Home Interview ‘Panchjanya’ has never compromised on national interest: Hitesh Shankar

‘Panchjanya’ has never compromised on national interest: Hitesh Shankar

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By ARUN PRATAP SINGH

Dehradun, 20 May: Panchjanya, a leading National Weekly in Hindi is completing 75 years of its inception. To commemorate the occasion, a conclave is being organised on the occasion in Delhi. On this occasion, Garhwal Post spoke to Editor in Chief of Panchjanya, Hitesh Shankar. It may be recalled that Hitesh Shankar is a senior journalist with vast experience in Hindi journalism. Before joining Panchjanya, he had served with leading Hindi Daily, Hindustan for a period of 16 years and had served as Deputy News Editor of Hindustan too. He regularly writes columns in various leading publications on current politics and issues of national importance and also appears in debates on various news channels as a political analyst.

How has been the journey of Panchjanya for 75 years?

Panchjanya has been a voice of nationalism, and its journey in past 75 years has been spotless and quite smooth. Whereas many other newspapers choose to remain silent on national issues, we at Panchanya have never shied away from raising our voice on national issues on a regular basis. Deendayal Upadhyaya had established the publication after the independence, with the objective to speak on in the interest of the country, following the ideology of Hindutva and nationalism. We have kept these principles in mind. You see, who was the first editor of Panchjanya? Revered Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who lent a very strong foundation to the Panchjanya with his strong vision and thoughts.

Which important issues raised by Panchjanya became national issues?
In fact, there are not one or two issues raised by Panchjanya which the governments had to seriously consider for action, but many of them. Be it the issue of cow protection movement or the Swadeshi movement, the issue of the formation of small states or the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, issues related to the culture of India or any issue related to the Indian soil, Panchjanya raised them strongly. In fact, Panchjanya was the only publication to raise certain issues which generated the public opinion on those issues.

Panchjanya has lent a new direction to the thought process of the country? What was the role of the Sangh behind this?
RSS is our basic mother organisation and we get cultural ideas from the RSS. Whenever the Sangh has spoken about the interests of the nation through any means, Panchjanya has turned that voice into the voice of the nation, whether it is the issue of cow protection movement, whether it is the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi movement, or whether it was opposition to the Emergency, Panchjanya has remained vocal on them.

We have seen that when Panchjanya was growing as a publication, there used to be many more magazines and magazines in the market, most of which are not even visible now! How did Panchjanya survive?
You are right. Along with Panchjanya, we had seen magazines like Hindustan, Dharmayug, Blitz, and all of them had circulation much more than us once upon a time. Despite this, they did not survive but Panchjanya has not only survived but thrived mainly because we had never compromised on our core ideology or our basic principles. Editors kept coming and going but our core concept hasn’t changed.

Panchjanya seems to have changed its look and design lately to keep up with changing time. How is this change?
Some changes are necessary. Panchjanya has also grown but with the passage of time, we have to change its look and design. But the depth of content remains same and the principles remain intact. Earlier, the publication looked like a newspaper, now it carries an appearance of a magazine. Yes, we have definitely adopted the modern form of digital platform, social media because we have to keep up with the times and also to connect ourselves with the younger generation. For this we also use Facebook as one platform to promote it and we have also brought Panchjanya on Twitter, Koo, Insta, YouTube, etc., where we have millions of followers and we are able to reach out to them and convey our viewpoint across to them.

What are the plans of Panchjanya in future?
See, Panchajanya speaks about India, our punch line is also the same “Baat Bharat Ki” We have been lending voice to the issues in the interest of the country and will continue to do so! We shall continue to do this and continue to attempt to create a consensus over the issues of national interest in the society through Panchjanya.