GUWAHATI, Nov 29 � Journalists should be like the honeybees. They should gather �honey�, that is, the information that helps society to develop, and attack those who harm society, following the example of honeybees. This was the observation made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was inaugurating the year-long Platinum Jubilee Celebration of The Assam Tribune at the Machkhowa Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Performing Arts auditorium here this evening.
Modi said journalists should not spread dirt like flies, but they should be, like the honeybees, collect the �honey� and attack those who harm society. Journalism should also come out of the shell of �reliable sources� for the sake of credibility, he said.
Lauding the role of The Assam Tribune in uplifting the North Eastern region�s societies, the Prime Minister said that it is marching with the people of the region, giving them company at the times of their woes and happiness. It never remains quiet when the people are in distress, he said.
Despite the massive inroads of the electronic media in the arena of news, The Assam Tribune has remained indispensible for the people of the region. They can spare the morning cup of tea, but not The Assam Tribune, said the Prime Minister.
Describing The Assam Tribune founder RG Baruah as a great visionary, Modi said that he was a catalyst of development for the NE societies. Because of him, his newspaper remained at the core of popular consciousness that inspired the society for positive activities. When The Assam Tribune was launched, the time was very hard for the newsmen.
Even 40 years back, news gathering was a Herculean task. There was a time when people preferred to shy away from newsmen. At that time, the newsmen had to chase after the happenings and journalism was a mission.
In such times, RG Baruah, with his newspaper, took up a mission to make a region learn how to dream dreams. And thus, The Assam Tribune came to the core of popular consciousness, he said.
Besides his newspaper, RG Baruah himself was also deeply involved in the efforts to initiate the process of comprehensive development for the NE societies. This was the reason behind his undertaking the initiatives to build a stadium, bringing Bihu to the urban stage from its rural backdrop and organising musical conclaves. Without such conclaves the country would not have got artistes like Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Modi said.
Describing newspapers as the medium of freedom of expression in a democratic polity, Modi said that during the time of internal emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi regime, many newspapers refused to compromise on the democratic principles and continued upholding such principles fighting all odds. In this context, he said that The Assam Tribune never let the people down.
Saying that information technology has undergone tremendous change and news has also become easily available everywhere, the Prime Minister said, �Therefore, journalists should be more attentive in finding out the right things and the right path.�
Modi also released the souvenir brought out on the occasion, at the function.
At the function, which was attended among others, by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Union Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal and Kiren Rijiju, the Prime Minister was felicitated by the management and employees of The Assam Tribune.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Chairman and Editor of The Assam Tribune PG Baruah narrated how RG Baruah turned into reality his dream of publishing an English newspaper from this part of the country at a time when the Second World War was making industrial ventures virtually impossible.
The Assam Tribune played vital roles first as a weekly and then as a daily in the freedom struggle of the country and it was a part of the NE people�s struggle to resist the move of the colonial rulers to include it in the �C� group � which would have resulted in making it a part of Pakistan, said Baruah.