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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mind Your Language

By The Editor

General elections to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly 2023 are approaching very near and different political parties as well as candidates are busy campaigning during these few days left before election date. Each major political party claims that it will secure majority of seats and form next government whereas minor ones are on sidelines watching and observing before taking final steps. Claims and counter-claims were made and will continue to be made until D-Day. But what is more worrying is that some people do not mind at all to cross the limit in criticizing their opponents and hit below the belt as long as it serves their purpose. Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 12 at Agartala, Tripura has stated that it is committed and duty bound to conduct free, fair, and inducement-free elections in Tripura and elsewhere. Same principle is applicable to other states including Meghalaya and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar added that banks and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will maintain strict vigil on movement of cash in bulk.

Supreme Court (SC) has warned saying that hate speeches are a complete menace and felt remorse at lack of regulatory control on news content saying it wants “free and balanced press in India”. It is sad state of affairs to witness television channels competing with each other by using foul language and hate speeches for gaining cheap popularity unmindful that such actions create division in society and which will take much longer time to heal. A bench of SC Justices K.M Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna from complaints received seeking curb on hate speech incidents across the country and that action against culprits be taken observed, “We want free speech, but at what cost.” Consequently both advocated saying, “Hate speech has become complete menace. It has to stop”. In print media there is Press Council of India (PCI) which oversees newspapers reports across India and takes necessary action against culprits. SC judges said if action is taken against news anchor or their management, all will fall in line. More uncensored news nowadays are done by social media which create more harm and damage.

Various political parties have given their assurances to ECI for free, fair and peaceful elections during separate meetings held with full bench of ECI which sought their views on election process. Hence top officials of the state right from Chief Secretary (CS), Director General of Police (DGP), District Magistrates (DMs), Superintendents of Police (SPs) downwards are duty-bound to see that no untoward incidents take place in their respective states. Team of ECI led by CEC Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners (ECs) Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel reached Shillong last week to review state’s preparedness for the forthcoming elections. Meghalaya has sought help of over 119 companies of paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair conduct of elections. Meghalaya Chief Election Officer (CEO), Frederick Roy Kharkongor has informed that the state is coordinating with Assam in this aspect.

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