By Taazakhabar News Bureau
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the Punyabhushan Award to Pratap Pawar the Chairman of Marathi-language daily newspaper Sakal Media Group and younger brother of Sharad Pawar at a function in Pune.
The President said that the rich traditions and heritage of the city of Pune are an inspiration to the entire nation. He appreciated the endeavours of ‘Tridal’, Pune to commemorate the memory of the great trio of our freedom struggle – Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdeo and Rajguru. Rajguru hailed from Khed, adjoining Pune city, which is now named Rajgurunagar after him.
The President said that he was particularly happy that this award was being conferred in the presence of freedom fighters, who gave their youth to the cause of freedom struggle. We must always remember with gratitude the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. We owe our freedom to them.
The President congratulated Pratap Pawar for being recipient of the Punyabhushan Award this year. He said that Pawar’s contributions to the Indian media through Sakal Media group; to the industrial development of this region and to social activities are well known. Last year, as President of India, I had the privilege of conferring ‘Padmashri’ on Pratap Pawar to recognize his contribution in various areas of public service. Through ‘Sakal’ he has played a major role in educating and awakening the masses.
The President said that media plays a very important role in our democracy. It helps in creation of awakening amongst the vast multitude of masses through dissemination of information. It helps shape ideas and opinions. Democracy is not just a government of the people, for the people and by the people. It can be institutionalized only through constant dialogue. The media as a whole not only keeps people informed but also performs a very crucial function of presenting ideas and alternatives in the domain of policy formulation and implementation. The media space thus becomes an important component in the fabric of a functional democracy by not merely reporting the ‘dialogue of democracy’ but also by taking an active part in that dialogue.