January 22, 2023

Desh Sewak lauded for its fearless journalism

A FUNCTION to celebrate the 27th Foundation Day of the Punjabi Daily Desh Sewak was organized today at Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna Bhawan, Chandigarh. 

Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, CPI(M) Central Committee Member and prominent leader of Jammu & Kashmir, while addressing the large gathering, said that  Desh Sewak, which used to be published from Jalandhar in the 1920s was forced to shut down by the British government. Desh Sewak didn't compromise its news & editorial policy under pressure from the government.

"Whoever became editor of Desh Sewak faced false criminal cases and was arrested for publishing anti-imperialist news and editorials. Ultimately it was decided to close down the newspaper, " he said. 

He informed that Comrade Sujrjeet's father, Harnam Singh, happened to be its editor and was arrested during those days. He further said that Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet had a long-time dream to revive this newspaper, and it could materialise on January 1, 1996, due to his constant efforts. 

Tarigami congratulated the editor and reporters of Desh Sewak for their courage and dedication to maintaining high standards of journalism despite all hurdles and pressures. He compared the present regime with the Britishers when Indian journalism was passing through the most difficult period, facing raids by CBI, ED etc., and registration of false criminal cases against editors and reporters. 

He said that the fourth pillar of Indian democracy had lost its dignity and power in the present-day regime, and many of these have been taken over by the corporate houses and have become Godi Media. He congratulated Desh Sewak for raising the issues of the exploited sections of society and fearlessly exposing the anti-people policies of the governments.

Commenting on the J&K situation, he said, "We are also like other citizens of the country. We, also have similar dreams and expectations. We also want a good education and health and, above all, a life of honour and dignity. We want to think together, live together, dream together and fight the communal and fascist forces together".  

Tarigami elaborated that they seek the rights which were promised and included in the Indian Constitution by the leaders who drafted the Constitution and who took over the reins of the free India. 

He proudly said that during the partition of the country, there was not even a single communal incident in J&K.  He asked the  government to explain whether Article 370 was a clause of the Indian Constitution or some foreign Constitution. He said that during the last 75 years, there had not been an instance where a State has been converted into a Union Territory except in the case of J&K. Rather, the union territories are demanding to be upgraded as states. 

Tarigami explained that repeated claims of wiping out militancy and normalcy made by the prime minister, home minister and lieutenant governor are getting exposed as they are unable to hold assembly elections even after its dissolution four years ago.  

He claimed that the abolition of Article 370 and converting the State into three Union Territories was neither their demand nor they accepted it. He said that it was because of this reason that the entire state of J&K was put under curfew, and the Internet was snapped for a long period while abolishing Article 370 and declaring them union territories.  

He lamented that the Kashmiris are being treated as second-rate citizens whose democratic rights have been snatched. He declared that they would not bow before the might of this communal government working under the direction of fascist RSS.  

Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, while addressing the gathering, assured the audience that Desh Sewak will always stand with the working people and against the communal and fascist forces. 

Bhup Chand Channo presided over the function and Gurdarshan Singh Khaspur conducted the proceedings.