Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Danger of a single story from Manipur

Today, I want to share a video of covered by iValley Talks. This video was shared more than 1 year ago way back in July 2014 with only 596 views. In this video, Kishalay Bhattacharjee talks about the danger of a single story from Manipur. Kishalay Bhattacharjee, an author, a senior journalist who has been with broadcast television for twenty years, seventeen of which he spent at New Delhi Television (NDTV) where he was a Resident Editor covering conflict in India’s North-East. He is a regular columnist and speaker on conflict and post-conflict situations in India.

First of all I would like to thank and recognize the work of Kishalay Bhattacharjee and also to each and every brave journalists reporting the conflicts stories of Manipur. Their reports have given a glimpse to the world of the conflicts and issues of Manipur. In this video, he talks about what and how he has failed to cover other stories, stories which are important in breaking the stereotype image the world sees. He has covered only the images of violence. And in his attempt to cover other stories he has written the books “Che in Paona Bazaar” and “Blood on my hands: Confessions of staged encounters”

He is right, there are a lot of stories which needs to be covered, stories where people rise and celebrate life in the midst of the conflict. There are stories of people working together showing hope, unity, integration and progress in the conflict zone.

People (both government officials and public) working together and rising up. Such stories aren’t covered. But you will see stories of the divide amongst people and people OR people and system, covered in bold with the same title and content (even with the mistakes carried over), being circulated.

Let me give an example. During the flood and landslides calamities in Manipur this year, the people (irrespective of ethnic community) came together reaching out to the people affected in the valley and hills. This was an empowering example of people coming together. Then, there are the army officials who worked very hard in repairing the roads for the people. Where are these stories ? Aren’t these stories important ? There is no divide in this effort and so this story didn’t reach the media.

So yes, I definitely echo that we need to change the single story portrayed in the media. And I am in the quest for FindingTheVoices, I believe that these stories will bring a change and create a positive image of Manipur and positive thinking to many individuals. I believe that this will definitely contribute to change the scenery of the conflict and violence-torn to peace and progress in our society.



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