We all read about the plight of the local Press which was just published in local papers on 17.10.2017. Nagaland Post, Eastern Mirror, The Morung Express, Nagaland Page, Capi, Ao Milen and Tir Yimyim jointly disclosed how all of them continue to carry out their daily chores under ‘constant intimidation, pressure and coercion.’ The same article divulged how ‘individuals and organisations’ used to dictate their terms on the media houses to publish or not to publish their stories. Beside, the drivers transporting the papers across the State are reportedly targeted to the extent of subjecting to physical harassments. These are very serious and it should never be passed off as any ordinary news item or piece of information.
Media is the only public facility by which anyone irrespective of status, creed or region can ventilate one’s likes or dislikes on any given issue. Particularly, local news papers are the sole weapon for the downtrodden and voiceless majority through which we voice our concerns since AIR or TV channels have its limitation from free access. More so, in absence of vibrant Opposition in Nagaland Legislative Assembly, local papers are the sole public mouthpiece and it has become more indispensable for protection of public interests and to use those as deterrent against abuse of power by people in authority. Local papers are like parents to a child who reports to the former when harmed sentimentally or physically believing in their ability to defend and react in revenge.
Subjugating the media houses to dance at the drum beats of those professional brigands, those professional State looters, those criminals and their professional abettors who always look for sharing their spoils have been hell bent to silence and suppress the right voices in Nagaland are being allowed to rule the roost for decades. Committing murder by one is heinous crime, and foiling and scuttling the evidence on the act of murder by the other is equally heinous. Whereas, those murderers, professional thieves, rapists, abusers and those who are responsible for ruining Nagaland in respect of its land and resources, its economy, its tradition and culture and its faith are considered to be dynamic, capable and even those are worshipped. The rascals, goons, crooks and liars are considered better and are commanding the society. Whereas, the honest, the humble and the altruists are branded as desperate, frustrate, anti-unity and anti-people.
Be it the media, be it the philanthropic forums including the conscientious individuals are always intimidated and threatened directly or indirectly by those who are zealously trying to completely seize Nagaland, privatize it and have free run over it. The people of Nagaland are brainwashed clinically with effective psychological treatments by which people are badly embroiled in confusion as to what is truth and what is false. Thus the perpetrators have been fishing out of troubled waters.
In the light of above, the Fourth Estate struggles to mitigate if not eradicate such attempts on choking the democratic voices on behalf of the gullible public and due to which the media houses, their correspondents and their staff have to bear the brunt of it from anti-people elements as disclosed by themselves. Yet, it ironic to observe that no soul raises a voice in their support even after 4 days of its publication. This is the exact situation we are in today in a land that belongs to us. This is how we are easily handled and manhandled by perpetrators.
In conclusion, I am suggesting to media houses to organise a Seminar on the safety of the press with concerned citizens in which more awareness about the predicaments being faced by them can be created and try to ensure Freedom of Press in Nagaland. As an individual and how insignificant it may be, I unconditionally extend my solidarity with the Press. May the Living God protect you.