KOLKATA: Claiming that the newspaper industry is going through an era of "degeneration", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted on Wednesday that independence of media should not be curtailed.
Banerjee sought to know if a democracy would be able to function the way it should, if newspapers are not allowed to write freely.
"Media independence cannot be curtailed. The newspaper industry, however, is going through an era of degeneration," she said, inaugurating a museum set up to honour the life and works of Barun Sengupta, founder-editor of Bengali daily 'Bartaman'.
Reminiscing how Sengupta, who died in 2008, had guided her during her formative years as a politician, Banerjee said the senior journalist maintained good rapport with common people and political outfits of different ideologies.
"Nowadays, everyone just shuts up once a directive arrives from Delhi, but those days the situation was very different," she said.
The chief minister said the state government would provide necessary assistance if a journalism institute is set up on the sprawing premises where the museum stands.