November 16 is observed as National Press, the day Press Council of India started functioning as Watchdog while thriving for a free and responsible press in India. The theme for 2013 – ‘Role of the Media in serving public interest’ is a reminder to the Fourth Estate on their role and duties according to the First Press Commission that the media should help secure and protect a social order in which justice for Social, Economic and Political would prevail.
It is also a reminder that the Indian Constitution confers no special rights or privileges to the Press as does the American First Amendment. However, Article 19(i)(a) does assure freedom of expression for every citizen, the same is extended to the Press. Not to forget Article 21- which says No person shall be deprived of his or her life or personal liberty, except according to the procedure established by law is to be read together.
As the nation observed Children Day on November 14, it is also a tribute to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. Lovingly called “Chacha Nehru” the day is observed. There are various organizations observing the day with different themes and motive. One such organization from New Delhi -Prayas a humanitarian, gender-sensitive and child-focused development organization with a vision to restore the lost childhood of children in need of care, protection and development will be organizing ‘Run for less privileged children’ on Children’s Day.
In Meghalaya, the state battling to regain the tag of Education Hub of North East is entangled in various education related scams, should observe the day to introspect the Educational system for the less privileged children.
Enough have been said about the sub-standard of work in every state government departments. The accountability on any of the project is equal to nil. At the sametime, the general public who elected the government are simply a mute spectator to all the free style of governance. Under such circumstances, it takes enough courage for the incumbent Chief Minister, Dr Mukul M Sangma in acknowledging the unsatisfactory quality of construction of roads in some sectors of Garo Hills, especially the works for the AMPT Road allotted just a year back were in a state of disrepair, needing urgent repair in the very next year barely few months after completion after the rainy season.
Dr Sangma is contemplating a slew of stringent measures to fix accountability and streamline road construction and other civil works, also warns contractors with blacklisting and cancellation of their contracts, legal action be taken against them for compromising quality of work, hope this order is not just the election gimmick for the upcoming Lok Sabha Election, and if sincerely carried out, the contractors in the state will all be blacklisted.
Erstwhile educational hub of North East- Shillong (Meghalaya), is now considered as Mecca of fake universities; at the sametime mushrooming of various universities in the state still remains unchecked by the authority concerned.
The revolution of educational system is soon to take place, as the universities here will be adopting semester system in place of the existing annual system, but the very foundation of educational in Primary, Upper Primary up to the Higher Secondary is yet to be fully upgraded in terms of syllabi to meet the contemporary challenges. How much longer the society will still pin hope on government funds to support the education department.
It is strange that the 41 - year old state still lacks philanthropy to support education system in the state.
It is an open secret that the elite society in Meghalaya is least concerned, even if a self-claimed university in the state capital is offering just a Distance Education in the name of fancy College without fulfilling the basic requirement. Both the affluent and the government are apathetic on the course curriculum and its relevance to meet the demand of the market, as most of their own Wards are pursuing their studies outside the state, some even abroad.
Globally resentments are running high in accusing Media for escalating unrest through incitement. India in general, Meghalaya in particular is facing the similar phenomenon. The claim was ascertained due to the unfortunate mass exodus of North East origin from South and Northern part of India due to the rumors through the social network and SMS know as new media. This particular incident was not generated from any of the Media house, but by some vested interest, yet media was taken to task.
There is no denial that all media houses are not Saint, some do misuse the medium for self propaganda or to strike deals under the camouflage of Media. Hence, it is difficult to identify if its media or the society which instigates violence or motivates the masses by portraying a tailor-cut information for public consumption. At the same time, some media houses do stand for the truth, which off course will take time to become the household name; but once it gets imprinted into individual mind, they will remain in the circulation for longer duration.