New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) Union Minister Smriti Irani today said Organiser and Panchjanya, weeklies associated with the RSS, are “golden example of liberalism” as they provided space to views of leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia and Vasant Sathe, who were critics of the Sangh’s ideology.

At a function to mark 70 years of existence of the two magazines, Irani highlighted the long way the RSS and BJP have come.

“Seventy years ago who would have thought there would be a programme of Organiser in Nehru Memorial and I&B minister would be present,” she said.

Irani also noted that Organiser’s editor Prafula Ketkar was an alumnus of JNU, seen as a bastion of left ideology.

“Had any one ever thought that a JNU student will become editor of Organiser one day?” she asked.

Speaking about the long journey of the two magazines, Irani said leaders of parties that did not share the BJP and RSS ideology also contributed to these weeklies.

“There is presumptive analysis that whosoever writes in these publications is a fundamentalist. But it is important to tell the young generation that leaders such as Ram Manohar Lohia, KM Munshi and Vasant Sathe have also written in these publications,” she said.

Leaders who had strong disagreement with the Sangh’s ideology, and were its critics, also wrote for these two publications.

“Some people believe that only they can define freedom of speech and liberalism. But if you have to make people understand what is liberalism, then Organiser and Panchjanya are its golden example, as these publications gave respect and space to those who didn’t see eye to eye with us over our ideology,” the information and broadcasting minister said.

Praising the work done by the two publications, she said, in the last 70 years they had shown the real power of the pen.

She also suggested that the two publications should explore the digital platform for reaching out to people at large.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.