Mushrooming Bihu functions
Each Assamese New Year finds Bohag Bihu revelers organizing more functions than the previous year. When these organizers organize Bihu functions flawlessly to the satisfaction of all concerned, this is a matter of joy for all. But in reality it is not so. We have often come across news of extortion of money, failure of the organizers in payment of dues to the invited artistes, hooliganism let loose by unruly youths under the influence of liquor, eve teasing etc. Such negative signs vitiate the atmosphere in Assam. A few years back, a teen-aged boy had been stabbed to death in Guwahati when he protested some unruly youths teasing some girls. Some organizers after the Bihu programme contribute a fund for the good of the society. Attack on artistes by unruly youths is a matter of grave concern. It is true that during the months of April and May (Bohag) a good number of road accidents take place. This is a fact that such fatal accidents take place due to Bihu functions continuing till morning despite government’s ban festivities at midnight. We want that the government maintain a tough stand for those flouting the rules.
Guwahati blast, its coverage by national media
There was a grenade blast in Guwahati on Wednesday. The ULFA (I) claimed responsibility for the blast. However, there was little coverage from the national media of the blast. At least twelve people sustained injuries in the blast. The condition of two of them is critical. A lot of issues of the north-eastern region of India remain trapped within the region. I was shocked to know that none of my acquaintances from other metro cities like Hyderabad and Mumbai heard or even read about the grenade attack in Guwahati.
Are we still being ignored as a region? Are elections a more important topic than the threat to the lives of innocent citizens? Would the media be ignorant in the same manner had such an attack taken place in another city of the country? These are some questions which we must raise in order to ensure that the news of the Northeast is given due importance. If the national media can go on and on about the lives of celebrities and about politicians accusing one another for hours over debates then we must find other ways to penetrate the national media with serious problems such as insurgency and threat to security in the Northeast.
Royal School of Communications and Media, Royal Global University, Guwahati.
Of choosing between social and ‘unsocial’ media
Social media tells us that it acts as a platform to boost or improve our social life. In the past few years, social media has become an important part of our daily life. The young generation is the most prolific user of social media. Each day appears to be incomplete for the youth today unless he or she shares at least one status update. People share what they eat, where they are heading to, what they wear and many other activities of their day-to-day lives. In other words, such sharing has become a part of their daily activity. Nowadays not having a social media account makes us appear as if we are “unsocial”. No wonder the youth today easily conveys everything though text message but finds it difficult to even greet each other when they meet in real life. They have literally become hostages to various forms of the social media. As a matter of fact, most of the people cannot even think of a world without smart phones and social networking.
A study showed that 48% of people, aged 18-34, check their Facebook accounts immediately after they wake up. This shows how young adults prioritize the social media. Besides, the social media also exposes the youth to several negative activities like cyber bulling, and falling prey to online frauds. At times, the social media even trespasses upon one’s personal space.
The youth tends to believe almost anything that is posted on the social media platforms and this proves the serious impact they exercise on many young adults. It is a matter of concern that when we see people getting into trouble; instead of helping them we start taking their pictures — recording the incident(s) to post these footages on the social media. It has therefore become a necessity to monitor how the youths today use the social-media platforms. Even if the social media has the power to make the world a better place yet it depends on how the users — especially the youths — today need to learn to balance the time between social media and their daily activities and not let the addiction of social-media engulf them.
Dakshin Kamrup Girls’ College,