People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 52

December 27, 2009

Journalists Demand Media Commission, New Wage Board


ON December 18, two journalist organisations raised the demand of institution of a media commission, based on experts, to look into the working conditions in the media and all other aspects in the era of globalisation. The unanimous demand came a joint meeting in remembrance of Kashmiri Lal Kapur, a veteran journalist and leader of the all-India newspaper employees� movement, who expired on December 14, 2009. Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) and the All India Newspaper Employees Federation (AINEF) were the organisations that organised this remembrance meeting.

One notes that for the first time in over two decades, all the major national unions of journalists, press workers and all major Delhi press unions have unanimously resolved to hold a joint national march to parliament on their common demands and to press unitedly for a media commission. The call for a united front on common issues, it was resolved, would be the most befitting tribute to late Mr K L Kapur, a gentle colossus who guided the newspaper workers� movement along with late K L Kolhatkar, late Madan Phadnis and late M K Ramamurthy, among others.

DUJ president S K Pande presided over the meeting. Those who addressed it  included M S Yadav (secretary general, Confederation of Newspapers & News Agencies Employees Organisation), N K Trikha (president, National Union of Journalists), AINEF vice president Santosh Kumar, lawyer and AINEF leader M C Narsimhan, K Vikram Rao (president, Indian Federation of Working Journalists, IFWJ), Indian Journalists Union (IJU) president Suresh Akhouri, Indian Express Employees Union president Madan Talwar, Times of India Employees Union general secretary Roopchand, Hindustan Times Employees Union general secretary Javed Faridi, UNI Workers Union general secretary Rajesh Kumar, and AITUC leaders D L Sachdeva and H Mahadevan.

The meeting recalled late K L Kapur�s sterling qualities and firm grip over the newspaper industry for over five decades and the fact that he spearheaded the movement that led to the formation of a wage board for the non-journalist employees in the industry in 1963-64. The resolution recorded that his whole life was dedicated to the press workers� movement and the All India Newspaper Employees Federation besides the tasks of uniting the journalists and press workers. As a tribute to him, it was resolved to rally in unison for a media commission and a vibrant wage board at the earliest and launch common struggles based on unity and more unity.

The resolution moved by the DUJ president was unanimously approved by all leaders present in the meeting along with the late K L Kapur�s family. Messages were received by the DUJ and the AINEF from the International Federation of Journalists, Subodh Bose (veteran journalist and West Bengal Newspaper Employees Union�s leader) and other union colleagues from Andhra, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. (INN)