NEW DELHI, Nov 25 � Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate the year-long celebration marking 75 years of The Assam Tribune newspaper, on Saturday.
The Prime Minister, who is scheduled to arrive in Guwahati on a three-day four-State tour, will attend the function to be held at the ITA Centre at Machkhowa along with a host of dignitaries. Those who are likely to attend the function include Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, among others.
Founded on August 4, 1939 by the late Radha Govinda Baruah, the The Assam Tribune is published from Guwahati and Dibrugarh. It is the highest circulated English daily in North-east India.
While inaugurating the diamond jubilee celebration of the newspaper, the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had said that for the owners and editors of this newspaper, journalism was not a commercial proposition. For them, it was a mission that demanded unimpeachable integrity and fierce intellectual independence. Soon after launching The Assam Tribune, the late Radha Govinda Baruah proved that he had both - in abundant measure.
Severe restrictions were placed on newspapers, especially those run by Indians, under the Defence of India Rules following the outbreak of the Second World War. Undaunted by these restrictions, the late RG Baruah maintained the highest tradition of journalism, combining them with the nationalist fervour that was then sweeping through the whole of India.
He displayed exemplary courage by standing up against the Cabinet Mission Plan. Starting then, The Assam Tribune was in the forefront of arousing the latent nationalism of India�s North-east, thus making a major contribution to the national freedom movement, and to the subsequent consolidation of the country.
Paying rich laurels to this newspaper, Vajpayee had said promoting the cause of development in Assam - indeed, the entire North-East - however, was only one facet of The Assam Tribune�s contribution in the post-Independence era. Whenever India faced a challenge to her sovereignty and territorial integrity, this newspaper had played a frontline role in mobilising opinion and boosting public morale. This was most evident during the 1962 Chinese aggression.
During the dark years of Emergency when every effort was made to curb freedom of expression and impose severe restrictions on media, maintaining the high standards of journalistic integrity set by the late Radha Govinda Baruah, The Assam Tribune was one of the few newspapers that chose to stand up and fight. The commitment is still intact, Vajpayee had said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi, who is also going to attend the Conference of DGPs soon after his arrival on Saturday, will drive down to Maligaon Railway Station to inaugurate the Dudhnoi-Mendipathar line bringing Meghalaya on the railway map of the country. He will also flag off the first passenger train between Guwahati and Mendipathar.
Next day, the Prime Minister will fly to Imphal to attend the Sangai Festival. In Manipur, he will also inaugurate the new campus of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University.
From Manipur, Modi is scheduled to go to Nagaland and inaugurate the Hornbill Festival.
On December 1, Modi is scheduled to visit Tripura to dedicate the Unit II Palatana Power Plant. He will also lay the foundation stone of the two-laning of the National Highway 44 and railway project linking Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh.