Proud to be the birthplace of Nhan Dan Newspaper

Saturday, 2021-03-13 09:10:31
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The relic area of the 2nd National Party Congress Hall is the prominent address for traditional revolutionary education.
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NDO – On the 70th anniversary of the first issue of Nhan Dan Newspaper (March 11, 1951-2021), writer Phu Ninh has recalled the unforgettable memories from the first days following the establishment of the Party newspaper during the resistant war against French colonists seven decades ago.

From a very early moment, realising that the French colonialists were willing to invade our country again, President Ho Chi Minh directed the preparations for all aspects of the inevitable resistant war.

Before returning to Hanoi from the resistant base in the northern mountainous region, he assigned comrade Pham Van Dong to stay to consolidate the base of Tan Trao. Not long after, comrade Nguyen Luong Bang, then comrade Tran Dang Ninh, and the special task force team built the Safety Zone (hereinafter referred to as the ATK), covering the three districts of Son Duong, Yen Son, Chiem Hoa in Tuyen Quang Province and a number of adjacent districts, while at the same time transporting strategic materials, equipment and machines to the ATK, including newspaper and money printers. After the national resistance war broke out, the Party Central Committee, the Government, the Fatherland Front Central Committee and other mass organisations along with production establishments, military workshops and universities gradually moved to Tuyen Quang.

To ensure confidentiality, President Ho Chi Minh and all agencies and units moved through many places on Tuyen Quang land. Tuyen Quang is called the Resistance Capital for that reason. From there on, the undertakings and policies to bring the resistance to victory of the Party Central Committee and the Government were all discussed, decided and promulgated. From Tuyen Quang, President Ho Chi Minh visited China and the Soviet Union to expand diplomatic relations, while directing the negotiation and signing of the Geneva Agreements. The major military campaigns decided by the Party Central Committee and President Ho Chi Minh in the resistance capital include the Viet Bac Campaign, Border Campaign, Trung Du (Midland) Campaign, Hoa Binh Campaign, Northwest Campaign and Dien Bien Phu Campaign. Major political events were also held in the Tuyen Quang area, such as the Viet Minh - Lien Viet National Unity Congress where it was decided to establish the United Front named the Vietnam National Union Front, or Lien - Viet for short; the Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos Union Conference to establish the Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos People's Union Committee; and the first National Congress of Heroes, Emulation Soldiers and Exemplary Cadres (May 1952). In February 1951, the 2nd National Party Congress – a very important political event in the resistance war – was held in Vinh Quang Commune – now Kim Binh Commune in Chiem Hoa District.

The policy of publishing the Nhan Dan Newspaper was decided by the Politburo and Uncle Ho right in the working days of the Congress. Therefore, it can be said that the heart and mind of Nhan Dan – the biggest newspaper of our Party – was born in Tuyen Quang in a special period of history, that is the 2nd National Party Congress. At that time, President Ho Chi Minh, Comrade Truong Chinh, Editor-in-Chief Hoang Tung and prominent journalists Thep Moi and Quang Dam were all active in the resistance capital.

Nhan Dan Newspaper was printed at Viet Hung Printing House, located on the western slope of the foot of Khe Pass, on the Tuyen Quang side. From those initial steps, Nhan Dan Newspaper has gradually become a newspaper with a balanced framework, with clear news, articles and images, like a strong young man steadily pioneering on the Party's ideological front.

On March 11, 1951, Nhan Dan Newspaper published its first issue. From the post office station located in Son Duong (Tuyen Quang), the newspaper was transferred to the fronts and throughout the whole country.

From then until the end of the resistance war, all editing, printing, publishing and distribution work was carried out in the resistance capital.

On the 70th anniversary of Nhan Dan's birth, I met and asked senior Ma Van Dan, who saw the first issue of Nhan Dan Newspaper. Mr. Dan worked as Secretary of the Yen Son District Party Committee, Tuyen Quang Province. Old man Ma Van Dan, a Tay ethnic at the age of 93, is still agile with an echoing voice and good hearing. When asked about the first Nhan Dan Newspaper issue, his eyes lit up as if there was no trace of old age. He said that it was the first time he could see Uncle Ho's image printed on the front page of Nhan Dan No. 1 issue. That day people called him President Ho, shouting the slogan as Long live President Ho! The size of the magazine was not large, just about half the size of its current version. At that time, he was a Party member, but his educational level was low, so he had to call for assistance from others to read and explain the articles in the newspaper to him and other readers to learn and study together, like learning the Political Programme and the Charter of the Vietnamese Labour Party.

- Do you still keep that issue? I ask.

- No, I don’t. Mr. Dan answered. On that day, the newspapers were not much, each unit had only one flyer, which was passed to the superiors to then organise the propaganda activities to disseminate information to other members in the units. Then, still with a resounding voice, Mr. Dan said: During our work, we always read the Party newspaper diligently. When I served as Secretary of Yen Son District Party Committee, I always asked all district Party cells to buy Nhan Dan newspapers. Buying do not mean to store it in the cupboard but to read it to carefully study and follow the good operating models published in the newspaper. Following is a must but we had also to pilot to prove the effectiveness of such models then replicate to other localities across the district. Whenever going to the grassroots units, together with checking production work, socio-cultural activities and security and defence, as well as Party cells’ activities, we also checked whether the Party committee members read the Party newspaper or not. Once I asked a comrade serving within a local Party committee, and as the commune’s vice-chairperson, the question: Do you often read Nhan Dan Newspaper. That comrade quickly answered yes. Suddenly I asked: "What is the name of the Editor-in-Chief?". “Secretary, I read the newspaper but did not see the name of the Editor-in-Chief.” I told that comrade to take out the newspaper. When that comrade opened the cupboard, I found a thick stack of newspapers neatly arranged. I turned the last page and pointed to the last lines saying: “Every newspaper print the full name of the Editor-in-Chief. This time I only remind you, but next time you will be disciplined. The comrade admitted to the fault and lie. Not only lying to the superiors, the big flaw was not studying or reading the Party newspaper.

Nhan Dan Newspaper was born in the hometown of the resistance capital during the nation’s historic days when the 2nd National Party Congress was hosted – the first Congress of our Party held within the country. Promoting its glorious historical tradition, Nhan Dan Newspaper is growing strongly, worthy of the first flag on the ideological front of the Party, the voice of the Party, State and people of Vietnam.

Writer Phu Ninh
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