West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said freedom of the Press and the Constitution of India were the two main pillars of democracy in the country. He was inaugurating the centenary celebration of the India Journalist Association (IJA) at Kolkata Press Club this morning.
Addressing the gathering the Governor said once a very senior journalist had raised a question whether a government without newspapers or newspapers without government was to be preferred, and the answer was newspapers without a government. Attacks on the freedom of Press was detrimental to the society, he reiterated.
Referring to the IJA he said centenary celebration of the organization means a centenary of vigilance. Sekhar Sengupta, former general secretary of IJA, S Sabanayakan, former president of IJA and Snehashis Sur, president, Kolkata Press Club, spoke at the meeting.
Mr Sur said Kolkata Press Club was the oldest press club in Asia and lauded the effort of the Governor to read and speak Bengali.
The Governor has to his credit 40 books written on different subjects. CV Ananda Bose said when the country was celebrating Azadi ka Amrit mahotsav, it was the Press which was giving the Amrit to the people by informing them on various issues and matters.
In a lighter mood the Governor referred to a report which was published following the Shimla Pact when ZA Bhutto had come to Shimla. He said: “One journalist had asked Bhutto do you know anything about the night clubs of Shimla. Bhutto replied he had no idea.
Next morning there was a headline in a news paper ~ Bhutto does not have any idea about Shimla’s night clubs.” He concluded his speech by quoting from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, ‘Where the mind is without fear’.