Friday, 1 May 2009

Assam-Tripura information gap

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Lok Sabha Election 2009 Special VIII

The participation of The Bishnupriya Manipuri in the largest exercise of democracy is indeed a matter of prestige and a milestone set in its journey. Its involvement in the 15th Lok Sabha election hasn’t been exclusive; it can’t be. However, the series of special seven power-packed articles do carry weight and uniqueness. Not only all the articles were timely released but it was published with some special objectives.

The objectives were:

(1) Self-reliance: The so-called media group national and regional, it has been seen, utterly fails to cater to a particular segment like us that has a divided population cutting across states/ constituencies. Here with these articles we have been able to cater content to the respective constituencies where we have a sizable population like in Guwahati, Silchar, Karimganj and in the state Tripura.

(2) Content-monotony: The articles break a sort of prevailing myth that only media houses have access to news-source. We can also access information/ news. (though it is publicly available).

(3) News and analysis: Chances are there that a mainstream media journalist will not write a copy that is of concern to the minority community like us. On the contrary, it is a concern for us and it matters a lot. So an analysis was done to bring forth the stands taken up by main national parties like Congress (I), BJP and CPI (M) on key issues like minorities and OBC.

(4) Bridge information gap: It is a cut-and-dried fact: people of Assam don’t know anything about Tripura and vice-versa. People of both the states live in an information-starved environment. The fault lies in our education system plus the minuscule role media plays in both the states. For us the United States seems nearer than Tripura or Assam.

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