Of Mr Biren and our Media


Politics is as they say is one of the dirtiest business, and the players involved are rated in an equally similar manner. Corruption and nepotism are prevalent everywhere and, similarly, no less in Manipur. Issues from time to time crop up in myriad ways inclusive of the Inner Line Permit, AFSPA and every human right issue, the NSCN (IM) framework agreement, etc. These issues are highlighted in the media in order to inform the public and perhaps the editorials carry the cruxes to form public opinion.

At present, the BJP-led government seems to be sailing across calm waters but as they say, nothing is permanent except change. There is always the calm before the storm. The Congress had it’s time for 15 years and three terms, and they had all faced the issues that the Biren-led government faces today.

Despite the mudslinging which will, of course be there as long as politicians and politics try to gain power, there are rumors that all may not be well within the government as many are not happy with their current status in the legislature. Nevertheless, no one can be truly satisfied, especially politicians, and all they would want is more.

Here, what we have seen in the past from the changeover from the Congress to the BJP led alliance seems to be a bit more transparent, but let’s not break out the champagne bottle just yet.

The prime objective of the media is to call a spade a spade, the watchdog must have the conviction to say that the good is good and the bad is bad and at the same time maintain the neutral stance.

After N Biren, with whom the media fraternity has been in close proximity since his scribe days, took up the chief ministerial baton, whether all is well within the ranks of the media is a nagging question?

The public seem to have a view that the CM having a long term association with the journalists of the state had made the media more of a toothless tiger.

Well! It is upon each to have an opinion, and how credible it may be, depends on the circumstances. There is an adage that there is no smoke without fire, and leaves do not move without a breeze, and the section of the public may or may not be entirely wrong.

It is fact that the CM in his good will gesture to the scribes of the state had presented smart phones and tablets in the recent past. This may be in furtherance to make the scribes more updated and perhaps make their work more manageable, as communication flow is more highlighted in the social media and other different applications like Whatsapp etc. Sending information and transfer of photos becomes more easy and the access amidst the sub-editors and the reporters become closer, hence making press copy editing and news source authentication much more easier .

One does not say that N Biren and his gesture does not arise from genuine goodwill for his one-time brothers-in-arms. Nevertheless, many brothers who at one time were senior editors have left the media fraternity to join the ranks of the government. Some have been given ‘advisory’ positions and been inducted in certain departments. Some have even openly made statements in public office despite their editorship, perhaps in a manner that they might have felt was ethical. Well! It is not within one’s ambit to state that such actions and the crossovers have depleted the strength of the media here, and what they have decided may be for their best. They have their lives to lead and their ‘prestige to uphold.’

But, during the last government, the previous chief minister did not have any media appointee and the journalistic fraternity remained in a more or less rhetoric status-quo. The question now that remains is a question which scribes here needs to ask themselves is whether the role of the watchdog has wavered or not? This is a very practical need of the hour question and the answer remain in each of the scribe’s mentality.

Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba

Source: Imphal Free Press


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