The letter by Uma Purkayastha (ST June 18, 2022) “Plight of women continues” is heart- wrenching to say the least and is one among several letters that have appeared in this column which expose the painful truth about how abandoned women with children especially those living below the poverty line, live their daily existence in our state today.
Writing about a young mother bearing a child at the age of 13 and carrying a third child, crippled by malnourishment, on her back all day long even when she’s trying to earn some living is painful enough. But worse is that the father of her children is living with another woman and refuses to acknowledge her as his responsibility because she is unable to prove their relationship due to absence of a marriage certificate and therefore denied of child support, is a harsh reality for many abandoned women with children in our society today. And many of them live below the poverty line, if I must stress again.
Sadly this problem, it seems, is still not getting the right priority from most of our religious bodies, women’s group and individuals and we are not doing enough to find a solution. At the same time there are those who continue to live a comfortable life in denial of this fact that such a situation can exist, and some, living with the attitude that …”if it doesn’t happen to my family it doesn’t happen at all.”
To such people I would say, “Come down from your high horses for a day, away from your pulpits, your raised platforms, your lunch and dinner seminars and conferences and take time to walk the narrow path of the poor, the abandoned and the exploited for your sermons and speeches to have any impact on the ground realities before this vicious cycle continues from mothers to daughters and to their grand- daughters.
I appeal to the women’s organisation of the state to organise, like Uma Purkayastha suggested a Women’s Movement on behalf of your very own and make registration of all marriages mandatory, at least as one of the solutions, just to give the abandoned/divorced mother a fighting chance to fight for financial support for herself and for her children.
NEHU needs to revisit its curricula
I am a student currently pursuing my Master’s Degree. I graduated from St. Anthony’s College in 2021 and obtained my Bachelor’s in Economics. However, I am currently not pursuing my Master’s degree in NEHU or under any NEHU affiliated institutions and which is the subject matter of this letter. I wish to share my own experiences and difficulties during my ‘’gap year’’ which I faced academically while preparing for various Entrance Exams for Masters/PG Degree. I felt greatly suppressed under NEHU’s academic regime. Please note, this is not to defame NEHU’s prestige or its honour but my attempt to convey a message and speak out on why it is compulsory to start revising and adopting a new regime of learning in our syllabus for Under-Graduates under the NEHU Board. The syllabus needs to meet with the standards of various institutions outside of NEHU that are more progressive and doing better than most of the colleges affiliated to NEHU, specifically in areas of a broader and a more complex syllabus, relative to what is being taught under our current NEHU syllabus.
As I was comparing notes with other prominent institutions such as St Xavier’s University, DSE and the like, I realised the negligence we faced insofar as the current NEHU syllabus is concerned. For example, Mathematics, being the backbone in economic theory was not given the importance it deserves and its usage was limited. This affected my comprehension in deriving economic theories whereas the above progressive colleges provided a great deal of mathematical insights relating to numbers and graphs to economic theories. Therefore, it is of strategic importance that we try and adapt to various other university curricula in order for us to meet with the growing academic demands arising from the rest of the nation.
With all these observations, I feel it is of great importance especially for every aspirant’s interest, that NEHU does a brainstorm to keep up with the demands of the new environment and adopts new strategies to combat our academic backwardness when compared with other universities.
Meban Wantei Khyriemmujat.
(Student, Master’s in Economics)
Whither free and fair journalism
The role of the media has changed in recent years. There is a severe lack of independent and impartial journalism. The rampant misuse of media to polarize society has made the situation worse. The role of media as a watchdog is important in a democracy to expose errors and wrongdoings. Media provides a platform for people to discuss and debate news on any topic. This interaction of people from different backgrounds strengthens civic engagement in society.
Fake news is not a new phenomenon and is associated with the rise of social media. The looming menace of fake news can have an unprecedented impact on the electoral cycle, raising serious questions about the integrity of democratic elections, policy-making, and our society at large. Computational propaganda is the use of algorithms, automation, and human curation to purposefully distribute misleading information on social media networks.
Media companies unable to balance competing interests have been unable to balance national security concerns with capitalist motivations for profit. Media anchors can comment on matters of law and order and national security without any responsibility to increase viewership with half-baked opinions and intolerance for dissenting views One of the most common criticisms of implicit journalism or media is that where people only see the points of view they agree with and isolates dissenters, resulting in to polarization.
With the advent of social media and technological changes, the reach of media has increased significantly. Its reach and role in influencing public opinion have made it all the more important.
Sensational reporting compromises the identity of rape victims and survivors despite Supreme Court guidelines. Fake news and yellow journalism are important concerns affecting the public and affecting national security. For example, spreading fear through the media has led to mob lynchings, and attacks on migrant populations.
In developing countries like India, the media has a great responsibility to fight backward ideas like casteism and communalism and to help people in the struggle against poverty and other social evils. Therefore, having journalistic ethics becomes very important.