Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said there is nothing to be worried about the Digital Security Bill 2018 as it will not gag the voice of the journalist community.
The premier came up with this assurance while delivering the valedictory speech of the 22nd session of the 10th parliament.
“I’ve seen several noted editors, journalists and wise persons of society giving their opinions against it. They’re only concerned about whether their voice is gagged. But their voice has not been gagged,” Hasina told the Jatiya Sangsad.
The Prime Minister said the voice had been gagged they would not have the capability to give opinions.
She said the government must provide security to people and protect society, families and people’s character so that children and young generation do not take the wrong path and the adults do not get addicted (following the misuse of digital devices).
“Considering this aspect, we’ve passed the Digital Security Bill. So, there’s nothing to be worried about it,” Hasina added.
Noting that the interest of any particular group should not be considered here, she said, “Why’re our journalists getting very sensitive and worried? What’s the reason? I think there’s no logic behind it.”
“What we’ve done is for the wellbeing of the country, the nation and the children,” she said.
The Prime Minister said it is very regrettable that some people gave opinions considering their own interest or from the perspective of their own organisations. “They haven’t thought for a single time about the interests of the entire society and the country.”
She said the journalist community only considered the matter of journalism, but journalism should be constructive and accountable to the country and its people, and society.
Journalism will surely not be for increasing conflict and harm to the country or tarnishing its image, Hasina said, adding that such kind of journalism should be practised which will take the country forward and develop confidence among people, not mislead them or create conflicts among them.
She said journalism should not create any confrontational atmosphere or instigate terrorism and militancy.
Noting that there was only one television channel in the country in the past, she said her government first dared allow the private television channels and private radio stations.
Mentioning that there are both merits and demerits of the social networking sites, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as digital devices, Hasina said there are bad impacts of the social media platforms and digital devices everywhere from the family to society. “So, considering this aspect, we think that it’s very essential to ensure security of minor children, students, youths and even elderly people.”
“We’ve built the country as Digital Bangladesh and let people enjoy its benefits and remain away from its bad impacts. With this goal, we’ve passed the Digital Security Bill,” said the Prime Minister.