I feel sad for this loss, but I also feel grateful for his friendship and immensely privileged to have been able to present Asoke with IPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the International Publishers Congress in Jakarta in 2022. I said the following for that special occasion:

‘The IPA, like every other organization, is constituted of people. Creative, talented and committed people, who make things happen, who have shaped the IPA to become what it is today. People who, in time, build the history of a great enterprise.

I’d like to quote from my book on the  history of the IPA during the past 25 years:

“If Georges Masson and the many other distinguished publishers who founded the IPA 125 years ago were alive today, they would be satisfied and proud to witness what the association they created has become.”

This has been possible because of the work of so many people who have served tirelessly to represent and uphold publishers’ interests globally, to defend the freedom to publish, to promote copyright and to foster creativity and innovation.”

At our Congress in Jakarta I honoured one of these people, with a meaningful and distinct award. The IPA Champion Award celebrates individuals who have, during their career, gone above and beyond the norm, to help the IPA achieve our goals on behalf of the publishing industry.

Asoke Ghosh was a truly worthy recipient of this very first IPA Champion Award. I was so happy to present this award to him because I had known Asoke for so many years and had witnessed all the work he had done for the IPA, contributing to a stronger and more united organization.

He started his participation in IPA in 1974 and became member of its Executive Committee in 1983 and until 1990. He was later elected again to the EC in 1999 and served as IPA Vice-President from 2000 to 2004.

In 2004 he stood for the position of IPA President. Though he did not win the election, he continued to support the IPA and to uphold copyright and the freedom to publish in different fora. Some years later he served again on the Executive Committee, from 2011 to 2017.

Asoke was responsible for bringing the IPA Congress to New Delhi not once, but twice – in 1992 and then again in 2018. He chaired and addressed numerous sessions of the IPA Congresses and served as speaker in IPA Symposia on Copyright and related topics.

Mr Ghosh worked tirelessly, for many years, in promoting and defending IPA’s values and has decisively contributed to build the association we have today.’

While I was writing the book about IPA’s history from 1996 to 2021[1], I invited Asoke to contribute with a short text about his experience of being a longstanding member and vice-president of the IPA. He wrote the following:

‘When I attended my first General Assembly of IPA in Frankfurt in 1977, I felt that IPA was closely aligned with India’s ancient philosophy of the World being One Family—Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (a phrase from the Maha Upanishad and Rig Veda)—where I saw the world’s publishers sitting together in one forum conveying the sacred message: “The entire world is our family”. I still strongly believe in it.

During my journey of nearly five decades with IPA, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to many great IPA leaders and got the chance to work with them. In my tenure, I also got the opportunity to serve numerous IPA committees, as well as to chair and to address various sessions in IPA Congresses.

IPA is the organisation that most aligns with my personal values. I believe in IPA, and I am proud and honoured to be a part of it.’

Asoke was an important member of the IPA family and a beloved friend to so many of us. He will be dearly missed.



[1] “The Fifth Quarter Century: The International Publishers Association 1996-2021”, available as a pdf on IPA’s 125th anniversary website as well as in e-book format on all major e-book vendor platforms, published by Conecta, an imprint of Penguin Random House.