The detention of a local TV journalist at the behest of the Imphal West district administration for uploading a video regarding the celebration of Jhanshi Rani on occasion of Quami Ekta Diwas day by BJP at which the Court says that the speech that the journalist made in the video does not attract Section 124-A, reflects the mindset of the government. It showed that even the law of the land can be overridden of the government desires. The TV journalist already face the music for using slang words, which might perhaps hurt the sentiment of some few, but what is not fair is the re-arrest even after the court released him on bail.
As for his offence under section 294 and 500 of the Indian penal Code the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Imphal West, Lamkhanpau Tonsing already ruled that they are bailable offences.
Well Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for obscene acts or words in public. The other sections of Indian Penal code which deal with obscenity are 292 and 293. The law does not clearly define what would constitute an obscene act, but it would enter the domain of the state only when it takes place in a public place to the annoyance of others. Temple art or nakedness of sadhus are traditionally outside the purview of this section.
And that Section 500 of the IPC, is punishable for defamation. It reads, “Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” In India, defamation is both civil and criminal offence.
Well, the question arises now is whether the TV journalist is a threat to the nation’s integrity or is he a real threat to the existing political party which is leading the government. Why the government felt it so important to detain a young blood who showed his love for his own motherland and culture?
Regarding the comment, by the TV journalist presently detained under NSA (Probably) this newspaper also opined the similar voice.
At one of our writing in this column whilepaying all my respect to Jhanshi Rani for her role in fighting the British Raj this newspaper had pointed out the BJP on why they failed to remember Leima Linthoingambi, wife of King Ningthoukhomba, who fearlessly defeated the enemy to protect the Kingdom of Kangleipak. Besides, among the thousand Manipuri ladies, role of Leiphon Chanu who was the right hand of King Herachandra in fighting the Awa during the 7 years devastation should why be left out.
India need to observed Quami Ekta Divas to strengthen the unity of the nation.
Indian polity being a multi-party system with countless number of political party, paying respect to the one who belong to a specific political party felt uneasiness to many hard core politicians and political workers who belong to different political party. May be, it was the rationale behind the reason to pay respect and organize observance of Rani of Jhansi as she had also equally played her role in protecting her Kingdom.
The new ideology needs appreciation, the purpose of celebrating the Quami Ekta Divas is to spread the message that India is still united and will continue to unite in the coming days.
70 years after India regained freedom from British Raj, the Quami Ekta Week is being celebrated cutting across differences of all political parties. These days programs like meetings, seminars, symposia, particular legendary functions, cultural activities are held to highlight the themes (national integration, secularism, non-violence, linguistic harmony, anti-communalism, cultural unity, development of weaker sections, well being of minorities, issues of woman and conservation) of Quami Ekta Week. The celebration of the week starts with the National Integration Pledge.
Here comes the argument. If Quami Ekta Week is all about integrity and also about bringing back the memories of all those ladies who had led, fought and sacrificed for the integrity of the nation called India, why not the brave queens who Leima Linthoingambi among others were equally paid respect. Besides, everybody knows how Maipakpi played her role in fighting the British soldier during the last Anglo Manipuri war.
The simple point was what the TV journalist had put up and his detention seems nothing but a threat intimidation to all who speaks anything against the BJP or its government.
Point needs to be noted is that the voice of dissent should be respected by all in a ruling by the supreme court of India.
This newspaper opines immediate release of the TV journalist before the truth behind all the happenings comes out in the public spare.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.