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Indian Journalists’ Association in London turns 70

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Deputy High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik speaking-on-the-occasion

Set up on 29 May, 1947, few months before the attainment of Independence, IJA has been a representative body for UK-based correspondents and journalists with an aim to safeguard the interests of Indian foreign correspondents in the UK….writes Ragasidha Vinjamuri

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Deputy High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik speaking-on-the-occasion

The Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) has marked its 70th anniversary celebrations with speeches, reminiscences and live band recently.

Set up on 29 May, 1947, few months before the attainment of Independence, IJA has been a representative body for UK-based correspondents and journalists with an aim to safeguard the interests of Indian foreign correspondents in the UK. IJA membership today comprises of representatives from all major media outlets dedicated to covering the India story.

President-of-IJA-AShis-Ray-giving-opening-remarks

President Ashis Ray has rendered the opening remarks on the occasion, while Deputy High Commissioner of India Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik has outlined plans to have a Press Desk at the High Commission. Industrialists GP Hinduja, Dr Kartar Singh Lalvani, Joginder and Joginder Sanger have all spoken underscoring the work members of IJA are rendering to the media field and the special milestone being celebrated. Ashis Ray added that 70 years is a long journey for a journalists’ association.

Senior journalists Ashok Gupta, Subhash Chopra, Batuk Gatani, Kailash Budhwar and Amit Roy have reminisced the encounters with VIPs such as Tiger Pataudi and how the news used to reach India by telegraphic methods. Live band by Md Kassim, who has also played for Lata Mangeshkar previously, and songs by IJA members Sanjay Suri, Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Simi Arora and Prita Ray added colour to the evening.

In the decades of its history, IJA events have been attended by the heads of state, heads of government, members of royal families and eminent persons in various walks of life including Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Morarjee Desai, P V Narasimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Clement Atlee, Harold McMillan, Alec Douglas Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and the Duke of Edinburgh.

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