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Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 52, December 12, 2009

Tribute to N.C.

Saturday 12 December 2009


P.V. Narasimha Rao’s letter to the editor of Mainstream and Chanchal Sarkar’s article (October 31) reminded me that November 3, 2009 is Nikhil-da’s 96th birth anniversary. I had the good fortune of knowing him when I was in Kolkata. I was a member of the undivided CPI. As I was associated with the Bandar Local Committee and with trade union activities, I also used to do some office work at the Central District Committee. Thus, I had the privilege of meeting many party stalwarts of yesteryears, such as Somnath Lahiri, N.C., Renu Chakravartty, Jolly Kaul.

After a long interval, I had the opportunity of renewing my contact with him when he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Editors’ Guild of India. I was then working with the Telugu daily, Eenadu. Its Chief Editor, Ramoji Rao, was the Chairman of the Guild. He used to convene a monthly meeting at the Guesthouse of Eenadu at Delhi. I used to accompany him
to assist him in conducting the meetings. I had the opportunity of interacting with N.C. He introduced me to several top journalists, such as H.K. Dua, Chanchal Sarkar.

The proudest moment of my professional life was his appreciation of the Eenadu library organised by me. Whenever he was in Hyderabad, he used to spend several hours in the library. Once Ramoji Rao hosted a conference of several editors of South Asian countries in Hyderabad. After the dinner hosted by Ramoji Rao at the Eenadu complex, N.C. requested the journalists to visit the Eenadu library. He told them that the library was an ideal one which should be emulated by other newspapers. The library maintains clipping files for a large number of countries. I displayed the files relating to South Asian countries represented at the conference. Several journalists requested for the photocopies of selected clippings, which were provided.

N.C. asked me to help to organise the fledging library of NAMEDIA. I readily agreed, but unfortunately the journalist who used to look after the library (I am unable to recall the name) suddenly passed away. On the occasion of N.C.’s 96th birth anniversary, I pay my humble tribute to this great humanist.

A.K. Dasgupta

A 203 San Remo Apartments

Masab Tank

Hyderabad 500 028

Phone# 66664498(R)


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