Who Owns Your Media: Punjab Kesari’s rebellious legacy, and a tale of splitting heirs

A Newslaundry series that deciphers the ownership of India’s major news organisations.

WrittenBy:Pooja Bhula
Date:
Illustration of a briefcase with Punjab Kesari documents in it.

The Hind Samachar Group, also known as Punjab Kesari Group, after its popular newspaper, is owned by the Chopra family. 

Like with several of India’s legacy news publications, the Group’s origin has links to the Indian freedom movement. When Mahatma Gandhi called on the youth to join the non-cooperation movement in 1920, the group’s founder, Jagat Narain was just 21 and pursuing law. He quit college to join the Lahore Congress and soon rose up the ranks. 

The seeds, though, might have first been sown at home. 

Seema Anand Chopra, who belongs to the family, narrates in her blog timelesstrails.in about how Narain’s father, Lala Lakshmi Dass Chopra, a collector at Layalpur (now in Pakistan) was “confronted by a British inspector and roughly ordered to dismount from his horse and pay him respect. Humiliated, he refused to oblige the British officer and decided to quit the job that very moment! He vowed that his coming generations would never serve the colonial British government and took up a job of munshi with a renowned advocate of Layalpur.”  

She adds, “After all, he belonged to the clan of Deewans of Wazirabad (also in Pakistan) and their forefathers had a seat in the Darbar of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.” 

Narain met Lala Lajpat Rai in Lahore Jail; both were imprisoned during the non-cooperation movement. During this time, Narain first worked as his personal secretary, and on his advice, also became the editor of Bhai Parmanand’s Hindi weekly Akashvani that gave voice to the freedom struggle. This was his entry into newspapers. In all, he’d been jailed for a total of nine years on different occasions, including Satyagraha (1930s) and the Quit India movement (1942) as per the blog.  

At that time in Punjab, as Sevanti Ninan notes in her book Headlines from the Heartland, Kanya Mahavidhyalaya’s Hindi publication Panchal Pandita – which was founded in Jalandhar in 1901 and campaigned for reform in status of women – had a fair sphere of influence. 

“In 1929, the Lok Sevak Mandal, established by Lala Lajpat Rai, began to publish a weekly called Punjab Kesari. Its publisher was Purushottam Das Tandon, and editor Bhim Sen Vidyalankar. Lala Lajpat Rai’s autobiography was first serialised in it, and Pandit Nehru contributed articles to it in Hindi. During the Lahore Congress, it began to be published as a daily. Firsthand accounts of what was happening to the Congress used to appear in this paper which closed down thereafter. The title would be reincarnated by a publishing group in the 1960s (Vaidik 2002).”  

But much before the reincarnation, came the Partition, during which Jagat Narain fled to India. The blog recounts that he and his sons, Romesh Chandra Chopra and Vijay Chopra, began publishing Hind Samachar, an Urdu daily newspaper, in 1949. The book Press in India: Annual Report of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (1958) records the year as 1948 with “Romesh Chander” registered as the printer and publisher, and Nauhria Ram Dard as the editor.  

Punjab, at the time, claimed the largest number of Urdu publications (144) among all states. Newspapers in Punjabi were 102, while Hindi only 62. Perhaps the popularity of Urdu explains why Punjab Kesari, titled so in the memory of Lala Lajpat Rai and published in Hindi, came only after 17 years. As Ninan’s book notes, “when the Hindi-reading public in Punjab was judged to be large enough to make it worthwhile”. 

Around this time, as per the Press in India book for 1967, “The highest circulation attained by a daily in 1966 was by the Hind Samachar (Urdu) from Jullundur city…It is significant that all the large circulation dailies in the state were published from Jullundur.” 

In 1978, the group also began publishing its Punjabi newspaper, Jagbani.  

By 1986, Punjab Kesari – published from Jalandhar, Ambala and Delhi – sold 4,60,000 copies a day and was the largest circulating Hindi daily in India, as per Press in India. And until the late 1990s, the publication was the largest circulated Hindi daily in northern India. However, by 2005, the book finds, it was losing ground to Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan and Amar Ujala, which were growing far more aggressively. 

Robin Jeffrey’s book India’s Newspaper Revolution: Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-Language Press,1977-99 finds that to the “discomfort and exasperation” of old elites, who wrote their newspapers in “ornate language and Sanskritic or classical styles – what they regarded as ‘fine prose’”, publications like Punjab Kesari upset the hierarchy of languages and genres by keeping theirs colloquial. 

Jeffrey’s book also offers glimpses into the workings of Indian media and factors impacting revenue, reach, survival, methods and tools employed at the time.  

For instance, it seems that Indian-language newspapers “adopted techniques employed at Eenadu, Ananda Bazar Patrika and Sakal”, while also bringing in local variations for advertising. Uniquely, Punjab Kesari saw lottery results and classified advertisements as sources of revenue. Most publications disapproved of it, but during an interview in 1993, Ashwini Kumar Chopra, Romesh Chandra’s elder son and Punjab Kesari Delhi’s then editor, told Jeffrey that now advertisers came to them; the publication no longer had to convince them for ads. 

That was big because, as the book explains, “in the contest, particularly with the English press, Hindi newspapers tended to regard any advertisement as a good advertisement”.  

With the surge in advertisements, politicians also took note. The book says that “politicians and bureaucrats began to treat Indian-language newspapers seriously only after those newspapers started to win a large share of advertisements, and expanded. ‘If advertisers, who carry out readership surveys and hire marketers, think these newspapers are important’, politicians and bureaucrats then seem to think, ‘there must be something in it. We must pay more attention to these editors and reporters’”. 

The section of the book on Indian newspapers realising the need to localise, and finding ways to attract readers, also throws up an interesting tale of how the group survived the Emergency. 

Punjab Kesari…an idiosyncratic newspaper at which ‘serious’ editors sometimes scoffed, [as] its front and back pages each day did not carry news but rather, a garish colour magazine. News began on page 3. On May 2, 1993, for example, the day after the spectacular assassination of President Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka, Punjab Kesari held to its normal format: the Premadasa story was on page 3. On page 1, the magazine appeared as usual: nine colour photos, cinema tittle-tattle, a feature on paragliding and a column of travel and reflection by Vijay Chopra, the editor and eldest surviving male member of the owning family.”  

The formula, Ashwini had explained, dated back to the Emergency. As Lala Jagat Narain resisted the censorship, he said, the government was very harsh and didn’t allow them to publish news. But they requested to be allowed to publish at least some stories and brought magazine pages to the front. 

Astonishingly, by the time the Emergency was lifted, their circulation doubled. Kumar admitted there were other reasons too. “Because my grandfather was arrested and then they cut our electricity, people knew this paper is fighting, and when we gave the magazine on the front page, it was a message to our readers: ‘Look here, they don’t allow us to publish the news, so we are giving you [a] magazine.’”  

The publication went back to printing news on the front page after the Emergency, but then circulation began to decline; habituated to the new format, readers didn’t want the paper’s style to be reverted. Jeffrey matched it with the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ figures and found that they largely bore out Ashwini Kumar’s explanation.  

It’s also during the Emergency that both Narain and Romesh, who’d both been Congress MPs from Punjab, parted ways with the party

The group also pulled out all stops to distribute the newspaper. The book says that until 1983, Punjab Kesari only published from Jalandhar, but milkmen going to towns in the morning carried newspapers back to their villages, as did postmen, students and teachers. “Copies even go overseas,” a foreign observer wrote in 1979, adding that they were “flown to London for sale in the suburb of Southall.” 

The group employed unconventional methods and ideas for news gathering too. With a large number of copy editors and stringers, but only half a dozen staff reporters, as per the book, the publication established a system whereby a single reporter or stringer covered a locality or a beat for all three dailies – the kind of synergy that today’s media houses, who find it challenging to get print or TV teams to report online stories, would certainly be envious of. 

They depended on agencies, syndications and English-language publications too, but also used hawkers to collect photographs and news, for which a rival editor ridiculed Punjab Kesari.  

Politics, terror and assassination  

In 1991, England-based journalist Kulbir Natt wrote an article titled Terrorism against the Punjab media’ for Index on Censorship magazine, based on events that began over a decade earlier. Natt wrote: “Narain, like other veteran newspaper editors of Punjab, was a politician first and journalist second.”  

What it meant gets clearer in the lines that followed: “He (Narain) used his papers to attack the demands of Sikh extremists led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who was gaining a wide following among Sikh youth. He called on Hindus and Sikhs to act together, and not on sectarian lines, to obtain more economic concessions for Punjab from the central government. He denounced the killing by Bhindranwale supporters of the Nirankaris, an unorthodox Sikh sect.” 

Narain was assassinated in 1981. Twenty days later, a report in India Today mentioned Romesh as saying that his father was on the hate list ever since he testified before a special commission inquiring into the armed attack by 200 Sikhs on a Nirankari gathering in April 1978.  

Sikhs and Nirankaris reportedly had differences since a long time, as the latter’s interpretation of the religion diverged from the traditional Sikh beliefs. But tensions purportedly began after a sub-sect ‘Sant Nirankaris’ emerged and rose in popularity because many among the Sikhs found their interpretation false and inglorious. The 1978 incident took place on the Sikh holy day of Baisakhi as Sant Nirankari head Gurbachan Singh planned to address a gathering in Amritsar. To protest it, Bhindranwale, 14th head of Damdami Taksal (a 300-year-old Sikh educational organisation near Amritsar) sent a jatha (armed group of Sikhs) to the venue, as per a report in The Print. While Nirankaris claimed they were attacked by ‘armed fanatics’, several reports suggest that Nirankaris themselves were armed and attacked the jatha

In time, Bhindranwale was deemed a terrorist and militant, including by the government. But many still revered him. Manjeet Sahgal’s opinion piece in India Today explains why. After becoming the Damdami Taksal’s head in 1977, his amrit prachar (Sikh baptism ceremonies) was greatly successful; he asked people to abstain from liquor, tobacco and drugs. And to “rein in the rampant pornography, Bhindranwale’s followers stormed cinema-houses and rural video parlours and seized obscene films”. Consequently, thousands of Sikhs got reinstated to their faith, not only returning to gurdwaras in large numbers, but also spending more time in their fields.  

Perhaps the ‘storming’ signals that even early on his influence resulted in aggression. His ascent though many believe was because of Congress, which supposedly used him for political gains. In Khushwant Singh’s words, “He had a wily patron in Giani Zail Singh, who had him released when he was charged as an accomplice in the murder of Jagat Narain.” Hartosh Singh Bal, quoting Kamal Nath, and Mark Tully’s work among others in a Caravan piece, concluded it was an arrangement of mutual convenience that lasted till it served Bhindranwale’s interest.  

Bhindranwale was “vituperative” in his language against Hindus and “exhorted every Sikh to kill 32 Hindus to solve the Hindu-Sikh problem…”, Khushwant Singh wrote in a piece in Outlook, pondering the past, adding that “anyone who opposed him was put on his hit list and some eliminated”. 

And as an opponent, Narain was vociferous.

As per the aforementioned India Today report, besides condemning the (Nirankari) killings in his papers, he termed the Khalistan movement birthed earlier that year “anti-national” and “called upon the state government to arrest the ‘traitors’.” The use of this word so irked the movement leaders, says Chander, that the Sikh Student Federation in Amritsar gave Narain an ultimatum to withdraw it, which he refused.”

Prior to his death, Narain claimed to have received about 20 threat-laden letters and had already escaped one assassination attempt. 

The reaction to his murder, reported the article, was tremendous. Public figures from across the country condemned it, government offices and markets remained closed in Jalandhar, as did shops in some other cities of Punjab. Chief minister Darbara Singh and union home minister Zail Singh rushed to the city to pay their respects. About 80,000 people assembled to witness the last rites. Narain had been an MLA (1952-1962), minister and general secretary of Punjab as well as a member of the Rajya Sabha (1964-1970).  

In 2013, Manmohan Singh released a commemorative stamp in his name.  

Romesh, who took over the group’s editorship after Narain – as per the Kuldip Natt article – continued to attack the intimidation tactics of the extremists. “He denounced them for using the Golden Temple, the Sikh’s holiest shrine in Amritsar, as a storehouse for arms. Threats followed and on May 12, 1984, he was shot 64 times.” 

As per Seema Anand’s blog, Romesh had been a PTI director and an executive member of the Indian Newspaper Society since 1973, and was decorated with Tambra-Patra by prime minister Indira Gandhi for his role in the freedom struggle. He had established the Shaheed Parivar Fund for the terrorist victims in 1983, which has collected and disbursed crores of rupees so far. In his memory, his younger son Arvind and grandson Abhishek instituted Romesh Chandra Memorial Society to promote educational, cultural and sports activities. 

Following Romesh’s death in May 1984, brother Vijay Chopra, a Padma Shree awardee, took over as the CMD and chief editor.

In June that year, Bhindranwale was killed at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, during Operation Blue Star ordered by Indira Gandhi. But things were no easier for the press in Punjab, especially the Hind Samachar Group. In 1989, Ashwini Kumar Chopra’s security in Delhi had been beefed up after fresh threats, reported India Today. And by the beginning of 1993, as per Robin Jeffrey’s book, more than 60 of the group’s employees had been killed

Like his grandfather and father, Ashwini Chopra, whose first love was cricket (he had captained the Ranji team), was active in politics. 

From 2014 to 2019, he was a BJP MP from Karnal in Haryana. But soon after getting elected, he reportedly had a rift with the party leaders over not being consulted about ticket distribution in his constituency and his opposition to Manohar Lal Khattar’s appointment as the chief minister. He had reportedly also irked the leadership by lavishing praise on Congress and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in an editorial in 2019.  

Succession, disputes and split 

As the war outside abated, the internal one began. 

By 1994, disputes within the Chopra family had already begun, as per the history laid out in a Company Law Board Order dated May 17, 2004.

On June 25, 1995, the petitioners or Group B (Vijay Chopra, his wife Swadesh Chopra and sons, Avinash and Amit) and the respondents or Group A (late Romesh Chopra’s wife Sudarshan Chopra, and two sons, Ashwini and Arvind) entered into a memo of family settlement, improvised further by another agreement on May 6, 1996. In February 1997, they also entered into a Shareholders’ Agreement and amended the company’s Articles of Association to substantially incorporate the terms. 

Source: List of shareholders and debenture holders as of December 5, 2022.

But after a board meeting in 1998, there was a stalemate between the two groups. The 2004 Order mentioned that for six years no board meeting was held, neither were accounts adopted during general meetings. 

In 2003, in fact, at the request of the parties, the same bench had to pass an order restraining the Registrar of Companies from taking further action regarding a notice issued on September 19, 2003, for various statutory defaults committed by the company.

Since it’s a family company, the bench advised the groups to resolve the disputes amicably, and also divide family businesses and assets equally, besides the company, for a complete split. Group B were to prepare two equal lots, giving the Respondents the first choice. During a hearing on February 14, 2000, Group B proposed division of business and assets into Lot 1 containing the Jalandhar and Ambala units and Lot 2 containing Delhi and Jaipur units in line with the operations the groups had largely been in-charge of for years.

But Group A filed an application for arbitration, which was dismissed, as were the re-appeals in different courts. The last dismissal was in 2003. By next year, the court noted that both the groups had levelled several allegations against each other, including syphoning of company funds and acting against company interests, among others. Allegations not only pertained to the business conduct, but also got personal; employees too got pulled into the fight. 

The court took note of the stalemate and lack of trust, and considered the provisions in previous agreements that if disputes are not resolvable amicably, the company would be split equally between the groups – including “assets, liabilities, trademarks, trade name and goodwill” such that “neither party will have advantage over the other party”. It also noted that “in family companies with equal shareholding and equality in management, a deadlock situation would warrant winding up of a company on just and equitable grounds”, and the Hind Samachar Group fit the bill as shareholding (49.1 percent each) and representation (with four directors of each on the board) were equalised in previous agreements. While 1.8 percent shares were held by outsiders.

Accordingly, the court directed a division whereby Group B would get Lot 1 and Group A would get Lot 2, with the respective assets and liabilities identifiable with each unit. Moreover, all common assets and liabilities would be apportioned equally, or compensated by cash. Equal division was also to be arrived at in non-monetary aspects, such as distribution. Group B would keep Hind Samachar Ltd, and Group A may incorporate a separate company with a different name. 

Finally, as the groups had equal interest in four other partnership firms, another private limited company and a Trust, all linked to THSL, the court advised division of these and all the other family assets and properties. 

Group A had time till July 14, 2004 to indicate if it found the arrangement agreeable or preferred that equal division be done by an independent person. Both the sides were to also indicate willingness to include all the firms and other family interests in the division. 

But, in 2006, the Bench lamented that although the parties agreed to settle disputes amicably in 2005, Group B also gave its nod to receiving Rs 2.4 crore compensation as per the proposal, and Sudarshan Chopra agreed to execute declarations under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 – whenever requested by Group B, pertaining to territories exclusively assigned to them (and vice-versa) – both sides subsequently made fresh allegations against each other. And until these were settled, the High Court order, dated October 19, 2005, couldn’t be implemented.  

Litigation dragged on for years.  

So, even though Group A and Group B were controlling Lots mentioned as per court direction above, maintaining accounts independently since 2006, and Group A had already received the Rs 2.4 crore compensation, the Delhi Court noted in 2021 that formal liquidation remained due because of pending litigation.  

Finally, in August 2022, the NCLAT noted that a settlement had been arrived at, the Memorandum Recording Oral Family Settlement was placed on record and the Chandigarh bench had passed consent orders.   

The bench ruled that the Consent Order dated October 19, 2005 would be implemented and given effect to in the manner set out and modified in the MOFS, which resolves all disputes and claims the parties previously had pertaining to the execution.  

The Hind Samachar Limited, along with Lot 1, is retained exclusively by Group B (excluding only Lot 2). All THSL shares held or registered in the name of Ashwini Kumar Chopra, Ashwini Kumar Chopra HUF, Romesh Chander and Sons HUF, 419 Class A shares and 202 Class B shares held by Sudarshan Chopra and one share held jointly in the name of Ashwini Kumar and Avinash Chopra would stand cancelled and extinguished. The share capital of THSL shall stand reduced accordingly without any further act or deed.  

Group A incorporated Dainik Samachar Ltd in September 2021. Therefore, Lot 2, including all assets and liabilities, as defined in the MOFS, would stand vested in it as a going concern along with all rights and authorisation, without any further act or deed. Moreover, transfer of receivables of Lot 2 would also be in the account of the new company. 

His wife Kiran Chopra, and sons Aditya, Akash and Arjun were impleaded as legal heirs of Ashwini Kumar Chopra, who passed away in 2020. His mother, Sudarshan Chopra, would relinquish all her claims in his estate based on consent of all the parties. 

The groups were also directed to take necessary steps to withdraw pending civil and criminal proceedings between them in accordance with the MoFS.

Current portfolio

The company documents, including the latest shareholders list, mention the group’s publishing presence as Punjab Kesari in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Chandigarh, Palampur, Panipat, Hisar, Shimla, Rohtak, Jammu, Jaipur and Ajmer; Navodaya Times in Delhi; Hind Samachar in Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Jammu; and Jagbani in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Chandigarh. 

But there is no mention of which of these falls under Group B that has Jalandhar and Ambala units or Lot 1, and which ones are with Group A that owns Delhi and Jaipur units or Lot 2. 

At present, all the Punjab Kesari editions, Hind Samachar Chandigarh edition and Jagbani Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar editions are owned by Hind Samachar Limited, as per the Registrar of Newspapers for India’s verified titles. Meanwhile, Punjab Kesari Publishing House Pvt Ltd owns Navodaya Times’ Delhi and Jalandhar editions, and Jag Varta’s Delhi edition.

Only Punjab Kesari’s Delhi edition shows up under Dainik Samachar Limited.

Jagbani’s website has a section featuring BBC Punjabi’s reports. The Group also operates several YouTube channels: Punjab Kesari TV, Jagbani TV, Jugaad, Yum, Bollywood Tadka Punjabi and Pollywood Tadka.

Punjab Kesari TV, which has 4.48 million subscribers, exhibits Hindi news and non-news shows, including recipes, travel, entertainment, shopping, books, health, gadgets and special features. Jagbani TV is for Punjabi news and has 1.98 million subscribers. Jugaad, which has 157K subscribers, publishes videos on everyday hacks and DIY projects, and Yum for food recipes has 291K subscribers. Then there’s also Bollywood Tadka Punjabi and Pollywood Tadka.

Over the past few years, the group’s newspapers have consistently had an average combined daily circulation of more than nine lakh copies, as per Care Ratings’ report for fiscal year 2022. Moreover, the THSL has earned a strong brand image in print media and dominates the newspaper market in circulation and readership amongst all its major competitors in north India, which include Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. 

Ownership pattern 

A majority of Hind Samachar Ltd’s Class A shares – out of a total of 20,782 – are owned by Vijay Kumar’s sons Avinash (45.92 percent) and Amit (46.15 percent) Chopra, as per the latest shareholder’s list with ministry of corporate affairs, dated December 2022. Abhijay, Avinav, Aroosh Chopra and Amiya Munjal, who also belong to the family, own 1.4 percent shares each. The ownership of the remaining 2.14 percent shares is spread over 142 shareholders. 

Likewise, a majority of the Class B shares – out of a total of 2,445 – are held by Avinash (58.65 percent) and Amit (39.5 percent). As many as 10 shares each are held by Devraj Sarpal and Yashraj Abrol. 

In 2018, the total Class A shares were 14,809 and Class B were 1,770, with a similar shareholding pattern. Notably, Sudarshan Chopra and her family also held some shares until 2016, grouped under Lot 2. 

Directors and Key Managerial Personnel:

The last available data from financial statements of FY2021 mentions:

1. Vijay Kumar Chopra (Chairman-cum-Managing Director)

2. Avinash Chopra (Joint Managing Director).                 

3. Amit Chopra (Joint Managing Director).

4. Rajiv Dhiman (Independent Director)* 

5. Sharda Anand (Independent Director)*

6. Sanjay Kumar Gupta(Chief Financial Officer)

*Cessation documents show that Sharda Anand and Rajiv Dhiman resigned in 2022, as did Sudarshan, Arvind and Kiran Chopra. The same year, the company appointed Manisha Arora and Richa Sharma as Additional Directors (non-executive and independent).

Arvind, as mentioned by Group A in a court document, had started out with the company’s advertising department in 1984. He later looked into the company’s accounting and financial affairs, and was instrumental in mobilising funds for the company. He also played a key role in computerisation and expansion projects, including installation of the latest machinery needed for a publishing house. He was appointed as THSL’s whole-time director (finance and commercial) in 1992. 

Dainik Samachar Limited has four directors – Aditya, Kiran, Arjun and Akash Chopra – and no reported key managerial personnel, as per Tofler. Its previous name was New Hind Samachar Ltd.

 Moolah matters

Only financial statements of THSL dating back till 2015 were available with the ministry of corporate affairs at the time of filing this report. The company clocked in Rs 642 crore as revenue from operations that year. After jumping by 80 crore to Rs.762 in 2016, they’ve seen a gradual decline. The revenue fell to Rs.751 crores in 2017, Rs.735 crores in 2018 and Rs.708 crore in 2020. The biggest drop was reported in 2021, with the revenue at Rs 524 crore.  

THSL’s profitability rose from Rs 30 crore in 2015 to Rs 39 crore and Rs 43 crore in the two consequent years. But it sharply fell to Rs 20 crore in 2018, and further to merely Rs 1 crore in 2019. In the next two years, which also coincided with Covid-19 pandemic, the group reported losses. It posted a loss of Rs 7 crore in 2020 and Rs 8 crore 2021.

Punjab Kesari and Jagbani contributed the most to THSL’s revenues – both in subscription and advertising – in the fiscal year 2021, as per the Care Ratings report. 

The company’s Lot 1 Jalandhar units isn’t required to prepare consolidated financial statements, as per financial statements of FY2021, as it has transferred its entire stake in subsidiary companies, Punjab Kesari Group Hospitality Private Limited, Punjab Kesari Group Holdings Private Limited, Punjab Kesari Group Estates Private Limited, Punjab Kesari Group Infra Private Limited, Punjab Kesari Group Realty Private Limited, HSL Renewable Power Private Limited as on March 31, 2020 and therefore, the company no longer has any subsidiaries as on date.

All financial and ownership details are derived from financial statements and other company documents filed by the media house with the ministry of corporate affairs, the Bombay Stock Exchange, and the National Stock Exchange.

Citations

1. Timeless Trails blog

2. Book - Headlines from the Heartland by Sevanti Ninan

3. Press in India Book (1958)/ Annual Report of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (1958)

4. Press in India Book (1967)/ RNI’s Annual Report of 1967

5. Company Law Board Order - 17 May, 2004

6. Book - India’s Newspaper Revolution: Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-Language Press,1977-99 by Robin Jeffrey.

7. Journo embarks on political journey:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/journo-embarks-on-political-journey/story-SgJC0jpYpjNK7Y1N7LlvVI.html

8. Terrorism against the Punjab media, Index on Censorship magazine, by Kulbir Natt:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03064229108535030

9. Ex-minister of Punjab and MP Lala Jagat Narain shot dead by assailants: https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/indiascope/story/19810930-ex-minister-of-punjab-and-mp-lala-jagat-narain-shot-dead-by-assailants-773261-2013-11-07

10. Rivalry between Sikhs & Nirankaris is almost a century old:

https://theprint.in/politics/rivalry-between-sikhs-nirankaris-is-almost-a-century-old/151853/

11. Days of terror: Punjab back in 1980s, writes Manjeet Sehgal:

https://www.indiatoday.in/opinion/manjeet-sehgal/story/punjab-terrorism-bhindrawale-back-in-1980s-196211-2014-06-09

12. Oh, That Other Hindu Riot Of Passage:

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/oh-that-other-hindu-riot-of-passage/225692

13. How the Congress propped up Bhindranwale

https://caravanmagazine.in/conflict/how-the-congress-propped-up-bhindranwale

14. Rajya Sabha members biographical book:  https://cms.rajyasabha.nic.in/UploadedFiles/ElectronicPublications/Member_Biographical_Book.pdf

15. Prime Minister releases stamp on Lala Jagat Narain:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/prime-minister-releases-stamp-on-lala-jagat-narain/articleshow/22435650.cms

16. Romesh started the Shaheed Parivar Fund: https://web.archive.org/web/20131006233818/http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=677423

17. Terrorists adopt new strategy to intimidate media in Punjab:

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/indiascope/story/19890815-terrorists-adopt-new-strategy-to-intimidate-media-in-punjab-816403-1989-08-14

19. Priyanka the Indira Gandhi that nation waiting for, writes BJP MP, leaves party red-faced:

https://theprint.in/politics/priyanka-the-indira-gandhi-nation-up-waiting-for-writes-bjp-mp-leaves-party-red-faced/183912/

20. Company Law Board Order - August 1, 2006

21. Delhi High Court – Order - March 22, 2021

22. NCLAT Order - April 18, 2022

23. NCLT Chandigarh Bench Order – July 29, 2022

24. MCA Documents

25. Care Ratings

26. RNI 

27. Punjab Kesari and Jagbani websites

28. The group’s YouTube channels

29. Tofler - https://www.tofler.in/dainik-samachar-limited/company/U22120DL2021PLC386721

Also see
article imageWho Owns Your Media: The Indian Express empire and where it stands today
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