By Mrinal Chatterjee
Sashibhushan Rath launched a weekly titled Asha on 13 April 1913. It is said that he named it after his daughter Ashalata. It was converted to the first Odia daily 15 years later on April 13, 1928.
Asha and Dainik Asha played a major role in the struggle for the unification of Odisha, in the struggle for independence, in improving the socio-economic condition of Odisha and also in shaping Odia language for newspaper. Many noted freedom fighters, social leaders and litterateurs were associated with these papers. Both the newspapers also served as the training ground for journalism in Odisha.
It is unfortunate that its 100th year is not being celebrated with the kind of vigour and respect it should command. Socio cultural organizations and media associations of Odisha must wake up to the occasion. Postal department should release a commemorative postage stamp on Dainik Asha on completion of its 100th year. Some socio cultural organisation should write to the appropriate authority of India Post. There is a set procedure and a form to do that. The people's representatives of Odisha should also take initiative in this regard.
Dainik Asha must get its due respect and status.
You have often heard this: Cognitive dissonance is growing in modern times. Cognitive dissonance is a fancy term for mental disharmony or a lack of peace of mind. If we consistently fail to do what we know is right, and/or keep doing what we know is wrong, we will lose peace of mind and experience cognitive dissonance.
Because we can't stand living this way, instead of correcting our behavior, we repress and deny our feelings, rationalize our behavior, justify our actions, start believing our own lies—and end up with a hardened heart and dead conscience. It is a dangerous course to follow, which leads to self-destruction.
Therefore do what your conscience says is right.