Presents V.M. Korath National Award to journalist M.V. Kamath
KOZHIKODE: Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and BJP leader L.K. Advani presented the V.M. Korath National Award 2008 to senior journalist M.V. Kamath here on Tuesday, recalling the way journalists responded to the suppression of freedom of expression during the Emergency in the country.
After presenting the award instituted by the Tapasya Arts and Cultural Forum, Mr. Advani, a journalist-turned politician, told the audience that journalists were one of the three sections of people affected by the Emergency, the other being politicians and the legal fraternity. The journalists of the country before the Independence viewed journalism as a mission.
Like many other sections of society, working for the freedom of the country was their goal.
He recalled that Mr. Korath (V.M. Korath, former editor of Janmabhumi) had led a march to Thiruvananthapuram (Secretariat) during the Emergency.
The former deputy Prime Minister lauded the contributions of Kerala and its great sons for the unity of the country.
Adi Sankara lived only for 32 years but his contribution to the humanity was immense. The great saint had travelled across the country on foot at that time when there was no single India but several kingdoms. “What made India is basically our culture and our spiritual heritage,” he said.
Mr. Advani also highlighted the contributions of V.P. Menon, who contributed a lot for the integration of the country. Mr. Menon’s timely advice to Sardar Vallabhai Patel helped in the smooth integration of all the States. Thus Kerala had contributed immensely to India both in ancient times and in the modern times, he said.
Mr. Advani said that he was happy to come to Kozhikode as it was here that an all-India convention of the Jan Sangh was held during 1967-68.
“It was then called Calicut. It has a special place in my memories. It was the last convention of the person who influenced me the most — Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya,” Mr. Advani recalled.
State president of the Tapasya P. Narayana Kurup presided over the function. The V.M. Korath Award comprises Rs.1 lakh in cash, memento and citation.
Mahakavi Akkitham read out the poem, ‘Pradhanamanthri’ (Prime Minister) on the occasion, pointing out that it was befitting at a time when everybody was talking of Mr. Advani as the “Prime Minister-in-waiting.”
Director of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram P. Parameswaran, former Union Minister of State for Railways O. Rajagopal, BJP State president P.K. Krishnadas, Tapasya State secretary P.G. Haridas, writer Asha Menon and journalists Hari S. Kartha, K.M. Roy and K.P. Mohanan were among those who spoke.