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A journey of nostalgic moments..

 Media Coverage  |  12-12-2023

Launch of Hindi version of ‘Jawahar’ in Delhi

Salute to Babuji’s contributions

Only two persons had courage to write against themselves

Ghulam Nabi Azad

Padma Vibhushan, President Democratic Progressive Azad Party & Former Union Minister

I have observed that many MPs have come to this function. I greet NCP, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Independents, and Congress MPs for coming to this event.

If anyone in this audience knows Babuji most intimately, it is me.  I had a close relationship with Babuji for 44-45 years, until his demise. He brought out an unbiased newspaper. In politics, I discovered two individuals criticising themselves in their own newspapers. He was one of them. When Pt Nehru was Prime Minister, he wrote an article criticising himself, claiming that Jawaharlal Nehru was unfit for the position, and had it published under a different name in a major newspaper. The owner of the newspaper asked Pt Nehru why did you write like that. No one dares to come to me and say that. So I want to see how many people react to this article, Nehru replied. It takes courage to even write against yourself under a different name.



Dardaji’s face was simple… never expressed sorrow, happiness

Janardan Dwivedi

Senior congress leader

My meetings with Jawaharlal Darda started from 1979. At that time, all the senior journalists used to come and sit on a big platform located at 24, Akbar Road. They would pull chairs, sit and chat. Sometimes Jawaharlal Dardaji used to come there and sit and discuss. As he stayed at the Congress headquarters for 39 years, there was a bond between three generations.

Jawaharlal Darda used to come, speak openly and express concern at the prevailing state of affairs in the country without any stress on his face. Even if he was sad, there would be no expression of sadness on his face. If he wanted to be restless, there used to be no sense of unrest, and the funny part is that when he wanted to be happy, he didn’t even look very happy. After Independence, young Jawaharlal Darda participated in the Bhoodan movement and from there he entered politics. When I first met Dr. Vijay Darda, I became attached to him for he being the son of Jawaharlal Darda.

Author of this book, Aparna Velankar never met Dardaji. She got to know about him from others. It is a great achievement of the writer to express all the aspects of his life in a way that she had spent years with him.



Darda family carrying forward Babuji’s values to new generations

Vinod Tawde

BJP National General Secretary and former Minister

As a social-political activist, when I think of Lokmat Group and Jawaharlal Darda, I draw parallels between Jawaharlal Dardaji and Rupert Murdoch. Like Murdoch, who came from Australia and dominated the entire media world, Lokmat too has done the same in the country starting from Yavatmal.

In Maharashtra, many leaders tried to bring mouthpiece of their party. But none were as successful as Lokmat. Babuji never used this newspaper for his political interests and published it as an impartial newspaper.

It was a big thing for a Congress leader to have the courage to tell Indira Gandhi that journalists have an independent opinion. Having the courage to refuse to apologise when asked by the Privileges Committee in response to a news item published by Lokmat is a real commitment to journalism.

The most important thing is that when the major media companies are splitting, in the Lokmat Group, the next generation is seen working alongside Vijaybabu, Rajendrababu, and Rishi. The Darda family is seen carrying forward the seed of ethical values inculcated by Babuji into future generations.



Babuji’s life was like ‘Khud se khud ki mulakat, khud se khuda ki mulakat’

Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni Ji

Founder of World Peace Centre and Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati

Jawaharlal Darda was a great freedom fighter and human being. I did not have the good fortune to meet Babuji during his lifetime. I could say meeting boths his sons was like tasting the fruit of a beautiful tree and today I was fortunate to know more about the root of that tree.

History is not made by cowards but by great sacrifices of heroes like Babuji. In today’s era of hatred, we urgently needs a personality like  Babuji. Today’s youth should try to learn from Babuji’s life by reading this book. “Khud se khud ki mulakat, khud se khuda ki mulakat.” We can learn this from Babuji’s life.



Darda family aware of people’s suffering

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Congress leader

in Lok Sabha

Veteran freedom fighter, and founder-editor of Lokmat Media Group, Jawaharlal Darda alias Babuji is an outstanding example of how far a person can go and what he can achieve in life. Even the sky was not the limit for him. Jawaharlal Darda ably managed many ministries. The life journey of Jawaharlal Darda should be discussed. This biography will provide you with the motivation you need to take the next step in your life.  The Darda family is aware of people’s suffering. That is why this family has made significant contributions to society. Lokmat aspires to be India’s leading media group in the future.



Babuji is pride of Maharashtra, Vidarbhaites are proud of him

Mukul Wasnik

Congress MP & party’s national

general secretary

Irecall the days of working with Babuji Jawaharlal Darda when I was active in the student movement through NSUI. He was a person that I adored and considered a blessing. I was much loved and blessed by him. I got a chance to learn a lot from him. I learned many things from Babuji, including the principles of Congress, how to work in politics, how to conduct with dignity, how to deal with people, and deliver speeches. He was the pride of Maharashtra. It is a matter of pride for us Vidarbhaites that he has contributed significantly to society. He was the guardian minister of Buldhana district when I first entered the Lok Sabha as an MP in 1984. I stayed and worked with him at the time. Influenced by the thoughts of Vinoba Bhaveji, the ideals of the freedom struggle, Gandhian ideology, and the Bhoodan movement, continue to circulate and spread through the ‘Lokmat’ established by Babuji. I am glad that Vijaybabu invited me to this event. I am very proud to have taken part in the concluding event of Babuji’s centennial year.



Babuji strongly supported renaming of Marathwada university

Ramdas Athawale

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment

The great freedom fighter, social  activist, leader and pioneering journalist Jawaharlal Darda fought tirelessly for securing justice for people of all castes and religions. “Jo Dalit, Garib, Kisan, Mazdooron ka puchhte the hal, unka naam hai Darda Jawaharlal”. For many years, he served in the Maharashtra Cabinet as Minister of Industries, Health, and Energy. He headed the Energy department, but he himself was the energy of Maharashtra. He had great respect for our icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

When he was a minister, our Dalit Panther movement was going on in Maharashtra. We had launched a movement to rename Marathwada University after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Darda had fully pledged support to this movement. Dr. Vijay Darda and his brother Rajendra Darda have done a great job in bringing out this book to the readers. It is a great honour for all of us to publish and release this book in Delhi. Nobody would know who I am today if Lokmat had not published my news and photos. Lokmat established my identity. That is why I could reach Delhi from Mumbai.



This book will give a message to new generation and present system 

Dr Vijay Darda

Chairman of editorial board

of lokmat media group & former member of Rajya sabha 

History immortalises only that person who has the vision to see ahead of time, is endowed with noble traits, and special attributes, who values new ideas, and makes substantial contributions to human development. Our editorial department thought that a book should be written on such a personality. The book was first written in Marathi. Its Hindi version is being released today in the capital of India.

Babuji  used to think ahead of time. He turned the newspaper into a weapon. While keeping ‘Lokmat’ independent, he remained steadfast in supporting the Congress party in good and bad times. News against him used to be published in ‘Lokmat’.

The Legislative Assembly’s work was once halted for three days in a row as a result of this. When the Lokmat reporter lamented that his story had led him into trouble, Babuji replied, ‘You are doing your job, I am doing mine.’

We have never practised discrimination against anyone. It is hoped that the new generation and the present system will get a message through this book. Leaving party meetings in Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad came to the book launch event out of affection for Babuji, the Darda family, and Lokmat.  A big thank you to everyone who came to support this



Babuji was also a good political thinker

 Kailash Vijayvargiya

National General Secretary, BJP

I am not fortunate enough to see Babuji Jawaharlal Darda. But even if you don’t see the tree, you can guess what the tree must be like from the flowers. I have heard and read about Jawaharlal Darda. He was not only a good journalist but also a good social worker. He was also a good political thinker. He always thought and worked for the community and the region.

I am proud to say that all those who served as Chief Ministers during Babuji’s time used to seek his advice. This is a big deal. I have the biography of such a person in my hands. I salute him. Babuji’s reflection can be seen in both his sons. They are both like my elder brothers and friends. I have received their blessings.



Book on life of Babuji is highly inspirational

Satya Pal Singh Baghel

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare

The book is penned on a personality who was so inspired by Gandhiji that he jumped into the freedom struggle at a young age and was imprisoned for two years. He held all the key positions in Maharashtra except the Chief Minister’s post and was the pioneer of the socio-economic and political movement of the state. The book launch of such a personality was meant to be special. So how can we miss this event?

I got a chance to work with Vijay Darda in the Rajya Sabha. “Jo Khwab The Mere Jahan Me, Wo Na Kah Saka Na Likh Saka, Jo Jubaan Mili Wah Kati Hui, Jo Kalam Mili Wah Bika Hua.. Vah do shabd likhte hai aur umrabhar gaate hai.. Hum pothiyan sekte hain aur umr de jaate hai..” This book is very inspiring for budding journalists, aspiring newspaper owners and those who wish to reach the Vidhan Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad through journalism.

The relationship between journalists and political leaders is akin to Nanad and Bhabhi. They fight yet stay together. You have different problems and we have different problems. If there is dust on the face, it should definitely be shown and written about. But if the dust is on the mirror, don’t try to stick it on our face by force.



Babuji’s tradition was carried forward by this family

Alok Mehta

Padma Shri and Senior Journalist

Everyone stays with power. After losing power, Ambika Soni left Indira Gandhi. But Ghulam Nabi Azad and many others stayed with her. That is why we respect Jawaharlal Darda. He stayed for the struggle even after the party was dethroned from the power.

A good movie should also be made based on this book. ‘Lokmat’ was released at the hands of Ravi Shankar Shukla before the birth of Madhya Pradesh. As a journalist I used to meet Jawaharlal Darda. But after a news was published in Navbharat Times, I developed friendship with Vijay Darda. As a friend, I suggested that he should reply to that news by bringing out a Hindi language newspaper. Later a newspaper was started in Hindi. I had suggested to Dr Vijay Darda to name Achyutanand Mishra, a RSS loyalist, as the editor of Lokmat Samachar.

Dr. Darda never once said that Mishra may have different ideological viewpoint. He never interfered in his work and gave him perfect freedom. The tradition of Jawaharlal Darda was carried forward by this family. Whenever I wrote an article, he published it without objecting to my views. Editors were never pressurised. This is an example of impartial journalism. That is why this book is so important.



‘Love of all of you is strength of Lokmat’

Rajendra Darda

Editor in Chief, Lokmat

Media Group

Babuji’s thoughts were that the country should remain one. We are moving away from the fact that we should be united in heart even if the opposition criticizes. All MPs from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from East to West are present in this function. The thoughts expressed by everyone today were touching to all of us. The love of all of you is the strength of Lokmat. Our strength is the accumulation of relationships. With these words, I thank you all including members of the Darda family and our oldest friend Ghulam Nabi Azad.



Dignitaries who graced the event

n BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, Lovely Professional University Chancellor, Aam Aadmi Party MP Ashok Mittal (Punjab), MP Varun Gandhi, MP Prataprao Chikhlikar, MP Unmesh Patil and MP Ranjitsinh Naik Nimbalkar (BJP), MP Rajni Patil (Congress), MP Srinivas Patil (Nationalist Congress- Sharad Pawar Group), Sunil Tatkare (Nationalist Congress- Ajit Pawar Group), MP Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena- Thackeray Group), MP Kripal Tumane (Shiv Sena), MP Sushil Kumar Gupta (Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi), MP Danish Ali (BSP), MP Saugat Rai (Trinamool Congress, Bengal), MP NK Premchandran (RSP, Kerala), MP Karthik Sharma (Independent, Haryana), Punjab MLA Fatehjung Singh Bajwa, former MP JK Jain , Deepak Katole of Congress.

n Former foreign secretary Dnyaneshwar Mulay, NCDRC member Sadhna Shanker, Supreme Court lawyers Siddharth Shinde and Shriram Pingle, president of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) Rakesh Sharma, Oriflame’s Vivek Katoch, Media Infinity Solutions’ Jwalant Swaroop, Global Galaxy director Parvinder Singh, Prof. Dr. Ramkumar, additional commissioner of Income Tax Dr. Sohail Malik, Vinay Sharma of Sinhayana Foundation, Dr Sunil Gupta and Dr Kavita Gupta.

n Senior journalists Neerja Chowdhury, Kalyani Shankar, director of Dainik Bhaskar Group (Bhopal) Dr Bharat Agrawal, Pradeep Kaushal, Ashok Wankhede, Aaku Srivastava, Sunil Dang, Rajesh Badal, Vikas Bhadoria, cartoonist Irfan, Vikas Zade, Awadhesh Kumar, Sujit Thakur, Kamlesh Gaikwad, Nivedita Khandekar, Mahesh Sarlashkar, Vivek Shukla, Shashank Dwivedi, Chandrashekhar Barve, Ajit Kumar, Ajay Bua, Sagar Kulkarni, Suresh Bhusari, Tarun Nangia, Dinesh Goyal (Chandigarh), Balwant Takshak (Chandigarh, Lokmat).

n Actress Prachi Trehan, Barrister Kahna Dwivedi, deputy generalsecretary of British Conservative Party Barrister Nipun Sharma, director of All Sports Foundation Siddhaant Mohta.

n Vishnu Darbari of National Highways Authority of India, Ram Ballabh Sharma, Dr Harish Bhalla, Maharashtra Youth Congress general secretary Akshay Jain, additional commissioner of Customs Nagendra Yadav, businessman Dharam Ahuja, Punjab Kesari executive director Bhushan Jain, PUG Asia director Vikas Batra and his wife Suparna Batra, industrialists Rahul Bhatia and Shivam Bhatia (Dehradun), industrialist Amit Rana, architect Ajay Gautam.

n Vijay Baviskar (group editor, Lokmat), Harish Gupta (national editor, Lokmat), Vikas Mishra (editor, Lokmat Samachar), Aparna Velankar (executive editor, Lokmat), Ashish Bhatia (vice president, Lokmat Delhi), Kshitij Chandra (vice president, Lokmat Delhi), Sanjay Sharma (associate editor, Lokmat Delhi), Aadesh Rawal (special correspondent, Lokmat Delhi)

Dignitaries who shared the dais

Senior journalist Padma Shri Alok Mehta, senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi, editor-in-chief of Lokmat Media Group Rajendra Darda, national general secretary of Congress Mukul Wasnik, chairman of editorial board of Lokmat Media Group and former member of Rajya Sabha Dr Vijay Darda, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and president of DPAP Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union minister of state for social welfare Ramdas Athawale, founder of World Peace Centre and Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni ji, BJP national general secretary and former minister Vinod Tawde and Union Minister of State for health S P Singh Baghel.

Anchoring: Shweta Shelgaonkar



The Hindi version of ‘Jawahar’, a book that chronicles the ideals, values and statesmanship of veteran freedom fighter and founder of Lokmat Media Group Jawaharlal Darda alias Babuji was released at the Speaker Hall, Constitution Club in New Delhi. Paying tributes to him on the occasion are (from L) Punjab MLA Fatehjang Singh Bajwa, Lovely Professional University chancellor and Aam Aadmi Party MP Ashok Mittal, chairman of editorial board of Lokmat Media Group and former member of Rajya Sabha  Dr Vijay Darda, Congress national general secretary and MP Mukul Wasnik, former Union minister and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) president, Padma Vibhushan Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJP national general secretary and former minister Vinod Tawde, Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale, World Peace Centre and Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati founder Jain Acharya Lokesh Muni Ji, editor-in-chief of Lokmat Media Group Rajendra Darda, Congress MP and J&K in-charge of the party Rajani Patil.


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