TODAY -

Media and muslim women in Manipur

Mehnaz N *

Muslim women protesting at the Lilong Police Station in March 2011
Muslim women protesting at the Lilong Police Station in March 2011 :: pix - TSE



"A nation that wants to accelerate its development through media should try to make its people more widely and quickly aware of needs and of opportunities for meeting them. This will facilitate the decision process and will help the people to put the new practices smoothly and swiftly," opined Wilbur Schramm, father of Communication Studies.

However, Manipur, one of the north-eastern states of Indian nation, rarely features in the mainstream media. Consequently, people particularly its youth living in this region are not exposed to the media unlike other states that may prevent them to be well-informed and developed individuals. Worst is the case for its women, specifically Manipuri Muslim women.

Manipur, the Jewel of India (the title doesn't suffice in the current scenario though), is considered to be a literate state with 79.85 per cent literacy rate as per 2011 population census. Of that, male literacy stands at 86.49 per cent while it is 73.17 per cent for female. However, the literacy rate of minority women (including Muslim women) is around 54% only. So, the people here use media intelligently but unfortunately they are less exposed to the mainstream media.

Though media is also growing day-by-day in Manipur, yet there is no proper study of the patterns of media usage in Manipur. To quench the curiosity of media usage pattern among youth, particularly, Manipuri Muslim women, a study has been carried out during my university days. Below I would be happily sharing the excerpts from the research that might change the outlook towards media and the society of the region.

Well, it is a well-known fact that people enjoy watching TV, listening to radio, surfing internet, reading newspapers and what not they do with media. They are using media according to their choice and needs. Audience are not passive anymore, they play an active role in selection and adoption of any media into their lives. People themselves are responsible for choosing media to meet their requirements. Audiences use media to live out their fantasies and other gratifications, including informing and educating themselves about the world around them. People make supplementary and compensatory uses of the mass media. This approach is known as Uses and Gratification theory.

The above mentioned study has been carried out on the lines of Uses and Gratification theory so as to find out how Manipuri youth, particularly Muslim women of the state, use media.The project aimed to identify the media usage pattern among them. Media usage pattern means the habit of using different media by the people at different point of time. The project promised to reveal the media usage pattern through user behaviours and user preferences that are linked up to certain user characteristics. In addition, the study also throws a light on how media can boost development and bring in the much needed change in the society.

Several studies on communication and development by different communication scholars have revealed that media have extended huge support towards development of the nation and have assisted the rate and score of development.

For instance, a well-known Development Communicator Gupta in his book 'Development Communication' in 1996 stated that mass communication brings people closer through developing common understanding of an event or issue. Everyone is dependent on mass communication not only for information, entertainment and politics but also for education, science, religion, charities, agriculture and transportation.

Similarly, an Indian communication scholar Dua on media and development said that there are two tasks of media in two-fold, which are: First task, to help remove illiteracy, fatalism, enlarge aspirations, increase and extend social status and secondly, to lead overall national progress and prosperity. All other are by-products of media inputs and media consumption.

After two months of rigorous study, including field plus desk work, the result through the study revealed that minority women (read Muslim women) have access to almost all the media. However, those living in rural areas of Manipur do not have the privilege to utilise internet, they still largely depend on radio for their information and entertainment needs.

The surprise finding of the research is that large number of minority women watches TV for fulfilling their entertainment needs. 65% respondents watch television and 33% out of this watch TV only for serials and soaps. They mainly watch serials and news although songs and movies have their own audiences too. The increasing number of TV audience shows the growth of their living standards. The literacy among them is also a vital factor in contributing to the increase in TV audience.

Another contribution to this growth is by the local channel called ISTV (Information Service Television Network) that telecast local news, Manipuri songs, movies, dramas and many more. Television is, therefore, booming as a medium in both urban and rural areas of Manipur and its usage is increasing day-by-day by the rural minority women in the state.

Radio still remains the trusted medium among the minority women. 83% respondents happily use radio as their sole asset of entertainment. They listen to almost all the formats of the radio; however, song tops the chart when it comes to listening as 66% of them listen to the songs aired on radio. Despite the absence of private FM channels, radio serves the large rural population for their informational as well as entertainment needs.

Talking about the newspaper and news magazine, only half of the respondents agreed to reading newspaper on a regular basis. This is because the need of the news is fulfilled either by radio or TV. Even though all the respondents were literate, still they showed little interest in reading newspaper or news magazine. Another reason is that there is not enough reach of mainstream newspapers like The Times of India, The Hindu, Hindustan Times and the like to them. So they have to bank their thirst of news on radio, TV and some regional papers like The Sangai Express, The Free Press, Poknapham, among others.

In today's world of internet, rural minority women of Manipur still do not have access to internet except 8% of them. Internet is still a new and complicated medium for them. Only few numbers of their schools and colleges provide internet connectivity.

Even though the rural minority women of Manipur do not have access to this new media called internet but they have trust to the other available media to them. All of them agreed on media disseminating valuable information on education. They say media help in shaping up their career in various ways through their various programmes on counselling, tips of scoring in examination, discussions on various subjects and the like.

It is surprising that more than 45% of the total respondents like watching, reading and listening to entertainment programmes than others which are knowledge-based.

Like women belonging to other states, Manipuri Muslim women too choose media according to their needs and gratification. They certainly use media to satisfy their fantasies and live out their lives. Media do not choose their audience, it is the audience who chooses what they want to see, read or listen to. Majority of them that is 55% of the total say that TV is the most useful media while 35% think that radio is the most useful one.

However, 40% of the total agree that all the media is useful for them. 12% of the respondents still have faith in print media whereas 5% each of them think that both magazine and internet are useful to them. From this analysis, it can be inferred that the Muslim women choose intelligently which media to use for their benefit.

Most importantly, majority of the Muslim women in Manipur agree that media provides valuable information on education, health, career, fashion, entertainment and the like. They fully agree that without media they cannot develop themselves into perfect human beings. Media directly or indirectly help shape them up to become better individuals.They said that development cannot become a reality sans the involvement of media in their lives.

Media, certainly, acts as an amplifier for the development of a nation and its people. And yes, Media in Manipur has the potential to change and develop the society; provided they are barred from threats from various sections of the society and is allowed to function as freely as media in places like New Delhi and other cities does.


* Mehnaz N wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is the Founder of youthstreetnews.com and former journalist at the Hindustan Times and Planman Media
This article was posted on March 04, 2013



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • World Environment Day: Thoubal, Chandel
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Shifting tide
  • Sharmila calls on JK CM Mehbooba
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • World Environment Day at Sendra
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Two Shaft Handloom Weaver at Bishnupur
  • Career Guidance Workshop at Ukhrul
  • Rejoinder: on Vigilance Commissioner
  • Appointment of Vigilance Commissioner
  • Towards the brighter side of Technology.
  • MU in the news for wrong reasons
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Fear and Worry
  • Rongmei Scholars Association formed
  • Deteriorating politics in Manipur University
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Devolution of power to PRIs
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Northeast: Issues at Stake #2
  • Thietham - A story of grit of a girl
  • Daylight robbery: Will the govt wait..
  • Date with Dy CM : Was it prudent?
  • On FIR against NPF President
  • Yepthomi - winner in Nagaland Lok Sabha
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • Bacteria, pathogenic bacteria..
  • Drafting Bill for Protection of Manipuri
  • Cry of a Dying River - 31 :: Poem
  • Char saal Modiji sarkar :: WJ
  • Imran Khan signed by FC Goa
  • The mental equation
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Kishon & Taka Tamut scaled Mt. Everest
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS