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Journalism profession in a puzzle box

A sad and pathatic picture of media house workers reflected in Sakalbela's office, when workers including reporters of the Bengali daily had to strike due to non-payment of salary for the last two months. The paitence broke when administrative officials went underground today at a time when employees were promised for their dues. Also the Rongali Bihu celebration added to the woos of the employees. The media boom in Guwahati, now saw the real face of what media boom is all about, the sallow development was even praised by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, tagging it as a result allround development in the state.

This is not the first incident in the country when employees had to strike for nonpayment of salaries, be it in government sector or in private sector. In recent times Kingfisher Airlenes made headlines for nonpayment of salaries to the employees, or take the instance of Assam State Transport Corporation before it got a facelift. There are many such instences. But this media issue can no way be campared with the references given already. The media boom in the Assam is very new and is in infant stage and thus has to be bottle feeded from time to time with changing hands. This crisis is not natural but instead artificial created by foul players causing professional hazzards. However natural causes are more transparent and thus acceptable and can be excused too. Are media house owners responsible enough and do they have social obligations in their mindset while going for starting a media house? Is it a fashion to own a media house? These questions are perhaps put by fools.

Coming to the media boom issue in Assam, the million dollar question is about its sustainability, who are taking over the media houses, what motives behind taking over media houses, setting up of more and more media houses which cannot be justified as media boom. Is there enough scope for so much of media houses in terms of earning revenue and paying the minimum healthy salary to the employees, or even following the wage board guidelines? Its like a house built with roof but without walls to protect. For many, a house with a roof will be enough for some time at the begining, but in the long run things will not last or sustain. Its time to watch and be careful as who are taking over the media, how healthy media are we having around us, or does it mean only business at any cost.

There is no denying that any body can own a media house and invest capital. Why on earth chit fund companies collecting huge amount of money and investing in media that also works as a medium for PR for the same company. Are not the chit fund companies collecting money illegealy and going underground so easily and the government is helplessly watching? And so, what can we do - refusing to join a media house if the organisation's credibility is in doubt.

People in general still takes media profession as very vulnerable and perhaps this is the state of affair here. How long can journalism passion remain pure and encouraging unless minimum security is not ensured. The fourth pillar of the country is of course not made of concrete as it might look for some. “I have seen enormous changes. I have not seen enough changes. I, too, can hardly wait.” ― Kay Mills.

Once an elderly man laughed at me when I said that I wanted to be a journalist.

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Fencing: Delhi, Dispur draw SC ire

13 May 2015 - 10:26pm | AT News

The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed both Delhi and Dispur for failing to stop influx from across the Indo-Bangla border. The apex court further appointed an officer to physically verify the border fencing works.

A division bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman  straightly rejected the affidavits explaining a slew of measures to check influx of illegal Bangladesh nationals into the northeastern state through the porous Indo-Bangla border.

Then the duo asked senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika to physically verify the fencing and security across the Indo-Bangla border running through Assam and file a final report by June 30. The home ministry will have to pay Rs 5 lakh to Hazarika for this purpose.

The court had also asked the MHA to file an affidavit indicating steps taken by it on border fencing, construction of border roads, night patrolling, flood-lights, scheme for deportation in consultation with the Bangladesh in terms of its December 17 order.

Leadership crisis deepens AGP

20 Mar 2015 - 7:15am | editor

More trouble awaits the Asom Gana Parishad hardly a year before the Assembly polls. The tussle between Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Atul Bora seems to have posed a serious threat to the regional party’s poll prospect.

The widening difference between the former chief minister and one time loyalist and working president Atul Bora takes the centrestage of a simmering conflict within the regional party.

Senior party leaders told Assam Times that    Mahanta’s loyalists what the founder president should be restored six months after he went on leave. They further claimed that the party’s general council allowed the former chief minister to go on leave only for six months. Then the council asked working president Atul Bora to officiate as president.    

But a circle of party leaders belonging to the anti-Mahanta camp are averse to allow Mahanta to take the rein of the party again. They claimed that Mahanta sought him to be relieved from the top post of the party after the party drew blank in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

According to them, the general council meeting allowed Bora to replace Mahanta as party president. They further want the case to be taken up at the general council meeting which is not scheduled soon.

“If this conflict of power is allowed to go on the regional party will fail to open even an account in the assembly poll early next year,” said a senior party leader who does not want to be named.

He said, “ a section of party leaders have failed to stand either on behalf of Mahanta or for Atul Bora. They need some other else to take the rein of the of the party. This is what further aggravating the party and its course of action.”

Mark Tully releases Subir Bhaumik’s book

17 Nov 2009 - 10:28am | editor

The eminent BBC journalist Sir Mark Tully has released a book titled ‘Troubled Periphery: Crisis of India’s North East’, which has been authored by the senior BBC journalist Subir Bhaumik and published by Sage, today in Kolkata.


Inaugurating the book, Padma Bhusan Mark Tully commented that the Indians in general should go through the book to know more about the troubled northeastern part of India, and the Northeasterns themselves should study it to understand their problems in a better way.


The inauguration ceremony witnessed the attendance of many distinguished personalities like Tripura Rajmata Bibhu Devi, former British minister Ian Macartney, US consulate-general Beth Payne, UK deputy high commissioner Sanjay Wadhwani, Chinese consulate-general Mao Siwei, Sage vice-president Sugato Ghosh etc. All honoured guests were felicitated with the traditional Asomiya Ghamochas.