M A I N   N E W S

World wants India to succeed
but bottlenecks are within: PM
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Manmohan Singh on The Tribune
I have been a loyal reader of The Tribune all my life. It is now a habit that I see no reason to give up.

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Like my morning cup of tea and my morning walk! There is no better way of starting a day than getting your favourite newspaper.

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I cannot imagine life without a morning dose of The Tribune! Even when I lived in distant lands, I would make sure that The Tribune was delivered to me.

I am happy to know that The Tribune is celebrating its 125th anniversary on September 24, 2005 at Chandigarh.

The Tribune was one of the leading newspapers during the freedom movement, which carried the message to the people and ignited the spark which ultimately led to Independence. The nation today stands at a time in history, when all have the mission of lifting those of our fellow citizens living below the poverty line to a good life. This newspaper with its nationalist track record can once again inspire the people of the country for this mission and the mission of a developed India.

I extend my warm greetings and felicitations to all those associated with The Tribune and wish the celebrations all success.

Chandigarh, September 24
“The world wants India to succeed.” This was stated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, here today while inaugurating the 125th anniversary celebrations of The Tribune.

Unlike some of his predecessors who used to blame external agencies for any internal problem in the country, Dr Manmohan Singh was candid enough to acknowledge that the bottlenecks were not external, rather they were internal.

The media had an important role in shaping public opinion and attitudes so that these were in step with economic evolution. “The modernisation of the mind must accompany the modernisation of the economy”, he said.

Expressing concern over the sharp increase in female foeticide in Punjab, Dr Manmohan Singh called upon the media to play its due role in influencing public opinion so that liberal values were reinforced in the minds of “our children and grandchildren”.

Terming the menace as a “blot on the name of the valiant and gallant people”, he said the Punjabi “is proud of his son as much as he is of his daughter. Our daughters have contributed as much to the glory of Punjab as our sons.” He was hopeful that the media would take up in a big way the crusade for gender empowerment and for the fair treatment of the fairer sex.

Expressing his conviction about the country’s rapid progress on the material front, the Prime Minister said we must make similar progress on the intellectual front as well. “I have asked Mr Sam Pitroda and Dr Pushp Bhargava to give leadership to the Knowledge Commission to give us ideas on how we can strengthen out knowledge base. This programme cannot be just a programme of building new institutions. It must also be one of shaping new attitudes, of instilling greater curiosity in the minds of our children and of reinforcing respect for the core values of our Constitution and our Republic.”

Revealing that he had been a loyal reader of the newspaper all his life, he said, “It is now a habit that I see no reason to give up. I cannot imagine life without a morning dose of The Tribune. Even when I lived in distant lands, I would make sure that The Tribune was delivered to me.”

Dr Manmohan Singh recalled how he used to contribute to the columns of The Tribune when he started his career in Chandigarh.

Acknowledging the competition the print media was facing from the electronic media, the Prime Minister, however, said he could not imagine that a newspaper could ever be replaced. However, he cautioned that newspapers could not be “mere platforms of entertainment and gossip... they cannot be mere purveyors of prejudice and petulance. They must have a larger purpose. Above all, they must contribute to a nation’s intellectual vibrancy.”

He said he was delighted to be present at the anniversary function “because The Tribune is edited by my friend, Mr H.K. Dua, and is run by a Trust of most eminent and patriotic men for whom I have great affection and regard”. He said any Trust should be proud on having trustees of the calibre of Justice R.S. Pathak, Justice S.S. Sodhi, Dr R.P. Bambha, Mr R.S. Talwar and Mr N.N. Vohra.

As if replying to those who criticise The Tribune for being moderate, Dr Manmohan Singh recalled the objectives of the paper’s founders published in its inaugural editorial in February 1881. He reminded the audience that the editorial headlined, “About Ourselves”, boldly declared that The Tribune had no pet theories to maintain and no personal interest to serve; and it believed that public good was advanced more by charity and moderation than by rancor and harsh words.

He said during the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi often came to the defence of The Tribune’s editors like Kalinath Ray and Surendranath Ghosh when they annoyed the British authorities with their defiant writing. “More recently we have all admired the professionalism, wisdom and courage of such eminent editors as Prem Bhatia, V.N. Narayanan, Hari Jaisingh and, of course, H.K. Dua”.

Dr Manmohan Singh said today The Tribune had acquired for itself an “enviable position as the window to northern India. In this capacity, The Tribune has a national and a global role and mission to play.” He recalled how rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the partition, a traumatised people worked hard to rebuild their homes, their lives and their livelihoods. “I salute the enterprise and dedication of the people of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir”.

He expressed the hope that with the peace process picking up in Jammu and Kashmir, the state would continue to make progress under “the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed”.


Strengthening India our aim: H.K. Dua
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Tribune will support all policies that are aimed at making India a great nation. At the same time, it reserves the right to criticise where necessary.

Stating this during the inauguration of the 125th anniversary celebrations of The Tribune here today, the Editor-in-Chief, Mr H.K. Dua, said throughout its existence, the newspaper had stood for democracy and a plural society where no one was discriminated against for the reason of his birth. He said The Tribune was opposed to the misuse of religion for politics, casteism, criminalisation of politics and corruption.

Mr Dua said during the past 125 years, The Tribune had been a witness to momentous events. It reported on the two World Wars, the growth of nationalism in India, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Quit India Movement, the dawn of Independence, the Partition of the subcontinent and many more historic events which shaped the history of modern India.

“Despite its ups and downs, The Tribune always held its head high,” the Editor-in-Chief said “Since the birth of independent India, the paper’s nation-building efforts had been relentless as the country went ahead, arming itself with the constitution, parliamentary democracy, and independent judiciary and the right to free expression which, in effect, means the freedom of the Press,” he added.

He said The Tribune had not failed to exercise this right even under difficult circumstances. “We are not afraid to criticise wherever necessary. We are not shy of praising where it is due,” he remarked.

“The Tribune has been a part of life for most of us here,” he said. “Whether visible or not, some of our ideas may have been shaped by the events reported in The Tribune and the ideas disseminated by this paper over the decades”, he said.

Delving into the early days of The Tribune, Mr Dua said the newspaper’s founder, Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, wanted to make his contribution to the national cause even if it involved personal sacrifice. He thought that there had to be an answer to the Civil and Military Gazette, which was the mouthpiece of the British raj. “The vision of Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, the ideas of the Renaissance movement, particularly the idea of freedom that was at a nascent stage, brought about the birth of The Tribune,” he said.

Over the years, Mr Dua said, The Tribune had stood for the people of India. As the idea of freedom grew in strength, The Tribune also grew and earned the love and affection of readers, which it still enjoyed. He also read out a message received from the President of India on the occasion.


A secular voice of the people, says Justice Pathak
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Over a century and a quarter ago, The Tribune was brought out with the goal of raising the level of education in the region. The vision of Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia for the newspaper was to act for public welfare, present public opinion, and advocate the cause of the masses. The newspaper has striven hard to meet this objective. It has recorded ups and downs of the history of this sub-continent yet consistently and fearlessly followed the policy laid down by its founders.

Stating this in his Presidential address at the inaugural session of the 125th anniversary celebrations of The Tribune, Justice R.S. Pathak, former Chief Justice of India and President of The Tribune Trust, said that the newspaper continued to reach out to the common man with news, which bears imprint of painstaking accuracy and of editorial opinion, which possessed the merit of independence, impartiality and maturity of wisdom.

He recalled the role The Tribune played during the freedom struggle as a staunch nationalist paper. “It reported faithfully, later on events, giving rise to the division of the sub-continent and the violence and agony amidst which independence took birth,” he said. He went on to say that during the last five decades the newspaper had recorded the success of the Green Revolution on one hand and the dark period or terrorism on the other. “And throughout all this, it remained steadfast in its duty to the people,” he added.

Reminding the august gathering about The Tribune’s role as the ‘Voice of the People”, he quoted the editorial policy of the newspaper as announced by the founding editors. It read: ‘’As the mouthpiece of the people, The Tribune will be conducted on broad and Catholic principles. The Tribune will not be identified with any particular race, class or creed, nor seek to give prominence to the views of any particular party. The paper, as the champion of the people, will not scruple to speak plainly against class interests, nor shrink from boldly assailing them whenever they should happen to deal with the welfare of the masses. In religious matters, we shall maintain a strictly neutral position.’’

The Tribune Trust President said that the newspaper was not merely a purveyor of news and information. The newspaper had always played an important role in highlighting issues of significant public interest affecting the daily lives of the people. The newspaper, he said, had encouraged public debate time and again, stimulates awareness in the common man of political, social and economic issues and invites them to share their opinion.

Complementing the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the chief guest on the occasion, Justice Pathak said that the Prime Minister had “pioneered dramatic changes by initiative and promoting economic reforms” that had brought India into the mainstream of the global economy”. This, he said, had further brought about a revolution in the attitude and perspectives in which the people of India now look upon their relationship with the rest of the world. On the other side, the world outside has come to look at India with a new-found respect”.

He reminded the journalists that it was also the duty of the newspapers to acquaint their readers of the new dynamism, which was emerging in the relationship between India and the outside world. “In many areas of global inter-dependence, the print media can serve as an effective publicist in the interests of public health and welfare in India, especially in areas such as environment, protection against AIDS and measures intended for the removal of poverty.”

On the occasion Justice Pathak asked members of The Tribune to “rededicating ourselves to the objectives and values with which the newspaper was founded” adding that this was an opportunity for stock-taking, for the review of current procedures and practices for facilitating a closer identification of The Tribune with the needs of the Indian people.


Commemorative postage stamp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
A commemorative stamp to mark the 125th anniversary of The Tribune is likely to be issued early next year by the Department of Posts. This information was given by the Editor-in-Chief, Mr H.K. Dua, at the inaugural ceremony of the anniversary at Chandigarh today.

Mr Dua also announced that the Jalandhar edition of the paper is going to be launched next month.

The Tribune is coming out soon with a biography of Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia, founder of the paper. An updated history of the newspaper and an anthology of selected writings appearing in The Tribune in the last 125 yaers are also being published, Mr Dua said.

Several other functions to mark the anniversary are going to be held during the next few months in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. The commemorative stamp will be released at a function in New Delhi.


Readers and caretakers share the joy of togetherness
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Anniversaries are special occasions that come wrapped in varied colours - colours that remind of a past made vibrant by persistence; colours that celebrate a present fired by commitments of the past and colours that paint a future in obscure yet exciting patterns.

For The Tribune which completed 125 years of journalistic excellence amidst the roaring applause of its valued admirers, today was the “anniversary special” - an occasion to invoke traditions of the past by saluting the foresightedness of Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia and an occasion to juice the present, rich enough to invite from the Prime Minister of the country a confession as heartwarming as:

“I can’t imagine a life without the morning dose of The Tribune. I have got this newspaper delivered to me in distant lands,” declared a visibly gratified Dr Manmohan Singh after he had inaugurated the celebrations at the PGI’s Bhargava Auditorium that wore a proud look as VVIPs and commoners trooped in.

From the heavy attendance of Governors, eminent Army personnel, Chief Ministers, ministers, educationists, litterateurs and doctors it seemed no one wanted to miss The Tribune’s red-letter day. Even political rivals of the order of Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal arrived for the Tribune function, seated though they were at “safe distances”.

Amidst the revelry fed by the beaming faces of guests, The Tribune maintained its humble stance, its employees as well as caretakers exuding typical warmth. Behind the dais decked up with flowers, trustees of The Tribune, Mr N.N. Vohra, Dr R.P. Bambah, Mr R.S. Talwar, Justice S.S. Sodhi (retd), led by the President Justice R.S. Pathak (retd); Editor-in-Chief Mr H.K. Dua and General Manager Mr Sanjay Hazari made a pretty picture of objectivity and vitality-elements that have almost always shone through the pages of The Tribune.

The speeches of Justice Pathak and Mr Dua were also sensitively scripted to bring the nuances of The Tribune’s arduous journey alive for the audience; each word measured well enough to evoke deep admiration. It was pleasing to see how this admiration travelled beyond the auditorium space and how the guests later celebrated it over a cup of tea.

The multi-flavoured gathering was another confirmation of The Tribune’s envious reputation. Among the guests were Dr Manmohan Singh’s better half Mrs Gursharan Kaur, veteran Tribune readers who returned to reaffirm support to the institution, chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and other reputed people.

Variety of the guests apart, the event also stood out for the way its organisers respected timings. It started at 10 am and ended well within time to facilitate the PM’s onward schedules. Another hallmark of the anniversary celebrations was the pin drop silence inside the hall - inspired by men of eminence and also by the Special Protection Group that prevented many cell phones from making it to the hall.

It was only after the ceremonial celebrations ended that cells were switched on and the guests dropped their formal mantle to get personal. Photo sessions began and as people shared the memories of their favourite morning newspaper over a cup of tea, Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia’s dream stood realised yet again.

Here was his Tribune - 125-year-old but as devoted and delegated to its readers as it was on birth in 1881!

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