Betraying community by concealing truth: not a good sign

Former Editor of local vernacular N. Biren Singh, now the Chief Minister of Manipur had spent in prison under sedition charge along with the onetime chief advisor of the AMUCO, Th. Iboyaima, popularly known as the ‘Father of Social workers’ in April 2000. He had stood by his report and instead of regretting to what he had reported those days, he spent almost a month in Sajiwa Central Jail. There was hue and cry over the arrest from civil societies of the state demanding his unconditional release. He was released due to pressure from the people and the government unable to prove his reporting as seditious.

Interestingly, the then Editor didn’t stop writing. He reported series of wrongs that has been going on inside the Sajiwa Jail.

Chairman of the UNLF, R.K Meghen @ Sanayaima along with some top leaders were arrested by the Indian security force and the NIA convicted him over his denial to say sorry. His strong argument on why he had to wage war against the state and his commitment to his stand left him with no choice but to spend in jail until his conviction completed. The same is with other UNLF leaders who refuse to apply for bail. Now they all have been released after serving the jail term.

When the then Editor N. Biren Singh and (Late) Th. Iboyaima were released, people across the state gave both a grand reception. The same is with UNLF leader, he too was received by dozen of his fan and family member.

When I along with an editor and some other persons were detained in connection with the alleged nexus with some anti-social element, we plead to the court and urged them to release us as we at that moment tell the court that the allegation level to us was not true. WE do plead and we were released after there was no proof of having nexus with any anti-social element. That was in May 1999.

Somewhere around 2018, a team of AMWJU, beg the Chief Minister for the release of a journalist who was detained for uploading a post on Facebook which the government felt as derogatory. At the request of the AMWJU team, the Chief Minister showed sympathy and released him on the grown that he should not repeat such act in the near future. But when those teams came out after meeting the CM, they talk to the media as if the person was released without any condition, besides the fact that they have put some condition. 

Being a journalist or a social worker or an individual should have the courage, to tell the truth. The recent series of events that have been taking place is not the spirit expected by those who know what has happened.

We as a journalist should have the gut to challenge anything for our rights – the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by our constitution. But telling lies by concealing the truth to make people support him by saving his or her image is not a sign of good journalism.

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