Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) will honour noted journalist, writer and human rights activist John Dayal conferring its prestigious annual Louis Careno Award for Excellence in Journalism for his bold, continuous and consistent writing against communalism and fundamentalism gaining ground globally.
The Award will be conferred on Mr Dayal during the 27th National Convention of Christian Journalists, organized by the ICPA, scheduled to be held in Chennai on Saturday, December 10, 2022.
Mr Dayal, a prophet of our times, is among India’s foremost voices against human rights violations, particularly on the persecution of religious minorities, having been a writer and activist for over four decades. He has been a member of several government bodies, including the National Integration Council, and holds senior roles in numerous non-government organisations and networks, including as co-founder and Secretary General of the All India Christian Council, 1999-2014, national president of the 1919-founded all India Catholic Union between 2004 and 2008, and a member of Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
He has had a long and distinguished career in the media and in academia. He has a long record of investigating and producing substantive and influential documents on communal violence in India, including Hindu-Muslim riots and violence against Sikhs, Muslims and Christians.
He is one of India’s leading experts on the situation in Odisha, following the communal violence in 2008. He has authored and contributed to several books, and regularly writes articles on human rights issues in India. Major books he has authored/co-authored or edited include For Reasons of State – Delhi Under the Emergency , republished by Penguin in June 2018; Gujarat 2002 – Told and untold Stories [ 2002]; A Matter of Equity ; Reconciliations — A journey Through Wounded India [with Harsh Mander and Natasha Badhwar, Amazon, 2018]. He has contributed to several books published in India and Europe.
He served as war correspondent and foreign correspondent in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Europe. He became editor and CEO of the Delhi Mid Day, and treasurer of the Editors’ Guild of India.
In June 1998, Mr Dayal was one of the signatories of a statement by a group of journalists calling on India to return to the global nuclear disarmament agenda. He continues to provide commentary and analysis in print and on national TV and radio.
His incisive writings on political issues have led to soul-searching debates in the civil society and the secular world. He minces no words in raising his voice against irrational, biased and unfair policies and decisions of the governments of all times. He also writes on Church-related issues without fear or favour. His fierce attack on rising fascist tendencies in the country has hit where it really matters. John Dayal is a role model Communicator in terms of craft, conviction and commitment.
Conferred annually on individuals or institutions, Louis Careno Award for Excellence in Journalism is a joint venture of the Mumbai Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA), a Premier Organisation of Catholic journalists, Dailies and Periodicals in India founded in 1964 by Fr John Barrett, an American Jesuit belonging to the Patna Province.