IIMC to continue research on different dimensions of media during Amrit Kaal: Prof. Dwivedi

New Delhi : “When it comes to media history and its role in freedom movement, we only know the history through the published newspapers, but the role of persons who wrote the newspapers by hand, the persons who sent them or read for the whole village, is yet to be recognised and studied as the part of the history of freedom struggle. The media and media educators should bring forth such stories to make the history inclusive,” said Prof. Kumar Ratnam, Member Secretary of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He was addressing the valedictory session of two-day national seminar organised jointly by Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) on ‘Indian Media and the Freedom Movement’ to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Senior journalist Umesh Upadhyay, DG IIMC Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi and ADG IIMC Ashish Goyal were also present.

Prof. Ratnam stressed the need to fill the gaps and correct the distortions in Indian history. “When we have a look at the history of the freedom movement, we find that only a single family or organisation fought the battle for freedom, whereas there is record of over 250 organisations, which were banned for their activities to champion the cause of independence. If we fill all such gaps during the Amrit Kaal, it will connect the missing links in history.

The Member Secretary of ICHR hit at the so-called thinkers who have tried to build the narratives that India does not have the sense of history, whereas we have a rich tradition of history writing, which is available in ancient Indian literature. Indian literature not only finds the mention of the word ‘itihas’, but also defines it. We find no parallel to ‘Rajtarangini’ written by Kalhan throughout the world. Even then, claiming that India does not have a sense of history is grossly incorrect.

Senior journalist Umesh Upadhyaya stressed the need to understand the imperialistic nature of the Western media. “Today there is a need to understand the imperialistic nature of the western media,” he said. He described the centralization of content in the media as dangerous for democracy.

Director General of IIMC Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi said the IIMC would continue its research on different dimensions of media during the ‘Amrit Kaal’. He also stressed upon re-reading history and bringing forth the facts honestly. He called for accelerating the work on unsung heroes of the freedom movement.

Convener of the two-day national seminar Prof. Pramod Kumar informed that over 100 researchers presented papers during the seminar and over two dozen scholars shared their thoughts on different aspects of the main theme.

Earlier, Dr. Subodh Kumar from Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota, shared information on the role of scientists in the freedom movement. Senior journalist Dr. Ravindra Agrawal underlined the role of news agencies during the freedom movement. Dr. Amrita Shilpi, assistant professor at Laxmibai College of DU spoke on women, media and the struggle for Swaraj. Prof. Heeraman Tiwari from JNU, Dr. Jaiprakash Singh from Central University of Himachal Pradesh and Dr. Shahid Ali from Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism and Mass Communication, Raipur, shared their thoughts on the Colonial Narratives and Media during the Independence Movement. A complete session in the seminar was dedicated to the theme ‘Press and Partition of India’. Prof. Ehtesham Ahmad Khan from Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, and Ravi Prakash Tekchandani, director of National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language spoke on it.