The Secular Citizen Celebrating Silver Jubilee Year

Celebrating 25 glorious years in the field of communication
 lawrence suan
“Publishing is a business. But journalism never was and is not essentially a business, nor is it a profession.” The person who said this knew what he was saying for he went on to become one of the greatest American press magnates of the early 20th century: Henry Robinson Luce, who gave the English speaking world some of the finest magazines of all time, notably, TIME, LIFE and FORTUNE to name but a few, publications that have stood the test of time. Simply put then, journalism is the science of communicating news and views in the light of truth to all without prejudice in a spirit of cordiality.
Silver Lining!    

Seen against this background, The Secular Citizen [TSC] that hit the stands barely 25 years ago might seem small fry. But 25 years in the context of the Indian ethos is no mean achievement for a couple who’ve given their life to the cause of authentic journalism. Its first issue was published in April 1992 in magazine format. This of course was preceded by an issue in December 1991 under the masthead of THE NEW HORIZON, as a quarterly.

The month of February is traditionally observed by the Church in India as ‘Press Month’ while November is observed as ‘Communications Month’, the focus of which is the electronic media. Being the Year of Mercy, the theme set for Communications month by the Church Universal for the year 2016 is: Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter. All literature, whether print or electronic, that aims to spread knowledge and awareness, in effect goodwill, serves as both a means and a meeting point of fruitful encounter between hearts and minds of diverse sections of society, thereby communicating love and compassion. This is precisely what THE SECULAR CITIZEN has been so conscientiously doing these last 25 years!
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Layout and Cover Design
Periodicals are known to hire professional help specifically for the layout and cover design of their publications. A stickler for perfection, Mr Lawrence Coelho, the Founder-Owner-Publisher, not only takes care of the editing and collation of material for each issue (not excluding advertisements), but he also does the layout and the cover with such finesse as to render each issue a delight to the eye! Now, how many can claim this sort of success is anybody’s guess!
Secularism to the fore
Sometime in the year 1990 a need was felt for a secular publication for the Christian community, of the Christian community and by the Christian community across the country. That’s when the idea of TSC was born. “Today,” says Mr Coelho, “the need is even stronger given the kind of situation the community is facing nationwide. We need a powerful voice to express the community’s feelings and fears, its hopes and expectations, and its aspirations and disappointments in relation to its all-round growth and progress vis-à-vis society in general. In fact with over 10 lakh Christians in fast expanding Mumbai alone we now need a ‘daily’ to have our voice heard even louder all over India.”

The past 25 silvery years have seen TSC through varied change. TSC converted to Tabloid format before returning to magazine format with the 25 March 2013 issue (Vol. 22, No. 12). From Vol. 5, No. 11, November 1996, it went on to become a fortnightly in magazine format. From Vol. 7, January 1998 it emerged in Tabloid format. From Vol. 8, No. 28, December 1999 it ran as a Weekly in Tabloid format; from Vol. 22, No. 12, 25 March 2013 it reverted to the Magazine format in which we continue to read it till date.

 lawrence susan honoured by icpa
TSC has studiously promoted individual talent in the community and interacted with various social and religious organizations. In association with Royal Christian Family [RCF], it has been bringing together large numbers of marriageable boys and girls in a successful search of a suitable life-partner.
Interestingly, Mr Coelho, through TSC and DIVO, has always demonstrated a highly encouraging stance in relation to budding writers and their texts. In fact numerous are the writers who’ve cut their milk-teeth on writing for TSC.

TSC has given immense exposure to up and coming businessmen and entrepreneurs of the Christian community, besides promoting businessmen and helping them launch their business activities.
TSC has been generous in its appreciation of those concerned, awarding and honouring achievers in various spheres of life:
*Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr Anthony Parakal, King of Letter-writers, May 2005 [Citation, floral bouquet, ceremonial shawl & Rs 50,000 in cash]    
*Writer of the Year Award to Mr Marshall Sequeira in 2011 [citation, memento, ceremonial shawl & Rs 20,000 in cash]

*Social and cultural meets, apart from LIMRT [Leaders in the Making and Reaching to the Top] seminars for youth organized
*DIVO, Konkani weekly [sister publication to TSC] published from Mumbai, presently in its 22nd year of uninterrupted publication

*TSC now available as an e-Paper edition for internet online readers.

*E-Learning website portal, online learning website to help develop skills and to learn more on academic and corporate topics, launched to m ark the completion of 25 years of TSC’s existence
Financial stability
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Financial stability is the mainstay of any periodical, bulk of the finance involved accruing from advertisements. Never in the past 25 silver years has a single issue of TSC or DIVO been stalled for want of funds. Though Lawrence and his wife, Susan, epitomes of simplicity and sincerity, have never had occasion to stretch their hands out before any individual or organization for monetary help, they are confident that the business section of our community will continue to be on hand to lend necessary and timely support in case of an eventuality. They are quick to add: “As we reach a milestone in the life of our publication, we are deeply indebted to our well-wishers whose unstinted support has been the chief motivating factor from year to year!”
The Lady Behind the Throne!
“Behind every successful man is a woman,” says Julius Henry Marx, an American comedian and film and television star of the last century, professionally known as Groucho Marx. A hard working woman, Susan, the amiable wife of the very gentlemanly Lawrence, has all information concerning subscribers and the postal service at her fingertips and it is she who ensures timely dispatch of every issue of the two publications across the length and breadth of the country. “My wife Susan's involvement in the TSC group is total, her dedication amazing! Ever since the launch of TSC and DIVO as well as the various projects and activities she has been a strong pillar of support. Apart from handling DIVO, she has played the role of Public Relations Officer and Finance Controller with aplomb! Demonstrating her part as decision maker when required, she has been representing the group at various events and meets. Indeed! But for Susan’s help,” attests Lawrence, “I would have been at sea!”

Susan is equally candid with her views on the Publisher. Says she: “With my husband I am part and parcel of all that he undertakes. He is the brain behind every project and activity of the TSC Group, all of which reflects nothing if not his deep love and concern for the community. The totality of my involvement in thought, word and deed stems from the full trust I have in him.”

Informatively, the couple was felicitated for their silvery feat by the Indian Catholic Press Association during ‘Press Month’, February 2016!
Congrats Lawrence & Susan Coelho! Congrats TSC!!
May Silver Turn to Gold!!
ladislaus dsouza