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A man of vision with Gandhian ideals

Prabhash Joshi died on November 5, 2009 at the age of 72. He scoffed at English language and the English press but went on to became the editor of an English newspaper. Just as he had established himself in English journalism, he launched Jansatta which instantly captured the attention of the Hindi-speaking people for being unlike any other Hindi newspaper. He was a Gandhian drawn to Jayaprakash Narayan’s Total Revolution.

Newspaper owners have become tentwallahs

Prabhash Joshi was the founder-editor of Jansatta when it was launched in 1983. His untiring efforts over the years made Jansatta one of the most widely read Hindi publications. He also became a popular speaker traversing the length and breadth of the country, passionately talking on issues that concerned him. Exactly a week before his untimely demise on November 5, in a speech he delivered at a seminar on “Blurring the line between news and advertisements,” organised by the Foundation for Media Professionals at the Indian International Centre, New Delhi, he made a scathing attack on sections of the media that had masqueraded advertisements as political news in the run-up to the general elections. He sharply criticized particular media organizations for entering into covert agreements with candidates of political parties and accepting illegal money from them for publicizing their activities and/or putting down their rivals. Such practices undermined and compromised the very basis of the role that an independent media is expected to play in a democracy. Here is the English translation of the transcript of his final speech that he delivered in the capital on October 28.