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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

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.

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A thought on Khongjom Day

The people of the state today paid fitting tribute to the martyrs who had sacrifices their life fighting to safeguarding the freedom of the erstwhile kingdom at the battlefield of Khongjom in 1891. The courage and spirit of our ancestors is worth remembering and paying tribute to those martyrs is our pride to prove the world that we the Manipuri were courageous, hardworking people who had always wanted to live life with dignity. It is a known fact that, our ancestors of that time knows well that there was no possibility of winning the war against the huge army of the British Empire, but they still fought knowing that they will defeat in that war. Those ancestors like PaonaBrajabashi, BirTikendrajit and other unknown soldiers of the erstwhile kingdom would certainly dream of a nation at which people from across the world have great respect.
Points wanted to make here is that, have we paid enough respect to our ancestors who had sacrificed for the cause of the nation’s freedom. The state of Manipur at present is in the most shameful state. The so called leaders of the present state and those who had been elected with thousands of hopes have been completely depending to the money sanction from the central government for running the state. A change in the government at the centre gives so much worried to the state government that sometimes it gives all its effort to go with them using any means. Lack of sincerity among those in the government has always been a matter of reality that the present day people face.
Unfulfilled promises, threats to the free speech, threats to the existence of indigenous people VIP culture are what the people are experiencing today.
The greatest tragedy of our state is that nothing seems to move until and unless extreme measures are resorted to: be it implementing rules of law or conveying the aspirations and needs of the public. Add to it the fact that we, as a collective, have yet to realize the undeniable truth that the centre is evidently more concerned with preserving its national territory rather than improving the welfare of its citizens when it comes to affairs of the north east region of the country, in effect, reducing the importance of the region to that of a mere geographical entity.

The peculiarity of the situations confronting Manipur: from its geopolitical to socio-economic conditions needs to be tackled in ways that involves innovative and unorthodox methods. This calls for a more alert, swifter and sterner government capable of dispensing its plans and proposals more smoothly and effectively. The frustrations being felt by the public for a long time now need to be addressed. Every aspect of public life and governance has been beset with corruptions, controversies, scandals, accusations of favoritism, despotism and cronyism. The sooner the present guardians of the state admit to the allegations and own up to such aberrations, the sooner it can address and rectify itself. Bringing in a system of governance that takes into confidence its people and their needs rather than dispensing administration by tweaking the system to suit its every whim will eventually prove to be the spark that lit up the fire of frustrations trampled expectations.
People faced draught in non-rainy season and flood during rainy season. The drainage system constructed in and around Imphal city by spending huge amount of many do not serve its purpose. And every one of us knows that these moneys meant for construction of the public properties are hijacked by people who are near and dear ones with those in the government.
This situation is not what our ancestors had wanted. They might now feel shame of what we are no. A simple offering of floral tribute is really not enough to pay respect to our ancestors, we need to build a strong state if we really wanted a fitting tribute to our leaders.   

Challenges in Journalism

The advancement in information technology has made today’s world a ‘Global village’ – the term first coined by Canadian-born author Marshall McLuhan. Man born at the extreme corner of Far East Asiatic countries knows, cry and pray for the kind of disasters that happen in Middle East countries or in Latin America. Installation of internet technologies to cell phones which every human being can afford makes the people of our Earth- whose circumference is estimated at about 40,075 Kilometer staying at a communicable distance. Now every human being equipped with cell phone can now talk or stay in touch with any of their friends or relatives staying thousand miles away. Point bringing here is about the changes in the theory of mass media in relevance to today’s journalism. The very concept at which the older generation considered ‘proximity’ as a characteristic of news is somewhat losing its foot.
Professor M.L Stein, the then chairman of Department of Journalism, California State University, Long Beach, Carlifornia in his book “Shaping the News” in 1974 wrote that people are more interested in what happens in their neighbours. The one time presumption that ‘a dog fight on Main Street is of more interest to our readers then fifty thousand foreign troops killed in battle somewhere’ seems to have no relevance in today’s society. Readers are now interested about happenings at distance places if the subject matters is his or her interest.
However, another characteristic of news - ‘Prominence’ on the hand is becoming a matter of more interested subjects for almost all readers. People now want to know what had happen to their leaders, celebrity or the bureaucrats irrespective of where they stay or which country they reside. Every news readers are eager to know the story of successful personality.
Points bringing up here are not to lecture on what is news and what should be reported but this is an attempt to make some of our critic to understand on why the newspaper especially the kind of ours often published story about real heroes or events that happen far far away from our state. Sometimes a mere insignificant event at which some people are of vested interested are often left of and the result is not always good for we in the media fraternity of Manipur state in particular. The other kind of pressure that the media persons sometimes remain helpless is their intentions to get publish their story.

Manipur or say Imphal is not a safe place for even VIPs who are escorted by security personnel days and night. It is an open secret that almost all the politicians including MLAs or Ministers or even the Chief Ministers have linked with the UGs , the only thing we don’t have is the proof.
So, what would be the security of those working with the media if in case, some of the individuals or rebels force us to publish stories of their interest. Being taken up this profession, we always stand with our ethics and there is no question of compromising our ethics while publishing stories. But when the government said that this should not be published and this should be published then where is the freedom of speech provided under the constitution of our country. Government machineries can invite news editors and can discussed about the content on objectivity reason but should in no way dictate the media on what or what not to publish. Calls of bandh or blockade by any organisation are in some way an essential news items for media houses living in conflict zone – because it is for the safety and security of the common people that the government machineries cannot guarantee safety. We have PCI guidelines, local code of conduct and this should be respected.
Bottom line is that media should not be harassed at any cost for any reason because we chose this profession not merely to earn for living but with full intention to serve our nation.   

Seized Liquor displayed; some destroyed and burnt; many distributed among policemen

IT News

Thoubal, April 21,

Huge quantity of seized liquors seized ahead of the 17th Lok Sabha Election during drive conducted by different police team of Thoubal district under the directive of Election Commission of India were displayed in front of media persons today at Excise Office Thoubal.

The seized liquors were then burnt in the presence of media persons. However, police personnel present on the scene collected the beer can and some IMFL for their own use. The whole episode of how the police personnel collected has been caught at video camera and Imphal Times have the copy of the video clip. It is not sure whether the police personnel are trying to destroy the collected liquors at some other places but it was caught in the camera that some police personnel had collected many IMFL bottle and can beer from the site.

The seized liquors displayed today include local country brew, beer can, Indian made Foreign Liquors etc. Deputy Superintendent of Excise Thoubal district estimated the seized liquors to have worth around Rs. 2,54,000/- .

Talking to media persons Dy. SP Excise Th. Ingo said that the liquor displayed today were seized during series of drive conducted ahead of the 17th Lok Sabha Election as per directives of the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (EEMS) under the ECI from various places of Thoubal district.

It may be mention that polling of the 3 assembly constituencies viz., Wangjing Tentha, Heirok and Khangabok Assembly Constituencies of Thoubal district was held on April 11 (first phase ) and the polling at the remaining assembly constituencies – Thoubal, Lillong and Wangkhem was held on second phase that is on April 18.  

Liquors seized during the said drive as per record appeared in newspaper was much more than those displayed today. May be the Excise authority is planning for another display in the following days to destroy it.

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Meghachandra clarifies that he just questioned the police personnel

IT News

Imphal April 21,

Spokesperson of MPCC K Meghachandra clarified that the recent viral video regarding him questioning one police personnel is not a humiliation to the police individually.

Meghachandra said that he just questioned the police constable in a slightly higher tone as he was quite furious after INC inner candidate O. Nabakishore and his polling agents and election agent were not allowed to enter the polling station.

He said, he along with his team went to the polling station to lodge complaint to the Presiding Officer regarding the matter however his anger was fueled in seeing the police personnel standing idly.

He added that the incident occurred at polling station 7/40 Nongpok Keithelmanbi.

“I simply questioned the police personnel why he hasn’t complained to the higher authority if the situation can’t be controlled”, Meghachandra said.

The Congress MLA further stressed that in almost all the polling stations of Andro Assembly Constituency, proxy voting was done. He added that the agents of Congress were not allowed to sit in at least 16 polling stations by the BJP workers in Andro Assembly Constituency.

Recalling the day of the incident Meghachandra said that as he was selected as an observer for Congress of Andro assembly constituency by the high command and he was informed that their agent could not sit in the polling rooms.

He added that the Polling agent was found at his home as he was not able to sit in the polling station after being threatened by the BJP workers.

“As we went to complain regarding the matter to the Presiding officer, large number of womenfolk blocked us, Surprisingly a police personnel was found standing as a mute spectator idly instead of controlling the situation he just questioned him why has he not done his duty”, Meghachandra added. 

He said that even though the tone might be a little high there isn’t any humiliation to the police individually.

He also appealed the people to look on both sides of the story.

“There have been no election conducted in Andro Assembly Constituency as 40/50 goons threatened and push out the Congress agents from any of the polling station in the constituency”, Meghachandra added.

“It was a total violation of political rights for the people”, he said and appealed to conduct free and fair election and asked the number of voters that Shyamkumar can get, if election was conducted free and fair.

Meghachandra also accused the BJP workers of assaulting an aged person and blamed the BJP government for not taking up any case against them.

The Congress MLA finally appealed the people to let them exercise the voting rights.

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