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Book Review
A fearless account of riots
By Syed Irshad Ali

Book: Without Fear: A journalist’s dairy
By N. Rajan
Printer & Publisher: Amarshree Printing Press, Bhopal
Price: Rs. 75/- only  Order

I have personally known N Rajan, for over two decades. He is fair, upright, and a doyen among his contemporary journalists. He has worked for a number of reputed newspapers and journals.

Mr N. Rajan was Resident Editor The Hitavada, Nagpur (1960-67), worked in the Mainstream, and India Press Agency as special correspondent. After a short stint in the Free Press Journal, Bombay, he took over as Editor, The Hitavada, Bhopal in 1989. He edited Dainik Bhaskar (English) and thereafter National Mail. Presently he is Editorial Advisor, to Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi).

In his search for stories, Mr N. Rajan has travelled far and wide, in India and abroad. He has met and interviewed high and mighty. He always tries to elicit ‘truth’ and reveal facts. He always hits hard at corruption. His exposures have brought him, name, fame and difficulties.

In author’s note, he writes ‘The country faces multi-dimensional problems. The present day politicians have become highly corrupt. They have succeeded in institutionalizing corruption.’
N Rajan always pleads the cause of the underdog and of those at the receiving end.

On Jalgaon holocaust, he writes in the book, ‘For mere brutality and savagery, Jalgaon holocaust has no parallel in recent times. Needless to say that the minority community was at the receiving end, both in Bhiwandi and Jalgaon. The Shiv Sena, which by 1970 acquired anti-Muslim militancy was responsible for the outrage.’

His report on Jalgaon riots was magnum opus, which appeared in leading dailies and journals. It brought communalism into sharper focus.

As I know from my personal association, N Rajan considers it his duty to expose the communal demons and the corrupt. His obsession with probity and facts has brought to him accolades and brickbats.

In chapter VIII, state sponsored riots, Mr N. Rajan writes ‘During the BJP rule in M.P. (1990-92) the Hindu communal forces became active.’ ‘What Bhopal witnessed on December 7, 8 and 9 was a holocaust. The Muslims were again at the receiving end.’ In the same chapter, he lashes out at the irresponsible Hindi newspapers of Bhopal. He observes, ‘Unfortunately, some of the Newspapers in Bhopal were not objective in the coverage of the riots. The reports that appeared in some Hindi dailies had a distinct communal bias.’

Mr N. Rajan, belongs to fast vanishing breed of journalists, who have moral courage to call spade, a spade. He is frank and forthright in his comments.

His book ‘Without fear ‘, written in lucid style is worth reading as it is replete with his sparkling stories on a variety of topics. Its price Rs. 75 is also affordable.

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