RSS To Award Journalists Who ‘Strengthen Nationalism’ In West Bengal

Continuing its endeavour of projecting the Hindu mythological figure of Narada as ‘the world’s first journalist‘, an RSS outfit will be awarding ‘nationalist journalists’ of West Bengal in the state, according to a report by The Indian Express. The programme is scheduled to take place on the occasion of Narada Jayanti on May 13 and is being organised by Vishwa Samvad Kendra (VSK), an RSS-affiliate that deals with journalism. The event, marking a ‘celebration of journalism’, is also expected to award ‘a group admin in social media‘.

“True journalism always strengthens nationalism,” Biplab Roy, convener of the VSK and RSS spokesperson for south Bengal, told The Indian Express. “The courage showed by journalists in Kaliachak and Dhulagarh should be respected. They endure hardships and face violence to report the truth,” he said.

In December last year, 65 people were arrested following incidences of communal violence in Dhulagarh in Howrah district. The BJP had then accused the West Bengal government of ‘appeasement politics’. In January 2016 too, the BJP had accused the state government of shielding the accused, most of whom they claimed were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, when a mob set fire to a police station in Kaliachak in Malda district.

Speaking about the programme and the nature of awards, Roy told the paper, “Two journalists and a group admin in social media will be awarded for their role in journalism and nationalism.” The award will be given away annually. A committee set up by VSK will shortlist journalists for the award.

Roy also told the paper that the Sangh was, ‘eager to interact with journalists so that they know about it‘.

The VSK recently held a series of seminars on the ‘Role of Media in Modern India’ in Punjab, where Narada was projected as the world’s first-ever journalist, according to a Hindustan Times report. “Our research has found that Narad muni ji was not only the torchbearer of media, but he can also be projected as the world’s first-ever journalist,” Ram Gopal, said the organisation’s Punjab chief, during one such seminar held in Mansa on May 7.

Similar seminars were also organised in Bathinda and Kotkapura to mark the mythological sage’s birth anniversary this month. The speakers at these events also paid tributes to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as great nationalists and journalists, according to the Hindustan Times report.

The VSK had also organised events to celebrate Narada as a journalist in 2015 and 2016. The programme in Delhi in 2016 was attended by the then Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley and the north region Sar-Sangh-Chalak of the RSS, according to an ANI report. Pranav Bhonde, editor of the VSK, had told IANS in 2015 that the organisation was planning a series of events across the country to celebrate Narada as a journalist.