Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 31: “Since 1846 Assamese media has travelled a long way and its growth in various stages has been enriched by several personalities. On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of media in Assam, I congratulate every member of the media fraternity and at the same time, I request you all not to forget the roots,” said Prof Sanjay Dwivedi, Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), while addressing a function organized to celebrate the 175th anniversary of media in Assam on Sunday.

The event was organized by city-based organization Mahabahoo in collaboration with the Multicultural Educational Development Trust at the auditorium of the Institution of Engineers here to commemorate the initiative to publish the first issue of Orunodoi in January 1846.

In his speech, Dwivedi also recalled the pioneering contributions of Singhapurush Radha Govinda Baruah towards the media industry in Assam and spoke about the glorious journey of The Assam Tribune, Dainik Asam and Asam Bani.

Meanwhile, he also analysed the boom of digital media in present times and said it will bring a drastic change to the entire media industry in the near future.

Dwivedi further proposed to celebrate the 175th anniversary of media in Assam in New Delhi in collaboration with the IIMC.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Press in Assam’, educationist Dr Sunil Pawan Baruah termed the publishing of the Orunodoi a revolution in the entire northeastern region.

Orunodoi was not a simple newspaper. It was a revolution that introduced the entire region on an international platform. It started a renaissance in society. For their valuable contributions, we will always remain grateful to the Baptist Missionaries,” Dr Baruah said.

He also recalled the days when the introduction of vernacular media had changed the entire scenario in British-ruled India and as a result, the then government enacted some stringent Acts to stop the voice of media.

Dr Baruah further said, “In Assam, many media houses did not survive due to lack of proper business policies. Especially, before the Assam Movement, media in the State was fledgeling. But the movement had given a major push to the media industry in Assam.”

Addressing the gathering, Guwahati Baptist Church’s Pastor Rev Aziz Ul Haque asserted that the Orunodoi had paved the way for journalism in Assam. During that time, the Baptist Missionaries also contributed a lot towards Assamese language, culture and girls’ education in the region.

On the occasion, Dr Pitambar Dev Goswami, Sattradhikar of Auniati Sattra, recalled the contributions of Deva Dutta Goswami towards journalism in Assam, who had published the Assam Bilasini from Dharma Prakash Press in Majuli.

“During that time, it was not easy to publish a newspaper. Deva Dutta Goswami and others worked very hard and brought the printing machine from Calcutta and published the newspaper. Today I want to request the organiser of the function to take steps to preserve the works of the great soul,” Dr Goswami said.

Prabir Kumar Das, Director of the Software Technology Parks of India, also spoke on the occasion.

Two books – History of 175 years of Media in Assam and Beyond and a new edition of Press in Assam: Origin and Development by Dr Sunil Pawan Baruah – were also released at the function.