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Adityanath pays tribute to ‘fighters for democracy’ during Emergency

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NOIDA, June 25 (PTI): Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday called Ramnath Goenka a “shining pole star” of the media world as he renamed a road here after The Indian Express founder and said everyone should work for press freedom.

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Speaking at an event at the office of The Indian Express, Adityanath recalled June 25, 1975, as a “black day” in the history of Indian democracy on the 48th anniversary of the Emergency declared by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Adityanath renamed Amaltash Road, a key road in Noida that connects Rajnigandha Chowk in Sector 16 to Sector 12, as ‘Ramnath Goenka Marg’. The office of The Indian Express is located on this route.

The chief minister also paid tribute to those who worked to restore democracy during the Emergency period, which lasted till 1977.

“The day of June 25, 1975, is known as black day in the history of Indian democracy. But during that time, India had witnessed the struggle and sacrifices of those who had put their everything on the line to save democracy and the freedom of media. They showed their will to go to any extent to fight for democracy,” he said.

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“This day is also important since the Goenka family contributed to saving democracy and set parameters for what could be the clean and dignified role of the media ever since the founding of this media group. Along with this, Ramnath Goenka ji was also associated with the nationalist mission with which we are associated,” he added.

The chief minister further said, “Today is an emotional day for me. It is an important day from the point of view of saving democracy. I do not consider this a coincidence that this road had to be named after Ramanth Goenka today only on June 25. It has been 48 years.”

“I say this with full commitment and assure you that for the media — the fourth wheel, the fourth pillar of democracy — we also should get the opportunity to work together for it,” Adityanath said.

He remembered Goenka’s contribution in fighting for freedom of the media and democracy during the Emergency. Goenka was born in 1904 and passed away in 1991.

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“Today, it is a matter of pride for me that I am getting the opportunity to inaugurate this road named after him in Noida, which is known as the financial capital of Uttar Pradesh. On this occasion, I pay humble tribute to all those ‘fighters for democracy’, including Goenka, who fought for democracy in this country,” the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.

“Ramnath Goenka ji is a shining pole star of the media world. Whenever there will be talk about freedom of the media and democracy, Ramnath Goenka ji’s name would always be remembered with reverence and respect,” he added.

Adityanath also remembered Goenka’s journey as the founder of The Indian Express Group in 1936 and his role as a participant in India’s freedom movement.

“Not only for the media’s freedom, he also got elected to the Parliament to amplify the voice of India’s democracy. It is an important day for me that India’s most populous state where anti-democracy conspiracies were being hatched, the voice which had risen prominently against it was of Uttar Pradesh,” he added.


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