Durga Puja: No newspaper in Kolkata


By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Press is said to be the third eye of the society and fourth pillar of democracy. However, during the four days of Durga Puja, in a very consorted manner, all the newspapers in Bengal suspended their publications.

Earlier, the publications were shut only on dashami (the last day of Durga Puja), but since 2011, newspaper houses have been suspending their publications for four days on the pretext of the lack of availability of distributors during this time.

However, distributors are working on a temporary basis, and are in a state of severe unemployment. If offered, many would happily do this job with the minimum wage.

Shib Mukherjee, editor of Natyomukhopatro said, “Distributor is not the problem. Today, the newspapers contain less news but more advertisement, and as from saptami to dashami all the markets and businesses are shut down in Kolkata, so they do not get any advertisement from the leading business houses. That makes newspapers to stop their publications during Puja”.

To read the mind of Kolkatans, NewsGram interacted with various people and they gave different views:

65 year old Hiralal Muherjee, a central government employee, said, “During our time, the people had huge respect for newspapers. They took a bold step during the time of independence and emergency. People still remember the role of Harish Mukherjee and Barun Sengupta for their dedication to the society. But today, newspapers act as a medium for the publicity of business houses. It is a warning sign for democracy”.

21 year old engineering student Arkoprava Ganguly had a different view as he said that in the age of apps, the relevance of these print papers was gone. He remarked, “Every newspaper has their app, and we are updated every second. People hardly care about newspaper as there is nothing new to read and see except the nude pictures and outsized advertisements”.

35 year old businessman Nitin Chomal said, “I hardly get time to read newspaper but I watch television news and also follow the online news portal to keep myself updated”.

Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, noted Bengali writer, spoke about the responsibility of media as he remarked, “The media giants should understand that their work is to inform people, so they cannot sleep in their home and enjoy the puja holidays.”