People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 10, 2005
Chatterjee Lays Foundation Stone
Moturu Hanumantha Rao Pranganam
M Venugopala Rao
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee recently laid the foundation stone
of the new building complex of the premier Telugu daily Prajasakti at
Hyderabad. To be named after the paper’s former editor, Comrade Moturu
Hanumantha Rao, the new building would enable the progressive newspaper to face
more effectively the challenges thrown up by the emerging scenario.
the well-attended function at which Andhra Chief Minister
Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was also present, Somnath Chatterjee paid rich
tributes to selfless and socially committed leaders like Comrades S P Sundarayya
and M Hanumantha Rao who guided the progress of Prajasakti during the difficult
formative years and made it what it is today.
the voice of the progressive and revolutionary sections of the Telugu society,
the paper had emerged as one of the most shining examples of a socially
sensitive and responsible daily, articulating the concerns of the working class,
the deprived and the disadvantaged, he said. It had consistently stood for
certain eternal values such as equity, socio-economic justice, fundamental human
rights, etc and not detracted from its core values, Chatterjee said.
through various trials and tribulations, including repressions and restrictions,
during its six and a half decade existence, Chatterjee said Prajasakti had come
out triumphant and continued to take up the causes that inspired its origin,
without compromising on journalistic ethics and the larger national values.
was a tribute to the determination and commitment of the leading figures
associated with the daily, like Comrades Sundarayya and Hanumantha Rao and
several others, who had been an integral part of both the political and the
intellectual sides of the Communist movement,
that Prajasakti survived all odds, succeeded in spreading the message of
the Communist movement and earned a special place in the esteem of the Telugu
people, cutting across all socio-political divide, Chatterjee said.
stressed that a responsive Press committed to the principles of democracy and an
egalitarian society should involve the people in the process of the
socio-economic transformation of the country and help in creating conditions for
opening the pathways to change in various spheres of national life. The
responsibility of the Press, essentially was one of creating awareness among the
people about various national issues and problems, he said.
the imperativeness to strengthen the national fabric and cherished ideal like
democracy, secularism, pluralism, etc, he said
an alert and vigilant Press must make meaningful contribution to the
onerous task. It was the duty of the Press to promote an informed democracy in
accountability and all other components of good governance prevailed.
he said there was a tendency among a section of the media to project partisan
points of view in the name of dissemination of news, which should be wholly
factual and objective. The glory of
the media was in its presentation of the information based on truth, Chatterjee
said lamenting that the basic duty was forgotten by some sections of the Press.
India’s emergence as the largest working democracy in the world, Chatterjee
said when the Constitution-makers provided for a comprehensive list of
fundamental rights, which included the all- important right to freedom of speech
and expression, they were, in fact, laying down the foundation for the freedom
of the Press in the country. This should be cherished, he said, and people
should fight against interference with it as also against its aberrations.
he said, when the founding fathers of the Constitution established other vital
institutions of democracy, there was a well-thought- out scheme behind them,
which postulated that no one would cross the Lakshman Rekha, as laid down in the
Constitution, stressing that the Press also had a vital role in sustaining
the importance of the regional Press, Chatterjee said the language Press could
act as a catalyst for the progress and prosperity of the masses and give a
definitive direction to the onward march of the country.
Identifying journalism as a great mission, and not merely as a
profession, to uphold and promote certain cherished values and loflty ideals,
Chatterjee asserted that it called for commitment, courage and
conviction, as exemplified by the founders of Prajasakti.
have rightly decided to name this building after late Comrade M Hanumantha Rao,
a leading political figure of the State, who was also our distinguished
colleague in Parliament and the long-time editor of this prestigious
newspaper”, Chatterjee said.
to the People’s Polyclinic that is going to be housed within the complex,
Chatterjee said the whole idea of a people’s hospital was something unique and
worthy of emulation by the whole country, especially for areas not having the
benefit of modern medical facilities.
The Chief Minister said it was appropriate that the
new complex was being named after Comrade Hanumantha Rao.
Underscoring that all the pillars of the democracy, legislature,
executive, judiciary and the Press must discharge their responsibilities
in a balanced manner, Reddy said the
Press should be objective in its reporting and whatever it wrote should benefit
that several newspapers were crossing the Lakshman Rekha and publishing
sensational news without ascertaining the facts, he said unlike
such newspapers, Prajasakti had been
pointing out the failures of the government and standing
by the movements of the people and the struggles conducted by the
Communist and Congress parties against the anti-people policies and in the
process, faced many difficulties,
Chief Minister hoped that Prajasakti
would succeed in giving direction to the society and playing its role in the
stages of decisive changes that
would take place in the coming period, wishing that the paper would come still
nearer to the people.
Koratala Satyanarayana, Chairman Prajasakti Sahiti Samstha,
said it was felt appropriate to name the building after Comrade
Hanumantha Rao for the services rendered by him as one of the builders of the
Communist movement in the state, and as a sharp writer and editor of
Prajasakti for 20 years after
re-launching it as a daily on August
the progress of Prajasakti over the
years, Koratala took pride in the fact that the paper had not given up the
tradition of upholding the cause of the masses.
The reason was the strength of its commitment, inspiration of the
movement and the strength of the people, he said. With six editions in the state
and a vast machinery and hundreds of dedicated staff,as a comprehensive
newspaper, Prajasakti had earned a place along with the mainstream media, he
the principles of responsible journalism, Prajasakti
had always been committed to the objectives of democracy, secularism, socialism,
protection of the interests of the common people, social justice and struggle
against imperialism, Koratala said. When socialism received a setback
internationally, when communalism flared up nationally and when the policies of
globalisation became a big danger in the state, Prajasakti fought like a weapon,
with the strength of unflinching
commitment, he said.
the last general elections, Koratala said Prajasakti
stood as the only Telugu newspaper to reflect the public opinion by conducting a
survey in a scientific manner. He thanked the government and the CM for alloting
the land for the complex at an
editor V Srinivasa Rao said it was a people’s newspaper and
the peoplee themselves helped it whenever a programme for its development
was taken up. Prajasakti
was an alternative forum, not a competition to anyone, he said. The editor also
read out messages of goodwill received from several prominent people, including
the former Chief Minister and TDP president, N Chandrababu Naidu, and also greatfully acknowledged donations by several people.
Shabbir Ali, Minister for Information and Public Relations,
also lauded Prajasakti for
working with a commitment to secular values and interests of the farmers,
workers and the poor.
Veteran journalist V R Bommareddy, C Raghavachary, former editor of Visalandhra, I Venkatrao, former chairman of A P Press Academy, and its present chairman D Amar, K Ramachandra Murthy, editor of Andhra Jyoti, and T Ashok, editor of Vartha were on the dais. V Krishnaiah, general manager of Prajasakti, welcomed and news editor S Vinay Kumar proposed a vote of thanks.