All posts by President IJA

Journalism workshop in Howrah held

HOWRAH: The Howrah District Unit of the Indian Journalists’ Association successfully organised a workshop for journalism students and up and coming scribes near Amta earlier this month.
The IJA president, Mr. S. Sabanayakan, General Secretary Mr. Sekhar Sengupta, secretary Mr. Dabashis Das, senior journalist Mr. Amit Ukil, local unit president Mr. Shyamal Naskar and Howrah Dist. general secretary Ashis Ghosh spoke on the occasion.
Delivering his keynote address, Mr. Sabanayakan told the audience that print journalism is still alive and active. “People by and large believe in the news appearing in dailies and magazines at a time when visual media has been making a terrific impact in the lives of people. To prolong the life of print media and to curb the influence of social and visual media, print journalists should focus on facts, figures and in depth analysis to keep the readers engaged to their work,” he informed the gathering.
Secretary Debashis Das, who is also the chief reporter of Dainik Statesman, a Bengali daily from the house of The Statesman, focussed his attention on coverage of election news. West Bengal is going to assembly elections later this month.
General Secretary Mr. Sengupta informed the house of IJA’s Centenary celebration plans as the august body will be entering into its 100th year on June 22, 2021. Mr. Ukil spoke on the role of journalists in developing and shaping a society
The students and  budding journalists put forward a number of probing questions to the speakers in which the most engrossed session was on how to tackle the spread of fake news.
Mr. Ashis Ghosh proposed a vote of thanks.
Enthusiastic audience
Enthusiastic audience

Swapan, Arup Laha take charge

BARDHAMAN: Veteran journalist Swapan Mukherjee and young and energetic Arup Laha took charge of the Bardhaman District Unit of the IJA as its President and General Secretary respectively.

The District Unit had its first Executive Committee meeting at Hotel Mrigaya on Sunday where the State President, S. Sabanayakan and General Secretary Sekhar Sengupta were invited to attend. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sabanayakan urged all district units of IJA to actively participate in celebrating the IJA’s centenary year beginning June 22, 2021. Mr. Sengupta laid out the centenary plans and stressed the importance of the district units in taking the celebrations forward.
Messer Taraknath Roy (NEC member), Swapan Mukherjee, Arup Laha and Jagannath Bhowmick spoke on the occasion.

Mr. Swapan Mukherjee led a team to meet the local district administration to submit a memorandum demanding a vaccine for COVID-19 for working journalists, among other demands to safeguard journalists during assembly election coverage.




IJA Nadia Unit gets office

KALYANI: IJA State General Secretary, Mr. Sekhar Sengupta, inaugurated the new Bhawan of the IJA Nadia Unit in Kalyani on January 31.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Sengupta said Nadia Unit is the first in the state of West Bengal to have its own office. He encouraged the Unit members and other journalists to take full advantage of the infrastructure to develop journalism in the area.

Continue reading IJA Nadia Unit gets office

AGM postponed

It’s informed to all the Indian Journalists’ Association members that the Executive Council met virtually using Google Meet on October 17, 2020 at 11 am to pass the following resolution unanimously.

The EC meeting was chaired by President, Sri S. Sabanayakan and was attended by General Secretary, Secretary and other office bearers and members from city and districts.

General Secretary Sri Sekhar Sengupta explained the present situation to the members and sought an indefinite extension to the present EC to function till a new body was elected in an AGM.

After getting the majority views, Sri Sengupta read out a resolution prepared to be submitted to the Registrar of Trade Union. The meeting passed the resolution to be adopted unanimously. The same will be sent to the Registrar of Trade Union for information and necessary action.

Sekhar Sengupta
General Secretary


Notice: An Executive Council meeting of the Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) has been called on October 17, 2020, Saturday at 11 am

An Executive Council meeting of the Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) has been called on October 17, 2020, Saturday at 11 am. The EC meeting will be conducted virtually using Google Meet application.
1. Annual General Meeting,
2. Miscellaneous
All EC members are requested to attend the meeting without fail. The meeting link and or code can be had from the undersigned or from secretary Shri Debasish Das on and from October 14, 2020. The link or code can also be had by sending a request to IJA mail ID, by Friday 6 pm.
Sekhar Sengupta
General Secretary, IJA
12th October 2020

Pranab Mukherjee was very close to IJA and its members

By Mrinal Biswas
KOLKATA: After my MA examination, I spent a month at Pachmarhi hill with relatives of mine. I remember the day I returned. Almost immediately I was asked by a senior member of Socialist Students Organisation (SSO) of which I was then general secretary to lead the organisation in all-student organisations’ meeting against Chinese aggression in the north-east and north-end of Kashmir. The meeting was held at the auditorium of R G Kar Medical College in the end of 1962. Naturally, I was a leading speaker there.
At the end of it a dhoti-punjabi-clad young man came to me introducing himself as Pranab Mukherjee claiming to belong to Chhatra Parishad. Only a few words were exchanged. He suggested that we should discuss politics some day. I agreed. But that didn’t happen as he soon after joined politics (Bangla Congress) head on and I became a budding journalist struggling for a foothold.
When he became a central minister I had attended many of his press meets. But he lost my acquaintance by that time. But by queer turn of events we came together again in 2013. He was kind enough to address the 90th anniversary of Indian Journalists’ Association held at the lawns of the Press Club, Kolkata. I felt honoured to preside over the anniversary meet. It was nice of him to mention then that IJA founder was Mrinal Kanti Bose and its 90th anniversary is being presided over by another Mrinal (Kumar Biswas).
IJA also felt grateful to.him as many of the IJA members were very close to him. Mihir Ganguly is one of them.

A Man of Durbar Politics

By Achin Roy
KOLKATA: Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee, who rose to the top from a mere village school teacher, wrote a success story of single minded devotion and unflinching loyalty. He was a family man and also the family’s man to ride on the crest of glory. He served the royal Gandhi family almost three generations from Indira to Sonia. And the family decided when to derail him, when to reinstate him as also he was not to be PM but would be the Rastrapati.
Son of a Congress freedom fighter, Pranab joined at an early age, almost as an errand man, Ajay Mukherjee’s Bangla Congress — a breakaway faction of the state Congress.Then Ajay was the Chief Minister of the United Front Government of Bengal,dominated by the left.This gave Pranab a golden opportunity to come in close contact with Deputy CM Jyoti Basu, which paid rich dividends later in his life.
After the fall of the second UF Government, when Bangla Congress was dissolved, Ajay Mukherjee recommended Pranab to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a suitable boy. Pranab making full use of this golden opportunity, endeared himself to Indira as her trusted lieutenant  and in turn, man of all seasons. Close contact with a personality like Indira shaped the metamorphosis of Pranab into an enlightened and accomplished modern man. And with the passage of time he became an astute player of Parliamentary and DURBAR politics.
Elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bengal, he became a minister and was instrumental in handing over a profit making Government business to senior Ambani to make him a polyester king and duly leave an industrial empire. Slowly and steadily marching forward, Pranab, by the grace of Indira, advanced to be the finance minister and the second man in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, he became a very important man playing the role of go between Indira and Jyoti Basu to come to an unholy understanding to fortify the left misrule of terror and loot in Bengal.  As a follow up of the understanding, courtesy Pranab, the Left Front reigned supreme for three decades with no opposition. The unholy alliance broke when the great theorist Prakash Karat withdrew support from UPA 1 and Mamata Banerjee breaking away from the nexus took up cudgels of anti left opposition.
The man who would be the defender of the Constitution, had violated the Constitution, being elected to the RS from Gujarat without being a resident as demanded in the provision. Later, of course, the ‘wrong’ was set right by a constitutional amendment. As Pranab had no popular base he had to be a member of RS from here and there. At the fag end, he, however, was elected to Lok Sabha from Adhir Choudhury’s citadel, Jangipur, thanks to noncombatant CPM.
Though many people are proud of him as a Bangali but the irony of it, even his sworn enemy will not say that he had done anything for Bengal. In his 50 years of political life at the Central powerhouse, his contribution to his birthplace is a big zero. He held important portfolios like Finance, Commerce, Defence and External Affairs and did a good job as an executive but failed to make a lasting mark because of lack of vision.
As an External Affairs minister he sent word to the Moscow ambassador to see to it that the visiting Mukherjee Commission inquiring Netaji disappearance, did not get any access to the Russian archives, classified or unclassified. And the Commission had to return empty handed. Pranab also once took the initiative to bring the so-called urn of the Netaji ashes from Japan but it was nipped in the bud in the face of public outcry. It was all he could do for Bengal.
That apart, on Pranab’s achievement as an individual, it must be said that from a remote village to Rashtrapati Bhavan is a long way off. All kudos to Pranab that he reinvented and recreated himself to be a man of the world. With his sharp intellect and elephantine memory, he emerged as a very eloquent parliamentarian, par excellence with equanimity and poise. Having an amiable disposition and cool composure, he was accessible to all, irrespective of party lines. When Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in exile in New Delhi, after the brutal assassination of her family, Pranab Mukherjee was her guardian angel. So also with the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Pranabda was like a true elder brother for both through many vagaries of life.
As the Rastrapati, Pranab Mukherjee also extended a helping hand with his rich political sagacity to the newly-elected, inexperienced Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A grateful Modi acknowledged it openly, thanking Pranabda for rendering his services to the nation above partylines. Perhaps this act earned  Pranab the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.
At the end of the day, Pranab Mukherjee proved that nothing succeeds like success.
(The views expressed in the above article are of the writer’s)
With former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
With former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

A political stalwart and Statesman Pranab Mukherjee passes away

KOLKATA: The Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) deeply mourns the passing of political stalwart and statesman, Pranab Mukherjee (84), a former President of India and Bharat Ratna after battling a long illness in New Delhi on Monday.
Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. He was hospitalised for a surgery to remove a brain clot on August 10. Despite being diagnosed as Covid-19  positive, he underwent the operation.
He was a journalist and professor before he entered politics in his home State, West Bengal. In 1969, Mukherjee entered politics and managed the election campaign of V.K. Krishna Menon, an independent candidate. The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, recognised his talent and asked him to join Congress, an offer he didn’t reject.
In 1969, Indira Gandhi helped him to become a member of Rajya Sabha. In 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999, he was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha.
In 2004, he became the leader of Lok Sabha. Before Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister, it was speculated that Pranab Mukherjee would go on to occupy the office of the PM. From 2004, he went on to head three crucial ministries — external affairs, defence and finance —and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction.
Being a former journalist and political stalwart he always kept close relations with media persons across the country. He was particularly close to members of the Indian Journalists’ Association.
He had inaugurated the 90th anniversary celebrations of IJA in Kolkata on January 18, 2013. In his address he recalled attending meetings of the IJA, which came into being with membership from as far away as Burma (now Myanmar) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Dwelling on the professional matter the President said freedom of expression was guaranteed by the Constitution. The media was expected to guide public by offering impartial views and making objective assessment. In these days of proliferation of media, ethics of the journalistic profession assumed great significance. He stressed on the integrity factor of the media.
The IJA sends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, admirers and supporters.