[ Amar Sangno ]
AMRITSAR, Oct 28: The baton of the Indian Journalists Union’s (IJU) leadership has passed on to Amar Devulapalli as he took charge as the new president of the IJU here on Sunday.
Devulapalli and Sabina Inderjit were unanimously elected as president and general secretary, respectively, of the IJU, while Geethartha Pathak of Assam, Ambati Anjaneyulu of Andhra Pradesh, and Balwinder Singh Jammu of Punjab were elected as vice-presidents. Prem Nath Bhargav of Delhi retained the treasurer’s post.
The IJU elected five secretaries and 13 National Executive Committee (NEC) members, including Taya Bagang of Arunachal Pradesh. APUWJ member Taya Bagang is the first Arunachalee and the youngest NEC member of the IJU. Sushmita Goswami of Assam has been appointed as the NEC’s gender council member.
Passing the leadership to his successor, outgoing president SN Sinha expressed hope that the IJU would touch new heights and emerge a stronger and larger organisation under the leadership of Devullapali and Inderjit.
Taking charge as the new president, Devulapalli said: “Unless the media is free, no one is free in this country, be it people or organizations.”
Devulapalli appealed to the host Punjab government to ensure that the freedom of the press is intact and journalists are safe.
“If the media of a country is free the country will flourish” he remarked.
General Secretary Sabina Inderjit highlighted the challenges faced by the IJU, and stated that she wants to see changes in the union movement. She sought cooperation from the members from across the country, and urged the state units to set up gender councils.
Inderjit also expressed concern over the growing cases of sexual harassment of women journalists across the country, and urged the members to stand against it.
Punjab Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randwa attended the closing ceremony of the plenary session.
“You are freedom fighters. If your pen stopped, we would become slaves again,” he said, referring to the fact that most of the freedom fighters were good writers who propagated their ideas through their writings.
Randwa underscored the significance of the media’s role in ensuring a healthy democracy, and urged the journalists to continue in their service to the nation.
Congress MLA Harpartap Singh Ajnala and Punjab BJP president Swet Malik also attended the concluding ceremony of the plenary session.