It is more than a decade since I started communicating with you through Organiser. My predecessor, the late Prof. V.P. Bhatia was a scholar with mastery over the English language and literature. In fact in his letter to the readers, Bhatiaji had himself written about the illustrious persons who led the Organiser team of which in fact he himself was a worthy member. On my part, it was with some trepidation that I took over the reins of Editorship of such an illustrious weekly of international repute and veneration. Hailing from a small village in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, I was born and brought up in Mumbai where I started attending the RSS shakha at the tender age of five. During my college days, as a teenage activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, my contribution to journalism was limited to reading and selling Organiser and later The Motherland. After a brief incarceration during the infamous Emergency, I began working as a pracharak of the RSS, first in Mumbai and then in the adjoining Thane district. Later, during my stint as a General Secretary of the Mumbai BJP, I was asked by the late Ma. Bhaurao Deoras to join Organiser. It was after I came to Delhi that I learned about being considered as Editor for handling the country’smost popular weekly started during Partition with Shri A.R. Nair as its first editor. (See box) Organiser, as Bhatiaji wrote, was more a mission and an intellectual movement than a newspaper. The paper’sreaders and a large number of patrons worldwide are the real owners and the power behind the weekly. Besides inputs and a continuous inflow of information from them we have a team of regular writers and columnists who are literally part of our small but efficient team. Nobody worked for pecuniary benefit. In fact some of our contributors refused to accept any remuneration and on every occasion our employees contributed towards one or another social cause. When I joined the paper under the guidance of a noble soul like Rajju Bhaiya who allowed me to draw one hundred rupees every month towards expenses, my immediate challenge was to maintain the high standards and bring financial stability to the weekly. Encouraged by the response of those who found me worthy of shouldering this responsibility and guided by stalwarts like the late S/Shri Girilal Jain, Ramswaroopji, Sita Ram Goel, K.R. Malkani and V.P. Bhatia, I could overcome my handicap, namely, lack of experience.
It was important for a views paper like Organiser, loaded with thought-provoking erudite writing to keep pace with modern technology and cost-cutting methods. The management was always accommodative to new ideas and improvements, which resulted in the introduction of colour pages and increase in the number of pages. Needless to say much more remains to be done. As Aristotle wrote in Rhetoric, “change in all things is sweet”. And it is time to move on to the next responsibility that my seniors have earmarked for me, where again, the day is not considered as ended until the duties it brings have been discharged. Organiser will have a new Editor Shri R. Balashankar, an experienced journalist and public relations expert besides being an affable person endowed with qualities of head and heart.
“This only is denied even to God: the power to undo the past”, it is said. But the past certainly provides the light for the future. It was a thrilling experience to go through your communications – loving, affectionate, angry, sulking, complaining and at times even despairing – all with the sole intention of improving the image and utility of your dear weekly, which you have so endearingly built through these fifty years. As has been the tradition and in keeping with the wishes of the management, I will continue my association with the paper, thus making this only a formal farewell.
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