Mohun Bagan fracas claims ‘Pratidin’ editor?


Nora Chopra writes in The Sunday Guardian:

A major fight has broken out among some Trinamool Congress leaders. Mamata Banerjee‘s blue-eyed boy, Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh was thrown out of the office of Pratidin newspaper by its staffers last week.

Ghosh, who used to be the deputy editor of Pratidin, was told that his service had been terminated.

The newspaper is owned by Trinamool’s Tutu Bose and his son Srinjoy Bose, the party’s Rajya Sabha member. Tension between Srinjoy Bose and Kunal Ghosh has been rising over a period of time, and various allegations had been levelled against the latter.

The immediate reason was the campaign unleashed by Ghosh holding the father-son duo responsible for the three-year ban imposed on the Mohun Bagan football club by the all India football federation. Tutu Bose is the president of Mohun Bagan, Srinjoy is the vice president and Ghosh is looking for a foothold in the club.

It is believed that before sacking Ghosh, the father-son duo had taken the CM into confidence. But soon after, during Mamata’s trip to Jangalmahal, Ghosh was by her side.

Read the full column: Buzzword

Also read: How a Hindi newspaper editor became an MP

How Rajeev Shukla became a minister

External reading: Mamata‘s men flaunt their degrees


  1. nava thakuria

    JFA expresses concern at newspaper closure notice
    Guwahati: Journalist Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed serious concern at the closer notices issued by the management of two Assam based daily newspapers and urged Assam government to take initiative for possible re-launching both the newspapers owned by the Kolkata based by Saradha Group. The forum also asked the management to release the outstanding salaries to the journalist and non-journalist employees at the earliest.
    In a press statement issued by the JFA president Rupam Baruah and secretary Nava Thakuria, the organization revealed that the management of Sakalbela, a Bengali daily and Seven Sister’s Post, an English daily published from Guwahati had issued closer notices recently from its Kolkota office and since the first week of April 2013 both the newspapers have not been circulated and printed.
    Mentionable is that Sakalbela had employed nearly forty working journalists and another hundred media employees and similarly Seven Sister’s Post had around fifty working journalists and hundred other employees. The sudden closer notice issued by the Saradha Group of companies chairman cum managing director Sudipta Sen has rendered all these newspaper employees jobless.
    The media reports from Kolkata suggest that all the newspapers and television channels owned by the Saradha Group have been closed down. More ever, the Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen remains absconding for many days. The affected employees of the group have also lodged FIRs in local police stations.
    The media employees based in Assam have alleged that they have not received their monthly salaries for the last two months. The JFA has asked the Saradha Group management to immediately release their outstanding salaries and other due benefits (including the PF). The forum also appealed to the State chief minister Tarun Gogoi and State labour minister Prithvi Majhi to pursue with the concerned management for reviving the production of both the newspapers and also providing due-financial benefits to nearly three hundred worried employees at the earliest.

  2. JFA advocates for better working condition to media persons
    Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed serious concern at the helpless working condition of most of the media persons, precisely the private television journalists, based in Assam and urged the State chief minister Tarun Gogoi to look into the matter. The Assam based scribes body argues that nearly 80% working journalists of the State have to work with pitiable salaries, unlimited working hours without even a break in need and without any insurance facilities.
    The JFA pointed out that the working journalists, engaged with the satellite news channels of Assam have to perform their duties in a vulnerable atmosphere with lower wages, more than 8 hours working period in a day, without appropriate leave days & off-days, and with no facility of life & health insurance coverage.
    Whenever the demand for higher financial packages for the privately-owned television channel employees, including the working journalists is put forward, the owners argue that they are running a loss-making business. One important aspect, the owners always raise here, is that they have to pay a huge amount of money to the cable operators across Assam & northeast India for facilitating the distribution of their channels. According to them, the satellite news channel managements have to pay nearly Indian rupees 2 crores (around 3,00,000 USD) to the cable operators every year for their service.
    “But the issue that arises here is that the cable operators of the region also slam a monthly charge of rupees 200 to 300 per subscriber against the facility. So the cable operators are collecting money from both the parties namely the Guwahati based private news channel managements and millions of subscriber families of the region,” stated in a release issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
    The JFA argues that if the cable operators collect money every month from the viewers, they should pay a portion of the amount to the channel owners, as like as the newspaper agents pay to the proprietors. However for any reason, if that is not workable, the cable operators should reduce the monthly charge for the cable subscribers. The cable operators may initiate for increasing the number of subscribers to the rural areas of the region too with an aim to enhance their business.
    Assam with a population of over 30 million supports 26 morning dailies and seven privately owned satellite news channels with few cable & entertainment channels. These channels beam news and other programs in various languages, primarily in Assamese with English, Hindi, Bengali and various regional languages to virtually cater the need of nearly 60 million populace of the alienated region in India.
    In regards to the Direct To Home (from the satellite) arrangements across the country, the channel owners make an allegation that they have to pay over 2 crore Indian rupees for the entry into the space. Moreover, the DTH arrangers always select a particular channel with the purpose of profit only, irrespective of their commitment to the community and the nation.
    “Hence we raise the demand for a specially designed DTH service in India, where every channel, recognized by the Indian Union government, should be available. Leaving aside the free-to-air channels, the payment for all the paid-for channels can be availed from the subscribers across the country,” added the JFA statement.
    It also pointed out that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting may also think of developing the DD Direct (managed by the government-owned India’s largest public service broadcaster Prasar Bharti), so that it can distribute all registered channels of the country and selected foreign television channels on demand with monthly charges wherever applicable.
    The JFA strongly argues that the newly defined system should help the subscribers to get the ‘freedom to select a bunch of channels’ of their choice with or without regular payments. Moreover the money from the viewers should directly go to the channel owners in a way that they can be more dependants on the viewers for survival and certainly not on the advertisers all the time. Such an ideal situation would also help promoting a healthy and responsible news channel with all commitments to its valued audiences.
    The scribes body has finally appealed to the State chief minister to take personal initiative for facilitating a minimum starting salary of rupees 15,000 for the electronic media persons, engaged with the satellite news channels of Assam, with a daily working period of 8 hours or less, and a dignified leave arrangement. It also stated that all the employees working in newspaper or news channels should get the facilities of PF, ESI according to the Labour Act and also a health & life insurance coverage without discrimination.

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