Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
One hardly needs to mention the importance of the media in today’s society.
From shaping public opinion to distribution of cooking gas, the task of the media in the state is indeed a multi pronged one.
The Konthoujam Assembly Constituency bye election resulting in the defeat of the congress party must be an eye opener for the SPF government.Even though the Chief Minister put up a brave face by congratulating the decision of the Konthoujam public meanwhile admitting that the result may be due to the laxity of developmental works in the constituency , it is safe to say that the CM and his council of ministers tried their best to retain the congress stamp in the constituency. What went wrong ? must now be the big question, as the heavily funded congress candidate lost hands down in spite of the all out effort.
In the second term of the SPF government , the three previous bye elections held for Khundrakpam , Moirang and Yaiskul assembly constituencies saw thumping victories for the congress as the siblings of the deceased took over the scepter.
The poll pundits also speculated that it would be a close fight between the Trinamool candidate and the congress , but favour remained with the latter. Beating the odds , the fledgling political party in its first debut in the state managed to open an account in the state assembly.
The muscle and the money power of the congress is running down the drains of Konthoujam at present.
It is a common saying of the public that if one has legislative aspirations, then the person must have 3 P’s. The P’s stand for power , paisa and lastly the press and the success of the candidate is guaranteed. It is as of yet not ascertained of how far that is true ,but the ruling party may have introspected to their dismay that their Achilles heel lay in their candidate being boycotted by the media.
On the contrary , the victorious Trinamool candidate was given full coverage.
It is not a proud moment for the state media nor are we speculating that the loss of the congress party is due to the media boycott but the benefit of the doubt remains.
The boycott of a certain section is contradictory to media ethics, as the Indian constitution under the Article 19 enshrines the freedom of expression and the media needs to focus on that to bring about a free press.
But ,the boycott stance was taken on extraordinary circumstances as the media was attacked , an editor was implicated in a case for his alleged involvement with a certain underground outfit and state media demanding justice took to protest.
However, after the poll results , feelers were sent from the government to the scribes union to revoke the boycott following assurance that the case registered against the editor would be withdrawn.
The scribes acknowledging the pulse of the government suspended the stir for a week and it remains whether the SPF government will keep its word and leave the press alone.
(To err is human and to forgive divine )is the popular saying and it is acknowledged that we are all prone to mistakes and whether be government ,media or any organizations have their fair share of black sheep’s . But , learning to accept the things which we cannot change , courage to change the things which we can and the wisdom to know the difference should be there in all quarters.