Amit Shah, Naveen Patnaik Share Dais At ‘Amrit Utsav’ Of Prajatantra In Odisha’s Cuttack City

Cuttack: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik shared the same dais as both attended the ‘Amruta Utsav’ of The Prajatantra at Indoor Stadium here to mark the 75th anniversary of the Odia daily newspaper.

Shah, who arrived here late on Sunday, went to Indoor Stadium in Cuttack to attend the function of the newspaper,  which was founded by noted freedom fighter and former Chief Minister Harekrushna Mahatab.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and eminent Odia writer Padma Bhushan Pratibha Ray also graced the event.

The presence of Naveen, also President of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and senior BJP leader Shah at the same platform comes amid talks of increasing bonhomie between the two political parties. They also spoke at length about the contribution made by the newspaper to social, economic, cultural and political life in the state.

Also Read: Amit Shah Odisha Visit: BJP Fires Protocol Breach Salvo At BJD

“The role of media in a democratic society can hardly be overemphasized. It should endeavour to uphold our great cultural heritage and moral values and promote national integration and communal harmony. The media should discharge its duty without any fear or favour,” said the CM.

Since media runs on the basis of people’s trust, it should prioritise the real issues of people rather than politics, he said, adding that media essentially should be the voice of people.

Naveen further said that it is the duty of every media house to maintain dignity and keep secular principles in mind.

The dignitaries highlighted the rich cultural heritage of Odisha at the function where Bhartruhari Mahtab, Editor of the newspaper and BJD MP, delivered the welcome address. “India is led by a strong democratic value system. Our country stands tall on this foundational principle. Our democratic values have helped us to steer successfully through all the trials and tribulations in the course of these 75 glorious years,” he said.

In the 75th year of Independence, let’s pledge together to preserve and strengthen these values in every sphere of society, he added.

Before leaving for Millennium City, Shah had offered prayers at Lingaraj Temple this morning, the last auspicious Monday of the holy month of Shravan.

Prajatantra means the rule of the people. Started as a weekly newspaper in 1923 under the editorship of Harekrushna Mahatab, it focused mainly on news and some advertisement. Literary writings did not find any place in it. As with the other contemporary publications, it carried regional, national and international news. It was converted into a daily newspaper in 1930 and became the voice of the Congress during the Salt Satyagraha till the British colonial state banned it in 1932.

The publication reappeared with renewed vigour, carrying the glorious legacy of the Indian National Movement on August 8, 1947.

Also Read: Odia Daily ‘The Prajatantra’ Turns 75: The Journey From ‘Salt Satyagraha’ To ‘Gaon Majlis’

Shah, who is on a two-day visit to the state, will later hold a meeting of the state BJP’s core committee at its headquarters in Bhubaneswar. He will also attend a book reading session at Mayfair Convention here and launch the Odisha edition of ‘Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery’ at 4.30 pm before flying back to the national capital.

Also Read: Amit Shah Begins Odisha Visit With ‘Jalabhishek’ At Lingaraj Temple


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