TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Media in peril
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 06th August, 2007



They call themselves sons of the soil and revolutionaries and they justify the act of taking up arms on the ground that it is for the people and for the land.

Yet when they start to train their guns on the common people and the media on issues such as whether a press release issued by one faction of an organisation should be published or not, what do we call them ?

We will refrain from giving a tag on this, but let the people decide. From August 1 till August 5, there were no State dailies on the news stand save for a lone paper.

An indefinite sit-in demonstration by AMWJU on August 1, 2007 after a gift-wrapped grenade was delivered to The Sangai Express.


The cause for which the media persons of the State struck work and staged a dharna at Keishampat junction from August 1 to August 3 is now history, but how does one explain the rationale of imposing diktats on the newspapers on issues concerning the internal affairs of an armed group ?

Why should the media be dragged into the internal affairs of an armed outfit ? If anyone has an answer to this, we are more than ready to listen to them, but we cannot take things lying down when any organisation or group of people try to impose their strictures because of internal differences within an organisation.

Factionalism has been the bane of the armed outfits all these years and it has led to loss of lives, needlessly, if we may add. In fact we would even go so far as to say that more lives have been lost due to factionalism than in confronting ‘their enemy.’

What does this say about the mentality of the people who have taken up the guns ‘for the sake of the people and land ?’

This was not the first time that the media in Manipur was forced to suspend publication and it will continue until and unless those who were responsible for imposing their writs on the media realise their folly and mend their ways.

And this can happen only when they have the moral conviction as well as the mental capability of judging the issues at hand with the merit it deserves. The media cannot continue to be the football of everyone's opinion.

It is not an entity which can be kicked around for the convenience of some who cannot think beyond their narrow confines, created by themselves.

It would also help everyone to realise that by using muscle power and trying to cow down the media, they will only be exposing their ugly side to the international community and in the long run it will not help their cause in any way.

That power flows from the barrel of a gun is a truism, but it should also not be forgotten that the instrument of power which they wield also comes along with a degree of responsibility.

At the moment words escape us on how to describe the sense of frustration that we have just experienced.



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