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Another Day


Twenty-five years is a really long time, particularly for a small independent newspaper making its way in a world dominated by corporate entities. To have survived is in itself an achievement. And survival has acquired new meanings in a Covid affected world. Even the pandemic has, thus far, not been allowed to get in the way of delivering the Garhwal Post at subscribers’ doorsteps. This is because, even in normal times, it is a daily struggle, not just organisationally and financially, but also intellectually and physically. Indeed, it happens on very rare occasions that the cycle from writing to delivery is broken, but it takes a late night car collision that breaks the legs of the general manager and the plate-maker, requiring surgery and implants to repair. After every such setback, there is no time even to acknowledge the suffering and the heroism, the next day’s paper has to be brought out.

Quite obviously, people get involved in such an endeavour because of some higher level of satisfaction, the actualisation of an inner calling. For some, it is inspiration derived from a parent involved in the business, for others it is the mistake of having been inspired in childhood by a magazine called ‘JS’. Then there is the fundamental non-conformism that makes one question the political and social systems otherwise taken for granted.

Also, in the present age of rapidly changing technology, it is also about keeping up, being innovative at the equipment, skills and management levels. A relatively ‘small’ organisation has the advantage of adapting guerilla-like to circumstances, which larger whales might find difficult. Work from home was happening at GP well before the Covid-19 pandemic. The always insufficient finances ensure that non-essentials are eliminated quickly and evolutionary efficiency maintained. And, yet, there are some things that remain beyond reach because business practices and beliefs in India remain mired in a highly socialist past. Effort does not necessarily translate into proportionate returns.

The goal of all newspapers, of course, is to bring about change through the power of the pen. This is why GP encourages everybody to write – everybody has something of value to contribute from their experience. Happily, Dehradun’s retired fraternity is a source of knowledge and inspiration – so many have contributed over the years and will, certainly, continue to do so. It is more than mere reportage now; it is about ideas in an age when even thought is being policed by mega-platforms with global agendas – something that increases the value of your local daily, responding to your everyday concerns. Here’s to another day, and another and another for many more years!

-Satish Sharma