Guwahati: The role of media is to balance between truth and general welfare of the whole society and it should be the mantra for media personnel as propounded by Devarshi Narad since time immemorial, said Narendra Kumar Dev, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Saturday, while gracing the annual Maharshi Narad Jayanti celebration held at Sudarshanalay in Barbori area of the city.
The RSS Pracharak also added that in contrast to Satyam Bruyat-Priyam Bruyat, many of present day’s media outlets prefer to nurture fake news to propagate their selfish agenda. Arguing that the society in general rejects negative news, the soft spopen gentleman opined that Swa Adharit (selfhood centric) media communication system should be promoted. Time is ripping for the colonial hangover on media establishment to be decolonised, he added.
Devarshi Narad was a great scholar, musician and a devoted follower of Vishnu. Revered as the son of Brahma and a disciple of Jupiter, Narad travelled across the three realms of existence and earned the reputation of a selfless messenger and communicator of public welfare. The 84 Bhakti Sutras composed by Narad inspired many modern scholars including Swami Vivekananda to write commentaries on them.
Narad used to bring news only and thus his main task was the circulation of news indicating his activities as a full-time journalist. In today’s context, his discourse can be considered as objective journalism, where he emerged as the most efficient public communicator for social welfare. With a Veena on hands, Narad inspired dialogues among various entities for a successful resolution, which the media always should do.
Speaking about India’s first Hindi weekly titled Udant Martand (The Rising Sun), which was published by Jugal Kishore Shukla from Kolkata, Narendra Kumar revealed that it was launched on the auspicious occasion of Narad Jayanti (30 May 1826). He admitted that even today a large number of journalists try to avoid identifying Narad as the first successful communicator across the globe. However, he observed that Narad Jayanti celebrations in various parts of India have gained public support in recent years.
Acclaimed journalist and editor of popular Assamese children magazine Sofura, Rupam Barua was conferred the Prestigious Narad Jayanti award this year. The annual award carries a citation, a memento, an image of Bharat Mata along with books and a cash prize of Rs 50,000. As part of the celebration, three senior city-based journalists namely Jitendra Choudhury of Dainik Asom, Samya Bharadwaj of Amar Asom and Sewali Kalita of Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati were also felicitated in the function.
Addressing the distinguished gathering, Barua remembered a number of distinguished Assamese personalities, who inspired him with guidance in the initial days of his journalistic career, namely Trinesh Barua, Rabijit Choudhury, Diganta Khargharia, Ramendra Narayan Dattabarua, Kamal Gogoi, Dhirenra Nath Bezbarua, Chandra Prasad Saikia, DN Chakrabarty etc.
Ridiculing the mentality of asking historical proofs of Narad while mentioning the award, Barua pointed out that a prestigious literary award is given in the name of Saraswati, sports awards with the title of Arjun, occasions paved the way for celebrating European hero Hercules. He concluded his speech arguing that the form of journalism (print to digital platform) may change with the time, but a practicing journalist should always possess three major qualities- courage, honesty and humanity.
Organised by Visva Sambad Kendra Assam, the function was also attended by Guru Prasad Medhi, Kishor Shivam, Utpal Dutta, Sunil Mohanty, Khagen Saikia, Paramesh Dutta, Naba Bujarbarua, Jagadindra Raychoudhury, Namrata Dutta, Dwijen Barthakur, Suranjan Dutta, Nava Thakuria, Soumyadeep Dutta with others. Before the meeting started, sacred lights and garlands were placed in front of the portraits of Bharat Mata and Devarshi Narad. Talented young artiste Sarat Raag performed Narad Prasasti to enthrall the audience.