. Powers of censorship have been used to suppress legitimate exwpression of political opinion, in defiance of the Delhi Agreement. However, we are not dispirited by our bitter experience and we shall not be deterred by it from carrying on our struggle for broadening the basis of our freedom...”

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019