New editor for RSS Hindi weekly

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has changed the editor of its mouthpiece Panchjanya (Hindi weekly). It is also likely that Organiser (English) will also have a new editorial head.

While Baldeo Bhai Sharma resigned last Saturday as editor of the Hindi weekly, the contract of R Balashankar, editor, Organiser, will end next month. Hitesh Shankar, who was with Hindustan, will be Sharma's replacement.

Vijay Kumar, managing director of Bharat Prakashan Limited, the publishers of both the weeklies, has confirmed that the new editor of Panchjanya has joined. "I cannot tell you anything about Organiser," said Kumar, who is also the Prant Karyawah (state general secretary) of RSS in Delhi.

However, sources said the replacement for R Balashankar has already joined as assistant editor. Arun Laxman joined the weekly two months ago but is on leave these days. Sources said he may take charge from Balashankar next month. Laxman had worked with The Pioneer when it was launched in Kerala a few years ago.

While a fall in circulation is being said to be reason for the changes, sources said key RSS leaders were unhappy as the weeklies were found to be taking Pro-Narendra Modi stand in the last few months when the Sangh Parivar was trying to establish and protect Nitin Gadkari.

"Changes take place everywhere with time. There is nothing else in this change," said Kumar. Both Sharma and Balashankar could not be contacted. While the circulation of Panchjanya is around 50,000, that of Organiser is even less.

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