TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Desperately seeking the truth
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 24th July, 2006



Did Union Human Resources Development Minister Mr Arjun Singh say something to the delegates of Naga Students' Federation and something very different to Chief Minister O Ibobi on the same issue, is the question that is worth raising now.

The Telegraph, which is arguably, one of the most respected newspapers in Manipur, in its July 23 edition carried a lead story which said that Mr Arjun Singh had assured the NSF team that the Centre will allow the private schools in the four hill districts of Manipur to be affiliated to the Nagaland Board of School Education.

The news story created ripples across the State, for the news had become hot topic even before the edition of The Telegraph had reached Imphal.

When The Sangai Express first contacted the State Education Minister, Mr L Nandakumar on the news story, the Minister said that he had not yet received any intimation from the Centre on the issue, though he made his stand clear in stating that the HRD Minister should not interfere in the issue.

Chief Minister O Ibobi too stuck the same line on first being contacted affirming that he had not received any intimation on the issue from the Centre.

However, there seems to have been some development, as the Chief Minister's office rang up the newspapers houses late in the evening of July 23 to convey the message that the CM had already talked with Mr Arjun Singh.

The Chief Minister was categorical in stating that the HRD Minister had made it clear that he gave no such assurance to the NSF team though he did admit meeting them. So the question now is who is telling the truth, The Telegraph or Mr Arjun Singh ?

As professionals engaged in the calling called journalism, we firmly believe that no newspaper worth its credibility would deliberately twist a story to sensationalise it.

The Telegraph which has a large circulation in Manipur and a number of avid readers, has reached this stage in the State through its unbiased reporting all these years and it is a little difficult to even remotely suspect that it may have misquoted the HRD Minister.

Something more needs to be done than just the verbal assurance given to Mr Ibobi by Arjun Singh.

This is not the first time that conflicting reports over the text book issue have hit the State. Readers will well remember the contradictory reports given by the Secretary of the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur and the Chairman of the Nagaland Board of School Education soon after the North East zonal meet of the Council of Board of School Education at Guwahati some days back.

Contrary to what the BSEM Secretary had earlier told the press in Manipur the NBSE Chairman refuted the report stating that no resolution was adopted over the text book issue.

The BSEM Secretary however stuck to his guns with the Secretary of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur corroborating his stand.

It is unfortunate that text books, which is purely about education have been politicised to such an extent.

It will not take a genius to say who will be the loser in the long run.




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