National

Vartha Bharathi completes ten years

Mangalore: “Secularism is still alive in India, and we need to raise our voices against anti-secularists, just as Vartha Bharathi (VB) is doing. VB has been doing what each Indian needs to do. Society is highly affected by media. Media is a watchdog. It should not turn into a lapdog of power holders,” said popular Bollywood director and human rights activist Mahesh Bhatt.

He was addressing the Readers’ Convention on the occasion of Vartha Bharathi Kannada daily’s decennial celebrations held here on September 14. A special commemorative issue was released on the occasion.

Mahesh Bhatt further said that his one eye is Muslim and the other one is Hindu, because his mother was a Muslim and his father was a Gujarati Hindu. “India is safe today because we Indians are ready to give our lives to one another, and this is because we share a strong brotherly bond between us and not because of any police force or politics. Moderate forces are being supported by VB,” Bhatt said adding, “Corruption is increasing in India, and we all need to be revolutionaries to fight against such evil, especially through media. The mainstream media is getting more glamourized, but VB’s focus has been on bringing out the truth.”

Addressing the gathering, litterateur and Central University of Karnataka at Gulbarga chancellor U R Ananthmurthy said that in today’s scenario, we are confused over whom to vote for as all parties are involved in major scandals and all parties are corrupt. “VB is not a Muslim paper, it’s Karnataka’s paper. “Guardian” is the best and most honest newspaper of UK, and has created a revolution in the whole of its nation. In the same way, Vartha Bharathi is Karnataka’s Guardian,” he lauded. He lamented that there is widespread manufacturing of consent not just in media circles but also in day to day conversations in people spreading hatred against certain communities.

“Many TV channels are taking up communalism as a subject of discussion, but it is a crime, not a subject of discussion. Muslims have come to the mainstream to support the poor, downtrodden and the backward classes of the community, and VB is following this agenda. Media needs to show the right path to the public, just as VB has been doing,” he added.

The programme was inaugurated by Mahesh Bhatt and the special issue was released by Dr U Ananthamurthy. The programme was presided over by Abdul Salam Puthige, editor-in-chief of VB. In his address, Puthige said that there is usually a big difference between production cost and the cost of the newspaper. “In VB the production cost is 100 percent higher than the cost of the paper,” he said.

“Papers should not only give news, but focus on bringing out the truth. But truth today differs from paper to paper. There are many media that give totally wrong and false information. Newspapers should be based on certain values. Newspapers have the power to turn right into wrong and vice-versa. In the same way, they also have the power to do both right and wrong things,” he said adding that “Media should not be a business. People should also support the media and be its backbone. They should be active participants in the media and not just readers,” he said.

The function was attended by media personalities and selected readers of VB who also spoke on the occasion and put forth their ideas and views on VB.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2012 on page no. 3

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