New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday made a strong pitch for “reasonable restrictions” on freedom of speech and expression to maintain peace and harmony across the country.

“It is imperative to strike a fine balance between freedom of speech and expression and reasonable restrictions so as to maintain public order and integrity and sovereignty of India,” Jaitley said here after paying homage to Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first information and broadcasting minister.

Delivering a memorial lecture on Sardar Patel, the finance minister touched upon various sensitivities prevalent in a multicultural society like India.

Jaitley, who also holds the portfolio of information and broadcasting, said free speech was an aid to good governance in view of the changes taking place in the media landscape and the scope and content of issues related to right to freedom of speech and expression.

The lecture on ‘Is it possible to impose reasonable restriction on freedom of speech and expression given today’s media landscape’ was organised by Prasar Bharti.