Printers protest Modi as chief guest, pull out from meet

A printers' conference, which will begin here later this week, has got into a controversy with several participants pulling out to protest participation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the chief guest.

Scheduled to be held on March 2 in Delhi, the conference "Romancing Print 2013" is the third edition of an annual, professional conference of the printing industry.

This year, it has been organised by AIFMP (All India Federation of Master Printers) and the journal Press Ideas, with participation from both national and international players in the field. The organisers say they are expecting over 300 participants.

"We are both shocked and dismayed to see that Romancing Print has seen fit to invite Narendra Modi as its chief guest to this year's edition...We fail to understand why, in the first place, a political figure who neither has anything to do with the print industry nor holds any official position in this regard should have been invited as chief guest when there is no dearth of professionals from the publishing and print industry who could lend both grace and dignity to an event such as this," said Indu Chandrasekhar of Tulika Books.

Following the protest, two of the media partners for the event, Mumbai-based Printweek India and Delhi-based Indian Printer and Publisher (IPP), have withdrawn their support to the event, Chandrasekhar claimed.

In an email to organiser Ramu Ramnathan, Group Editor of Print Week India officially withdrew as a media partner for the event. "We do not agree with the content of your seminar and invitation of Narendra Modi as a chief guest," he said.

The annual printer's conference had popular writer Chetan Bhagat as the keynote speaker in the first session in the year 2011.

Organisers say like the previous two editions, this year too they expect over 300 delegates to participate. "Certainly we will go ahead with our event," said Jacob George of PressIdeas, an organiser of the conference.

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