PM releases commemorative stamp on Lala Jagat Narain

pmNEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today released a commemorative stamp in memory of freedom fighter and veteran journalist Lala Jagat Narain.

The Rs five denomination stamp was released on his 32 death anniversary in the presence of Union ministers, chief ministers, members of his family and the Hind Samachar Group which he founded.

The Prime Minister said Jagat Narain has left an important message for journalists on the role of media. He said a journalist should be honest, fearless and neutral while performing duty in trying circumstances.

Singh said in his career as a journalist, Jagat Narain opposed efforts to control the media.

“His fearlessness is an example,” he said, adding that Jagat Narain also opposed terrorists and had to pay with his life.

The veteran journalist was shot dead near Ludhiana on this day in 1981 when terrorism in Punjab was at its peak.

Describing Jagat Narain as a brave freedom fighter and a fearless journalist, the Prime Minister recalled that he left his studies at the age of 21 and joined the Non-Cooperation Movement on the appeal of Mahatma Gandhi.

Even in jail, he contributed to the freedom struggle by working as a secretary to Lala Lajpat Rai. He was again jailed for three years for participating in the Quit India Movement and spent a total of nine years behind the bars during the freedom struggle.

He said the three newspapers published by his Group have a daily readership of over 33 lakh. Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal spoke on the subject of social media.

He said social media was reshaping the world of politics and increasing number of politicians and political parties were now using it as a platform.

But at the same time, there are risked involved, he warned.

He said if its contours are not defined then free speech can become a license to target anyone.

BJP leader L K Advani, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and former IPS officer K P S Gill were among those who were present on the occasion. -PTI

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