People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 26, 2004
Desher Katha Takes A Leap Forward
ON September 19, Daily Desher Katha, the daily newspaper of the CPI(M)ís Tripura state committee fulfilled its long cherished dream through the inauguration of its five-storey building and switching on to the new colour web off-set printing machine, thus opening up a new vista in giving a voice to the toiling and struggling masses in the state. In a brief inaugural function in the lane housing the Daily Desher Katha Bhvan, adjacent to the CPI(M)ís state committee office at Melarmath, Agartala, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat unveiled the curtain of the Bhavanís name plate amid high applause from hundreds of party leaders, workers, supporters, well-wishers and admirers present at the opening ceremony. Later in the afternoon a hall meeting was held at Agartala Town Hall, followed by a cultural function. The hall meeting was presided over by the partyís state secretary Baidyanath Majumder.
Presided over by Baidyanath Majumder, the inaugural function was attended among others by Prakash Karat, chief minister Manik Sarkar, and Ganashakti editor Narayan Datta.
Expressing his happiness on this occasion, Prakash Karat observed that the Daily Desher Katha has been an integral part of the communist movement in the state. It sincerely depicts the sorrows and joys of the toiling and exploited masses, airs their grievances and helps steer the resentment of the people in a right direction. It did so from its very inception since the 1950s with a different name, as the organ of the undivided Communist Party. Certainly its course was not smooth. It met tremendous odds during the Congress-TUJS coalition regime in the state in 1988-93. Still it stood firm, without compromising on its commitment to the communist ideology and socialist future, Karat said. He then added that the CPI(M) is the only party that runs 6 dailies and about a dozen weeklies in the country, which are engaged in sharpening and augmenting the political consciousness of the countrymen. Likewise, Daily Desher Katha will also exert its best in the state in the coming days, he said with confidence.
Explaining the present national political situation in the hall meeting, Karat said that our three immediate goal, i.e. removal of the RSS controlled NDA government from the centre, formation of a secular government and strengthening of the Left forces, have materialised. Still we have no reason to be content because we all know what the Congress party is. They have no intention to change their pro-bourgeois, pro-landlord policies. The Left forces, of which the CPI(M) forms the biggest contingent, did not lend unconditional support to the UPA government. We expected minimum relief to the people on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). But some of the key ministers, deviating from the CMP, did make attempts to hand over strategic sectors like telecom, airport and insurance to foreign capital. There is no sign of giving relief to the distressed peasants and agricultural workers of the country. Liberalisation and relief cannot go together, because nobody expects foreign capital to work for the progress of our country, Karat remarked.
Urging the people to intensify movement to compel the UPA government to keep on to the right track, Karat warned that if we fail to lead the peopleís anger in a right direction, the communal RSS and BJP would cash in on the situation and they now stick to the communal Hindutva plank more vigorously to recover from the damage they suffered in the last election.
Daily Desher Katha editor Gautam Das, at the outset, congratulated the people who contributed towards raising its building and installation of the sophisticated printing machine to cope with the modern dayís requirement as felt by the party. Briefly narrating the long track traversed by the paper to the present stage, Das expressed its resolve to stick to its goal for transformation of the present class-based exploiting society into an exploitation free socialist society. He sought cooperation and assistance of all sections of the people to make the paper the best, not only in its complexion but also in contents.
Addressing the hall meeting, Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar respectfully remembered the workers who worked in the party paper since its inception and have either retired due to old age or passed away after massively contributing to the advancement of the paper. Actually it was they who laid the foundation of this multi-storey Daily Desher Katha Bhavan, as publication of the party paper in their time was a much tougher task than it is nowadays. Without their invaluable contribution, the Daily Desher Katha would not have been able to improve to its present stage, Sarkar opined.
Certainly, Daily Desher Katha in its present state is the outcome of a relentless democratic mass movement. With the advancement of the mass movement, the party organ requires to adopt modern technology to cope with the need of the movement. Still we have no room for complacency. Though we enjoy support of the majority people, a large section of the masses are still sided with the vested interests. We have to win them over. For this purpose, the Daily Desher Katha workers must have to shoulder a greater responsibility by highlighting the peopleís burning problems, Manik Sarkar said.
Sincerely greeting the Daily Desher Katha on behalf of the West Bengal state unit of the party as well as the daily Ganashakti, its editor Narayan Datta said that with the tremendous advancement of information technology at present, it is imperative for any party organ to adopt the latest technology to compete with the other publications most of whom are rabidly anti-communist. Citing the expansion of print media in West Bengal, Datta said the latest printing technology is making an inroad even into the subdivisions. Moreover, capitalists are expanding their media not only with the aim of profit. Their main purpose is to lead an anti-communist tirade to dislodge the Left Front government in the state. Tripura being a Left ruled state, here also the situation is no different. In the face of the wave of anti-communist negative journalism, the organ of a communist party acquires immense importance, Datta asserted. He, on behalf of Ganashakti, ensured all assistance to the Daily Desher Katha in future.
Baidyanath Majumder, in his concluding address, briefly narrated the formative days of the communist party in the state, which was once under Comilla district committee, now in Bangladesh. He stated that in the mid-forties, the literacy movement among the tribal masses, beginning from Khowai, spread like a wildfire in the whole state. Then it was felt that without any ideology no sustainable movement could be carried on. Thus, in 1951, a weekly paper in the name of Tripurar Katha was brought out but it had to cease publication in 1962, when most of the party leaders were behind the bar. In 1965, it resumed publishing as a weekly in the name of Desher Dak, which was renamed as Desher Katha in 1970. The present Daily Desher Katha started from August 15, 1979, and completed its 25 years journey on August 14 this year, Majumder said.
Unlike any other print media, our party daily has a commitment to the Marxist ideology, the ideology that is in the common menís interest, that is anti-imperialist and anti-war ideology, and is the ideology of worldwide solidarity of proletariat. Certainly we shall carry forward the cause of the toiling people. But that does not mean that other print media have no responsibility in this regard at the present juncture of imperialist drive towards a unipolar world. While inviting constructive criticism based on facts, Majumder appealed to media persons to make an introspection as to whether they are playing their due role in the national and international spheres. He urged upon the media persons to come forward for the development of the state and sink the ideological differences of whatever kind. He also sought cooperation of all sections of the people so that Daily Desher Katha could become the true mouthpiece of the people.
CPI(M) Central Committee member Aghore Debbarma also addressed the hall meeting. (INN)