`A fighter for democratic values'

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. Describing the founder of the Indian Express group, Ram Nath Goenka, as a fighter for democratic values, the Vice-President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, on Wednesday called upon journalists to follow his path.

Speaking after releasing an illustrated biography, "Ram Nath Goenka -- A Life in Black and White", on the life and times of one of the stalwarts of Indian journalism, the Vice-President said Mr. Goenka not only had a tremendous will power but also was also able to keep his cool while facing major challenges. The biggest impediment for the poor in being able to live a life of dignity today was corruption and it was for today's journalists to constantly expose the violations of their rights like Mr. Goenka did, said Mr. Shekhawat.

Ananya Goenka, Mr. Goenka's daughter-in-law, who has written the book, said it presented little known facets of her father-in-law's life. The idea of writing the book came to her when her son wanted to know more about his grandfather. "On the one hand Mr. Goenka led a simple life while on the other he risked everything to protect the freedom of the Press and upholding the democratic values," she said.

The gathering included former Prime Ministers Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Chandra Shekhar, Union Ministers Santosh Mohan Dev and Subodh Kant Sahay, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Arun Jaitley and Balbir Punj, and senior journalists S. Gurumurthy and Prabhash Joshi.

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