Indian press strengthened nationalist movement during freedom struggle
Dhenkanal, 17 August 2019: Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) Dhenkanal celebrated its 27th foundation day with a special lecture on 'Press, Nationalism and India's Freedom Struggle'. Pritish Acharya, professor of history at the Regional Institute of Education at Bhubaneswar, delivered the Foundation Day Lecture this year.
While IIMC Delhi was established on this day in 1965, its eastern regional campus in Dhenkanal came up on 14 August in 1993. IIMC now has four more regional campuses in Jammu, Amaravati, Kottayam and Aizwal.
Delivering the Foundation Day Lecture Professor Acharya stressed on the concept of nationalism and how its growth was associated with journalism during India's freedom struggle. "In public parlance nationalism and freedom struggle are synonymous. But, they are not. Nationalism is a broader concept that justifies the transformation of a modern state into a nation."
According to him the birth of press had preceded freedom struggle and the concept of nationalism in India. Rather newspapers had nurtured both and the "nurturing was never un-critical, which strengthened the nationalist struggle," said professor Acharya.
Chronicling the rise of newspapers in India and its patronage by the prominent leaders of freedom movement, he said, "India’s nationhood at the end of the
freedom struggle was not a going back to the pre-British era, but building up of a new nation based on modern, scientific and universal values. While fighting the British colonialism, the nationalists also struggled against those obscurantist and dogmatic views which had stumbled India’s rise as a modern nation. Critiquing the Sati system or child marriage system or untouchability or asking for mass literacy and woman education was as much a nationalist act as the anti-British activities."
In his opening remarks, special guest Subir Ghosh, author and academician, went down memory lane to remind the audience how IIMC was established in a rented house in Delhi's South Extension for upliftment of study and training of mass communication in developing countries. He also mentioned how the then I&B minister KP Singh Deo was instrumental in setting up the IIMC campus in Dhenkanal.
Dr Mrinal Chatterjee, regional director, IIMC, Dhenkanal inaugurated the session which began with the hoisting of the institute's flag. The students had organised a cultural programme which included a Hindi play, 'Kafan', based on the story by Munshi Premchand and an Odia play, 'Doshi Ke'.
An essay writing competition on the 'Our role in combating climate change' and a debate on 'One Nation, One Election' were also organised to mark the foundation day.
Jatin Grover (English) and Rajat Kumar Panda (Odia) won the debate competition while Rupa Kumari (English) and Binod Kumar Behera (Odia) came first in the essay competition. The prizes were distributed to the winners by the guests.