June 13, 2010
The Zeliangrong Students’ Union Manipur (ZSUM) express its serious concerns on the role of Imphal valley based, and controlled, media and social organisations in twisting facts and figures. The misrepresentation and error in disseminating incorrect information is detrimental, not just for any particular community but the society as a whole.
It should be mentioned that several press releases issued by ZSUM was conveniently discarded while some of the baseless, imaginary and concocted news were well publicised. It has led to the manufacturing of biased and “us and them” feelings and opinions among the simple and innocent public. For instance, several media houses widely reported as frontpage news, the false news of burning down of Nagaland bound oil tankers and the damaging of several trucks. Such baseless imaginary news are clear evidence of the negative role played by the media in trying to create further divides among the people at the expense of everyone. Such false reporting fuels intolerance and alienates each other.
It is further necessary to mention that the present blockade imposed by All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) was taken as a last resort in the face of the continued aggression and infringement of the rights of the tribals by the state government. None of the papers has bothered to point out that the tribals have made many representations to the appropriate authorities for rectifying the law and rules under which elections to the Autonomous District Councils were held. Instead, this central issue for the blockade has been sidelined and the media has incorrectly painted the blockade as a result of the denial of Mr. Muivah to visit his birthplace. We are of the strong opinion that the present crisis could have been resolved sooner if the media had maintained their professional ethics and reported facts correctly.
ZSUM takes this opportunity to reiterate its calls for the immediate revocation of the orders criminalising Naga Social leaders, the Presidents of United Naga Council and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur with wanted tag. It is clearly an attempt of the Ibobi led Government of Manipur to cover up his anti–tribal governance. ZSUM also appeals to all right thinking organisations and individuals to come up and pressurise the Ibobi led Government to address the tribal people’s concerned on Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 2008, and being rise by UNC, ANSAM and others rather than to declaring a wanted.
ZSUM expects the role of media to be impartial, unbiased, and neutral to exercise its duty as the third pillar of democracy. We demand that media houses exercise utmost restrain in communalising the present crisis and to present correct news supported by facts.
Information and Publicity Wing
Zeliangrong Students’ Union, Manipur