Bangabandhu gave journalists special status in society: Hasan
DHAKA, Aug 12, 2020 (BSS)- With a firm belief that the journalist community should have a revered standing in the society, Bangabandhu had given the newsmen a special status that BNP had abrogated during its tenure in 2006.
“Bangabandhu had elevated the position of journalists. But, BNP had abrogated their (journalists) status in 2006. Now, Awami League is working to reestablish the standing of the journalists,” he said.
The information minister came up with the remarks while addressing a discussion at the auditorium of Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB) in city’s Kakrail area.
Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust (BJWT) organized the discussion in association with Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) with Information Secretary and vice-chairman of the trustee board Kamrun Nahar in the chair.
Hasan said Bangabandhu had founded the Press Institute of Bangladesh, Press Council and the Wage Board for the journalists and adored them with a revered position. But, Begum Khaleda Zia had lowered the status of the journalists during her tenure and brought them down to the level of workers, he added.
They (BNP) didn’t differentiate between journalists and workers, which is a regrettable and condemnable act, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said the work for amending the act is going on as per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the draft of the amendment act has already got, in principal, approval.
The information minister said the draft act is now with the Law Ministry for scrutinizing it and hoped the act will be tabled in parliament through the cabinet soon.
Hasan said the status of the journalists will be reestablished if the amendment act is passed.
Abut government’s supports to journalists during the COVID-19 epidemic, he said journalists, who have recently become jobless, remained out of jobs for six months and are not getting their wages for long, would come under the purview of special assistance.
He said about 1500 journalists irrespective of difference of thoughts and opinions who are exposed to financial crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic have received the assistance in the first phase as a crisis-time aid.
The information minister extended his thanks to BFUJ and other organizations for following the instructions in making the lists.
He said there is no such example in neighbouring countries, like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, of providing government’s supports to the journalists.
During his deliberation, Hasan paid rich tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members who were brutally assassinated on the fateful night of August 15, 1975, four martyred national leaders and all martyred in the Liberation War.
Kamrun Nahar said, “We should build our next generation in line with the spirit of Bangabandhu’s ideology to make the country ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.”
Press Institute of Bangladesh Director General and also Managing Director of the trust Zafar Wazed read out a key-note paper on the occasion.
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) president Molla Jalal, secretary general Saban Mahmud, Jatiya Press Club president Saiful Alam and general secretary Farida Yeasmin, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) president Quddus Affrad and general secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, among others, addressed the meeting as special guests.