New Delhi: As India celebrates National Press Day on Friday (November 16), the nation’s politicians and eminent personalities have come forward to shun fake news and have urged the media to remain unbiased and impartial

Earlier in May on World Press Day, India slipped two points on the World Press Freedom Index ranking, from 136 to 138. India ranked one spot below Myanmar (137) and one spot above Pakistan (139).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that a free press makes for a stronger democracy and urged the citizens to reaffirm their ‘commitment to support a free press’.

“A free press makes a stronger democracy! Today on #WorldPressFreedomDay, let us reaffirm our commitment towards steadfastly supporting a free press. It is the multiplicity of ideas and human expression that makes us more vibrant as a society,” he had tweeted.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday appealed to the media to be fearless and report the truth.

"On the occasion of #NationalPressDay, my best wishes to all #journalists. The #media is the fourth pillar of #democracy and must always report the truth," the CM tweeted.

She quoted an extract of a famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore and said "May these words inspire you, 'where the mind is without fear and the head is held high'..."

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “Today on #NationalPressDay, I convey my best wishes to all journalists. A responsible, objective media is one of the most important institutions for nation-building. My greetings to the Press Council of India as well, committed to maintaining ethics & high standards in print media”.

National Press Day is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.