Every city, every region has its unique identity, which is reflected in the culture of its residents. Dehradun has always had a certain image in the minds of people in the rest of India – a centre of school education, the home of important institutions such as the IMA, FRI, IIP, Survey of India, et al. People from here are expected to be more educated, sophisticated and cosmopolitan. The city of grey hair and green hedges has, by and large, lived up to its reputation. Now it is much more – the capital of a hill state that is also known as Devbhoomi. It has the unique opportunity of imparting its special qualities to the rest of the state and, also, taking on the special responsibilities that have fallen upon it.
This cannot happen if its people do not play their designated role of preserving their special qualities in the face of a uniformity imposed by a dominant consumer culture promoted by big business, dumbed down values, patterns of conspicuous consumption, and social labeling. In an environment where small enterprises are facing threats from faceless mega-corporations, it is the conscious choice made by every individual that can preserve the best in the local culture and accept the suitable in the new. This consciousness is best developed through intellectual networking that is not controlled by global platforms functioning on the basis of behind the scenes algorithms.
This autonomous behaviour exists in Doon and Uttarakhand, which is why it is possible for a ‘small’ newspaper like Garhwal Post to exist for 23 years. It has survived the arrival of large banners that suddenly discovered the ‘importance’ of the region when it became a separate state with a substantial and growing budget. It has done so with the support of those who know the importance of a local platform that reflects their psyche and their concerns, who would like their ‘sanskars’ to be communicated to the coming generations. These ‘sanskars’ help people resist the pressure to conform without understanding or conscience. This is what provides life and energy to newspapers like the Garhwal Post. In turn, Garhwal Post is pleased to acknowledge these individuals, who in their particular spheres of life have established their particular identities through considerable effort to follow personal dreams. This it does with its Young Turk Awards – the third edition of which was held in Mussoorie on Monday. It felicitates these achievers because they create the mind-space for the newspaper to exist by being uniquely Doonites and Uttarakhandis. For that, we are deeply grateful to our readers, contributors, workers, advertisers and, last but not least, the stalwart patrons who have stood by us all these years!