Veteran journalist Asim Kumar Mitra and a dedicated RSS swayamsevak passed away in a Kolkata hospital yesterday. Popularly known as Aim Da, he had authored four books in Bengali, he was also awarded the ‘Nachiketa Samman’ for excellence in journalism by the then Prime Minister of India in 2001.
Born in 1938, Asim Da had started his journalism career as sub-editor in ‘Hindusthan Samachar’ multilingual news agency in 1962. He contributed several articles to the ‘Organizer Weekly’ for five decades from Kolkata and West Bengal. He later joined Aajkal and later went on to become the Assistant editor there.
Asim Da also extended his knowledge and expertise in journalism by teaching journalism students at various institutions. He was a member of the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC) and the Press Council of India.
Asim Da was involved in the media trade union movement in 1972 from the time the National Union of Journalists India, an organisation of nationalist journalists was formed. He was one of the founding members of the NUJ(I). He also served as the president of the West Bengal Union of Journalists (WBUJ).
He was a credible journalist and a leading voice who fought for the rights of journalists. He also fought against the Indira Gandhi government during the emergency. He spent four months of his life in jail for protesting against censorship on media in 1975.