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"The secret of a good memory is attention, and attention to a subject depends upon our interest in it. We rarely forget that which has made a deep impression on our minds."

This saying goes well with Pandit Sham Lal Razdan, the veteran journalist of Jammu & Kashmir State.

Pandit Sham Lal Razdan, founder of a newspaper called the Daily “Sharda”is indeed a legend in the history of Urdu journalism in the State. In the beginning he started the paper in the year 1952 on weekly basis from Jammu, having got associated with several leading newspapers of the region. With an attractive get up and regularity, the paper attained popularity among the Urdu readers of the State in those early fifties. Its publication was switched over from Weekly to Daily and has been going on as such since then. The title “SHARDA” reminds one of the great temple of Goddess Sharda (goddess of knowledge and wisdom), once a renowned Centre of Learning in Kashmir. The temple is under POK since partition.

Pandit Sham Lal Razdan was one of the pioneers in the field of Journalism and his contribution to the development of a healthy press in Jammu & Kashmir is unparalleled. A self-made newspaper entrepreneur, Pandit Razdan had personal experience of doing every task involved in the publication of a Newspaper. Despite the shortage of funds and printing facilities in Jammu in those days, he showed interest, courage and dynamism in establishing the SHARDA from almost a scratch and within a couple of years it became a popular Urdu Newspaper of Jammu. He had a penchant for press reporting which clung to him all his life. This is what made him extra-ordinary and the Newspaper a unique one amongst the newspapers published in Jammu & Kashmir.

Pt. Razdan started his career with struggles full of pains and sufferings. During partition in 1947, he had a narrow escape while leaving Karachi for Jammu where he finally settled down. He had never forgotten the trauma and agony he underwent in the partition days. He lost his capital and assets in Pakistan where he was doing business. His wife, Mrs. Sham Rani Razdan is also a witness to the agony of partition when she was at Baramulla (J&K).Her kith & kin were shot dead by Pakistanis in 1947 in her presence and all gold ornaments and valuable items were looted by the Pakistan sponsored tribals.

Pt. Sham Lal Razdan was well known in social and political circles of the state and had overwhelmed people with his personality and deeds from the very childhood. He thereby started getting lot of respect and regard in the society during his social and student life. He firmly believed in the freedom of press. Sometimes he had to take cudgels with the Government and other authorities whenever he would feel that the freedom of the press had been jeopardized. He was of the opinion that freedom of the press must always be tempered with responsibility and that the nation’s integrity and solidarity must be our supreme consideration. He believed in maintaining harmonious relations with the Government and thought all issues could always be sorted out through dialogue and negotiations. According to him, journalism is one of the greatest institutions of social order and progress and it must be used as an instrument for a positive development of the society.

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