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Whose money is it anyway?
The National Herald (NH) Scam, in many ways, epitomizes the ultimate nadir of the multi-scam hit Congress party and the Nehru- Gandhi dynasty

Recently, a metropolitan magistrate court of Patiala issued summons after satisfying itself of having found prima facie evidence against the Nehru-Gandhi family of its culpability in the NH Scam case.  The central charge is that assets worth Rs 2000 crore of Associated Journal Limited (AJL; the AJPL is a non-profit media company that published the National Herald Newspaper) were misappropriated by the Nehru- Gandhi family.  This was done through an elaborately structured scheme with the Congress party acting in concert like a family firm.  If the charges are proved in the court, the prospect of incarceration now stares hard at those at the helm of the dynasty.


A brief history of the National Herald paper

National Herald was a national newspaper, established in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru.  During India’s freedom struggle the words ‘National Herald’ was evocative and redolent of patriotic fervour.  This is because Jawaharlal Nehru used the paper to spread awareness on social issues and miseries that plagued India. The paper was welcomed by both the elite and the plebeian classes. Nehru himself remained its editor until his elevation as Prime Minister.

During the freedom struggle newspapers were known to take sides on social and political issues. The Statesman, for instance, staunchly toed the British side. In contrast, the National Herald used to take the Indian side and was used by Nehru to mobilise Indian aspirations for ideas like self-governance and home rule.

Despite its illustrious beginning, over the years the paper ran into losses due of lack of modernising its printing technology, failure to computerise and overstaffing, to name a few. The mounting losses were accentuated by falling revenues and the emergence of new newspapers in India.  The Herald finally decided to stop operations in 2008 due to eroding net worth and cash losses.  At the time of its closure Associated Journals Limited was the publishing company for National Herald, which was also involved in running the newspaper’s operations.

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