GUWAHATI, Feb 24 - Shantanu Nandan Sharma, Senior Editor with The Economic Times, New Delhi, was today conferred the Parag Kumar Das Sangbadikota Bota-2019 for his contribution in journalism at a function held at the Vivekananda Kendra auditorium, Uzan Bazar.
The award was formally presented to Sharma by senior journalist Ajit Bhuyan at the event presided over by educationist Dr Sivanath Barman.
Delivering the memorial lecture synchronising with the birth anniversary of the Late Das, who had to embrace martyrdom for his fearless writings, Dr Uddipan Dutta, Scientific Officer of the Dept of Social Science, Gauhati University, said that the brand of journalism practised and pioneered by Das needed to be assessed in the context of the turbulent 1990s.
“Das wanted to effect changes in society through journalism and in doing so he set a new trend, which is still conspicuous in the State. It had both positive and negative fallouts. His thinking was revolutionary and he was in favour of a change through armed struggle but later he was also critical of the banned ULFA over its various acts of omission and commission,” he said.
Ajit Bhuyan, in his address, recalled his association with and the contributions of Das and said that he would remain relevant as long as the issues of self-determination of the aspiring communities of the North East were not resolved.
“He was an upright and uncompromising journalist, the qualities which ultimately cut short his life at a young age. He exposed state terror, and now with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) sought to be imposed on Assam by a dictatorial Centre, his relevance has only grown in stature,” he added.
Sharma, in his acknowledgement speech, said that ground reporting warranted getting out of one’s comfort zones and getting a real feel of the situation. He said the North East was now getting more space in the national media compared to the situation two decades back. On the CAB, he said that any dictatorial stance of the government in imposing something that could be very damaging to a community was bound to invite strong resistance.The government should honour the sentiments of the masses.
Dr Barman, in his presidential remarks, voiced concern over what he termed the growing dictatorial tendencies of the BJP-led Centre in trying to shape a diverse nation like India in one particular mould.