The publication of The Tribune began in 1881, thanks to the initiative, zeal and financial support of Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia. It was a huge thing for Indian citizens to have a newspaper that raised India’s voice in their own country. The valiant efforts of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev during the freedom struggle, their trial and subsequent execution were covered extensively by The Tribune.
I remember the time when the results of Panjab University’s exams used to reach readers only through The Tribune. In Amritsar, the students’ family members and friends used to reach Hall Bazaar, where they would wait anxiously for the paper to arrive. The moment it was announced that The Tribune had landed, people would jostle to be the first to grab a copy. In the 1950s, it was a big thing to pass the matriculation exams, especially for girls. It was through the scramble for seeing the results that I got introduced to The Tribune. During my college education, it was a matter of pride to read this newspaper in campus and public libraries. In my college days, I was given the task of going through the newspaper and writing passages on the blackboard. Though there were Hindi newspapers such as Navbharat Times and Hindustan, students gave due attention to The Tribune so as to sharpen their English language skills. The Tribune also had a wide variety of national and regional news that was not found in newspapers published from New Delhi.
After Independence, the newspaper faced many challenges, particularly during the Emergency and the era of militancy in Punjab. There was a perception that it was not easy for the common man to meet The Tribune’s Editors, but once when I accompanied women from terror-hit families for a meeting with the then Editor-in-Chief VN Narayanan in Chandigarh, I found his compassion and sensitivity exemplary. We were told that he would be available only for a few minutes, but he patiently listened to the women for more than an hour. Their ordeal was also highlighted in the newspaper. I say it with immense pleasure that a couple of my important articles were translated and published by The Tribune. These articles pertained to the terror-affected women and the kidney racket.
It took a while for The Tribune to reach Hindi readers, but finally it did. I developed an enduring bond with Dainik Tribune through its the then Editor Radhey Shyam Sharma. Many of my special articles and satirical pieces were carried by this publication. The Tribune has been through many crests and troughs. Credit goes to the newspaper’s founder, Editors, employees and readers for ensuring that it commands the same respect that it did when it was launched. The credibility of The Tribune is the secret of its success.