GUWAHATI, April 10 - �At a time when changing social circumstances are posing a threat to the existence of vernacular medium schools and the entire structure of the Assamese society is changing rapidly, taking us towards a vulnerable situation, responsible news media has a greater role to play in highlighting the social issues and showing the way.�
Eminent educationist and Vice Chancellor of the Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University Dr Hitesh Deka made the above remarks at the 61st Annual Conference 2018-19 of the Assam Tribune Employees Union (ATEU), and asked media houses to play a pro-active role in the revival of vernacular medium schools and also in bringing about necessary positive change in society.
Speaking as the chief guest, Dr Deka said that through its responsible journalism, The Assam Tribune has acquired a special place in the hearts of the people, graduating from a newspaper organisation to the stature of an institution. He also suggested starting a media research centre in the name of Radha Govinda Baruah, the architect of modern Assam.
Deliberating as the appointed speaker, trade union leader and Vice President of the All India Insurance Employees Association Satanjiv Das said that though coming to power with a promise of �Achche Din�, the present Union government has disappointed the working class and poor people with its utterly pro-corporate policies.
�The ever-increasing prices of essential commodities, petrol and diesel, anti-working class amendments proposed in the labour laws, institutionalisation of the hire-and-fire policy and gradually diminishing social security of employees speak aloud about the intention of the Union government,� he said.
�To top it, the big corporates are getting tax waivers, whereas the common people are bearing the brunt of the decisions taken in the name of financial reforms and development,� he said, expressing concern over the country�s poor show in the Human Development Index and Global Hunger Index.
Presenting the general secretary's report, ATEU General Secretary Dugdha Ram Kalita highlighted several issues concerning the world, the country and the northeastern states, with special emphasis on Assam. �The diamond jubilee celebration of the ATEU held recently helped us reminisce on our glorious past and decide the future course of action,� he said.
Pankaj Barthakur read out the proposals adopted on the occasion by the ATEU and Ganashilpi Ghana Deka enthralled the audience with the songs Which side are you on and John Henry.
RD Goswami, chief election officer of the ATEU, introduced the members of the 2018-19 executive committee of the ATEU.
The new committee has been formed with Santanava Hazarika as president, Partha Pratim Hazarika as vice president, Dugdha Ram Kalita as general secretary, Debasish Sinha and Tankeswar Kakati as assistant general secretaries, Anima Das as organising secretary, Utpal Karmakar as treasurer and Shyam Singh, Hiranya Kumar Barman, Gautam Kakati, Bhaskar Das, Pankaj Borthakur and Chandi Kalita as executive members.
On the occasion, Partha Pratim Hazarika said a clear distinction between the presentation of news and views in separate segments has earned The Assam Tribune the stature of a credible institution. �Zero interference of the management in the editorial policy of the newspaper house has made it possible,� he added.
Former ATEU president Saifuddin Ahmed highlighted the role the ATEU has been playing for the welfare of the employees, while maintaining a cohesive relationship with the management.
In his presidential remarks, the ATEU�s outgoing president Siba Prasad Deka said that other than highlighting the issues of employees of the Assam Tribune group, the ATEU has also been playing an active role for the rights of mediapersons of the entire state. �We have been fighting for the implementation of the Majithia Wage Board recommendations in all newspaper houses of the State,� he added.
Earlier, Atulya Madhab Goswami, chairman of the reception committee, delivered the welcome speech, whereas Hiranya Barman explained the objectives of the meeting. Pranjal Hazarika compered the programme and Champak Barbara inaugurated the cultural function. Artistes from Barnali Mahila Sangha, Gandhi Basti, presented a chorus on the occasion.