Trip down memory lane
Trip down memory lane
By Saumesh Thimbath | Express News Service | Published: 02nd March 2017 02:57 AM |
Last Updated: 02nd March 2017 02:57 AM
KOCHI:For one man in the President’s entourage, the trip has more reasons than one to cheer. Venu Rajamony, President’s press secretary, is returning to the city where he began his career as a journalist with The Indian Express. Also the President will be delivering the lecture instituted in the name of the IFS officer’s father late K S Rajamony.
Venu has vivid memories of the city where he had studied and started his career.
Rajamony was a student of Maharaja’s College before moving to do his MA in International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University. His entry into journalism was a chance occurrence.
“I had fallen in love with my wife Saroj during my stay at JNU. I wanted to get married, but had no job. After returning from Delhi, I began applying for a variety of jobs. Those were the days when public interest litigation had become popular and many important judgments were coming in from the Kerala High Court. The then resident editor of the Indian Express, S K Anantharaman, requested my father K S Rajamony, who was a senior lawyer, to recommend someone who could cover the High Court for The Indian Express,” Venu said.
Venu applied for the job and got it. He started working at the city bureau of The Indian Express as a cub reporter in 1984 for ‘a princely salary of Rs 736.50 per month’. The memories of the daily visits to the Press Club, the news and gossips shared over chai, the heated debates and the camaraderie of the reporters stay with him still. With no backing of the family, it was his friends in the media who arranged his marriage.
After having topped the civil services exams in 1986, Venu was inducted into the Indian Foreign Services and has served in countries like the United States and China. His association with Pranab Mukherjee began when the latter was the Union Defence Minister.
As the press secretary of the President and also as a former journalist, Venu keeps a close watch on the media in the country. “The media should strive for objectivity and shun sensationalism. There is also an urgent need for in-depth news stories from the country,” he said.
He stresses on media’s role in educating the people and upholding freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution. Even while acknowledging the importance of social media, the senior diplomat feels it has not yet been able to supplant traditional media.