Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
It is safe to say that Manipur is unique in many ways. The state has got its own distinctive features, may be it in the field of culture,sports and lawlessness. One feels that something is just not right and the feeling has been there for as long as one has been able to think rationally.
Living in Manipur is not easy, and the majority would concur in the regard. Be it of the prevalent locality challenges or pertaining to maladministration in government institutions. Corruption or AFSPA, we have many skeletons still hanging in the closet.
The issue of the state Media, at loggerheads with either state or non state actors have been there in the past, presently and will be there in the future. But, whatever the scenario may be, a morbid thought creeps that it’s far better to perish clutching one’s beliefs rather than living under false dreams and negated stances.
Though the sense of bravado may be said to be bordering to theatrics and it is fact that man has the primeval basic instinct to survive at the foremost. But we absorb from the past and rather what History taught us, it is wrote in its annals that brave souls have sacrificed themselves for the worthy and humanitarian causes to bring about the greater good. Defiance of terrorism, inhumanity and breaking the chain that would have us kneel down to injustice has long been fought against. None can defeat the indomitable human spirit and there is the belief and trust that truth and justice will ultimately prevail.
One draws inspiration from the saying that the pen is mightier than the sword .It holds much meaning to those who chose journalism as a profession. Scant paid, scarce holidays, no pensions, a round the clock schedule, weather beaten and of course, having to walk the tightrope while those with vested interests shake both ends of the rope. This is considered normal to the scribes of the state. The tightrope situation also pertains to the citizenry and is duly noted. Still, the smile on the acrid face and with a cash balance limited to the currency note in one’s pocket is borne with mild yoke. And still we jest; each day is a struggle which is lived one day at a time.
The media has no friend or foe. This is what is stated in the first chapter of the scribe’s ‘manual’, and we hum to that tune with plenty of probable friends and an equal number of foes who credit themselves of the mentioned status.
However, it is indeed a laudable stance of the state media not to have given in to dictates meted by self styled Robin ‘Hoods’. Still, the fort is being held with a principled attitude. ‘The Press will not be stopped’ and we will not march the protest, rather the daily grind is continued with fervor.
Coming to a pause and back to reality, police personnel protects the media houses. Well ! The houses are guarded but what of its family members? Is the scenario of one where the family members are inside a bomb shelter, safe and sound. Do we have the comfort not to come out till the bombers fly past?
None can take responsibility for the journalist whose job is to seek information from different venues. A soft target is always at disposal for those who mean to inflict harm. Braving the probable, each day is lived with a ‘Nongmada pokpa machana nini siba hounadae’ stance or as in “ We all perish one day”. With truth and justice as the epitome, we report incidents. The question comes to mind then to why the police personnel have to be posted within our premises. Will the lone ivory gypsy deter those having ill intent? Will the safety of the scribes be assured with that? Personally, a big NO comes
It is felt; the courage should be there to stand for the belief. If the pen is indeed mightier, then why crouch behind rustic swords and especially one which cannot guarantee our safety. Let us stick to our guns and to our Karma. Lest! We be branded as idealistic hypocrites.
Unlike a cat, there are no nine lives to be spent rather than the lone one. For the truth and to uphold the voice of the masses, regretted that there is only one life that can be lost.