CPI mouthpiece Kalantar shuts down

An innings ends: The first and the last edition of Kalantar.

An innings ends: The first and the last edition of Kalantar.  

Sold more than 50,000 copies in the 1990s

On Tuesday evening, the editorial team of Kalantar, the Bengali mouthpiece of Communist Party of India (CPI) was working on a message for its readers. The message, to be published in the October 31 and November 1 issues, will announce the closure of the publication of the 52-year-old Bengali daily from November 1, its editor Kalyan Banerjee told The Hindu.

Mr. Banerjee said the publication of Kalantar as a daily started on October 7, 1966 and during its hey days in the mid-1990s, the eight-page paper sold more than 50,000 copies.

“From November 1, there will be no publication of Kalantar. We are working on whether we can start a weekly or fortnightly in place of the daily paper,” he said.

The CPI leadership in West Bengal said it was “extremely unfortunate” that a paper such a historical value had to close down due to lack of funds.

“There was no government advertisement for the paper from 2011 when the Trinamool Congress came to power. Then the advertisement from the Centre stopped,” said Swapan Banerjee, secretary of the West Bengal unit of the CPI.

Mr. Banerjee said that despite all the adversities the party had continued to bring out the paper for the past seven years. “Now when we are finding it difficult to meet even the expenses of the party, we have decided to stop the publication,” the CPI leader said.

For the 62-odd employees of the newspaper, has 62 employees, and their and with the closure their fate now also hangs in balance. Before 2011, its press of the publication also got some printing orders from the by the Government of West Bengal government, which kept the publication afloat.

People associated with the paper described the publication as more than just a mouthpiece of the CPI. Well-known poet Bishnu De had coined its name and legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray had designed its masthead.

It has had The publication has seen legendary communists Somnath Lahiri and Bhabani Sen as its editors of the paper.

“Between December 1962 and October 1966, the publication came out in the form of a weekly. Kalantar is among the oldest Bengali publications which have carried on for the past five past decades,” the editor said. Kalyan Banerjee the editor of the paper said. Employees associated with the paper said that they were there are hopeful that the halting suspension of the publication was only will be temporary and soon they can resume daily publication of the paper.

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Printable version | Feb 15, 2020 10:18:41 PM |

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