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journalists

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It’s not only through journalism but also through socio political service we have to contribute healthily to the society and ensure that the poor, underprivileged and the oppressed sections of the society get their due and are delivered adequately their due.

Journalism in India has undoubtedly become a challenging task and it is really distresng to note that more and more journalists are becoming the target of anti social elements, criminals and sometimes atthe hands of the prevailing political system at the helm.

These were the views of the former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat while addressing a gathering of distinguished guests as chief guest at the first Signature award function and seminar on the subject titled JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBLITIES organised by Shail Savera Newspaper at India International Centre on 6th January 2018. Harish Rawat said that there isan urgent need to devise a law for the safety and security of the scribes confronting challenges and threats to their lives while performing their professional duties and subsequent provision for stringent punishment to the guilty including arrangement for adequate financial compensation for the family of the deceased scribes.

The eminent literateur and writer Pankaj Bisht who was the special guest of the function dwelt at length on the speedily killing of the small and medium newspapers of the country and said that the government of the day will have to ensure that newspapers at the grassroot levels are strongly supported financially instead of discouraging them as they are the real source of grass root information delivery and sustenance for them and their respective families. He also expressed his serious concern over the increasing attacks on the journalists of the country while performing their duties and the subsequent complacense of the authorities and police in nailing the culprits. He said: for a strong and viable democracy free media and free expression is inevitable and any attempt to scuttle the voice of the fourth estate will have serious repercussions and implications.

The senior journalist Umakant Lakhera said the way mediamen are being threatened in their line of duty and those working in print and electronics media being made unemployed, forced to resign speaks of the unambiguous fact that the big meda houses and the government in power through their unholy nexus are hell bent upon squeezing the voice of free expression and writing which isa dangerous trend and should be dealt with severely by the united repultion of the media community. Sr journalist Arvind Kumar Singh said unless or until the media does not become the face of the poor, under privileged and the marginalised class of the country including those living in the rural areas of the country we can’t do justice with our profession.

The president of Uttarakhand Journalist Forum Sunil Negi expressed his serious concern over the deteriorating conditions of the safety and security of the journalists and revealed how shockingly over 70 journalists have been killed during the last ten years and not a single case solved with 431 incidents of brutal attacks on the journalistic fraternity of the country. He urged upon the governmental agencies to devise a law for a minimum punishment of ten years for the attackers on journalists and rigrous life imprisonment and capital punishment for the culprits of rarest of the rare cases.

Girish Khadayat of Zee news spoke at length as to how while working in electronic mediathey are harassed to express their voice and talent and hoed that the channels become mote poor and people friendly than focussing on glamour and celibrities. He said the a journalist should be fearless, vocal and courageous. Priyanka Sharma of AAJ Tak said that the day a newsperson or journalist or a politician develop immense intimacy it would lead one to think that there is an unholy nexus between both of them.

She added to be a good journalist one should be critical of the government policies of healthy grounds with unbiased and honest perspective. Vipnesh Mathur of India newssaid that a journalist’s honesty and impeccable integrity in profession is must to gain and win the confidence of the viewers. There are several regulations in performance of duties as an anchor in private channels she added but if one is courageous and have the guts to counter the injustice one can prove to be a good journalist.

Sr Advocate Supreme Court and former President AMU ZK Faizan the mindset of the people have to be changed as in democracy the ultimate power lies with the people of any nation. The journalists do have their problems but chief responsibility of the fourth estate as the torch bearers of the society would be only vindicated when they contribute immensely in changing the peoples’ mind set as the society is rotten due to various socio political and criminal ills.

Harish Awasthi , national spokesperson of AAP said that politicians are the usual targets of journalists here as in journalism too there are several instances of yellow journalism and existence of power brokers under the guise of being scribes. Sr journalist Ved Vilas Uniyal said : having good and healthy relations with politicians is not bad but becoming a pro journalist of a particular ideology, party or a political leader in performance of one’s journalistic duty particularly while filing stories is highly derogatory and unacceptable.

Every journalist should ensure that he or she is free, fair, imartial and unbiased whole pursuing this noble ethical profession. Sr Journalist Abhishekh bachchan and Umakant Lakhera were presented bouquets and shawls on this occasion while 7 journalists of eminence Sunil Negi, Arvind Kumar Singh, Ved Uniyal, Vyomesh Jugran, Priyanka sharma, Vipnesh Mathur, Girish Khadayat were felicitated by first signature Award. The programme was ably anchored by Ajay Bisht.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

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The union minister of state for external affairs and MOS North east ( Independent charge) General VK Singh today felicitated three senior journalists namely Sunil Negi, Ved Vilas Uniyal and Manoj Ishtwal in a glittering function of Uttarakhand titled Uttarakhand Maha Kauthig amid the presense of thousands of people from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Uttarakhand and the NCR at Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. These journalists were honoured for free, fair and fearless journalism in there respective journalistic career spanning several decades.

Senior journalists Ved Vilas Uniyal, Manoj Ishtwal and Sunil Negi has written unlimited numbers of articles on socio political and cultural issues of the country and Uttarakhand and have also authored several books like Dekhi Peed Pahad ki by Ved Uniyal and its english translation by Sunil Negi titled Havoc in Heaven with two editions of Uttaranchal Who’s Who, 800 pages carrying the profiles of over 800 prominent and distinguished people of UK. Manoj Ishtwal is credited with doing research work and writing tremendously on socio cultural and political issues of Uttarakhand during his career spanning three decades.

Apart from incessantly writing on issues of socio pokitical relevance and significance all these journalists have been tremendously contributive in creating awareness in the society through their creative writings and as torch bearers of the society. While president of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum Sunil Negi has been too active socio politically right from his student days and extremely contributive in separate Uttarakhand movement apart from being in active journalism for three decades, Manoj Ishtwal and Ved Uniyal had been fully involved in hard core journalism while working in Jansatta, Amar Ujala, Nepal TV etc for more than three decades.

The union minister of state for external affairs General VK Singh while heartily congratulating all of them while presenting the awards for constructive, free and fearless journalism hoped that they will continue to maintain the highest standards and ethics of the fourth estate considered to be an important pillar of parliamentary democracy. It may be recalled that Ved Vilas Uniyal is currently serving in Punjab Kesari Uttarakhand where as Manoj Istwal is running his own news portal Himalayandiscover.com. Sunil Negi is scribing as a freelancer and also writing extensively for news portals, newsviewsnework.com and samcharhub.com respectively. Thousands of people were present on this occasion followed by a grand cultural evening.

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JUST four days after the point blank range despicable murder of a hard core RSS volunteer Ravindra Gosain in Ludhiana, Punjab, another shocking incident of a brutal murder of a RSS activist and a journalist shot at frompoint blank range, may be a stringer with Dainik Jagran, a popular hindi daily of Uttar Pradesh, namely Rajesh Mishra  early morning 7.15 am at village Brahmpura in Ghazipur district has come to light as being reported by news feeds and agencies.

The bike borne miscreants supposed to have between identified by the police, pumped six bullets on the deceased Rajesh Mishra and killed him brutally on the spot leaving behind a wave of terror and sensitivity. The deceased’s brother who was also present at the building material shop owned by them at the time of the incident, was also injured . The police says that this may be the case of a personal enmity and the murderors would be in the police net shortly as they have been identified. The incident of this broad day light killing sent shock wave across Ghaziur and  UP where killings have become the order of the day despite umpteen claims by the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath of making the largest state of the country crime free. Just four days ago in a same fashion three bike borne criminals killed a renowned RSS volunteer in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Few days ago the BJP chief Amit Shah was in Kerala on the ocassion of the finishing leg of BJP’s Jan Raksha Yatra blaming the ruling CPM government of the southern state for alleged engineering the killings of RSS workers. It may be recalled that during the last two months about five journalists have been killed in various parts of the country namely Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, KP Singh in Amritsar, Punjab, Mishra in Bihar, Shantanu Bhowmik in Tripura and now Rajesh Mishra in Ghazipur. During the last decade about 75 journalists have been killed in various parts of the country and more than 140 injured with the police and law enforcing agencies literally doing nothing to bring the culprits to justice.

Journalists from all over the country have gathered in New Delhi and various state capitals of the country on 2nd October on Gandhi Jayanti and formed human chains to protest against the killings of scribes and also handed over the memorandum to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The government of Punjab declared the monetary compensation of Rupees five lakhs for the family of the deceased and assured a job for a family member of late Gusain.

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On the day of Gandhi Jayanti, 2nd October the Press Club of India of which I am too a member, is organisising a protest demonstration and a forming a human chain to register the opposition of the entire media fraternity and right thinking people towards the recent obnoxious and anguishing incidents of despicable murders of journalists across the country.

The protest demonstration of the entire mediaPCI TO FORM HUMAN CHAIN AGAINST LYNCHING OF JOURNALISTS ON GANDHI JAYANTI 2ND OCT fraternity of Delhi in which various media organisations and its members would participate would take place at the Press Club of India precincts, Raisina Road at 1.PM sharp to be addressed by senior veteran journalists and important figures of the media fraternity. The PCI has always been in the forefront to always take the lead in registering its protest and opposition in matters pertaining to unfortunate killings and attack on journalists and demanding immediateand forthright penalisation of the culprits.

It has recently been the very first responsible organisation to convene the protest meeting at the PCI precints to register its condemnation on the arbitrary CBI raids on the NDTV premises all over the country compounded with a large attended protest meeting against the brutal murders of outspoken progressive journalists Gauri Lankesh of Bengaluru and Shantanu Bhowmick demanding expeditious action in bringing the obnoxious culprits to justice. 2nd October’s protest demonstration and formation of the human chain is a continuous exercise to keep the state and central governments aware and mobilised about their negligence and ignorance in not securing the lives of journalists nationally.

It really disturbing and shocking to note that during the last ten years amongst the 70 working journalists who have been killed while on line of duty, except a very negligible few none of the culprits have been brought to justice despite tall claims of the successive governments at the state and the centre. In addition to these protest demonstrations it organises seminars and discussions on issues of national significance anf matters pertaing to media freedom and rights. Programmes pertaining to book releases and lectures of various foreign dignitories on Indo foreign relations are also organised from time to time. The Press Club of India also organises obituaries of its veteran member journalists and honour the veteran journalists from time to time. The PCI’s standing in solidarity gesture with journalists in distress is always laudable.

Uttarakhand Journalists forum demands a CBI inquiry in all these murders and adequate financial compensation to the bereaved families.

SUNIL NEGI, MEMBER PRESS CLUB OF India and PRESIDENT, Forum of Uttarakhand Journalists