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
  • Kangujam Chinglensana : Olympics Dream
  • ILP: Students/Police [Jul 27] #1 : Gallery
  • Romi Meitei: 1st prize at Brahmaputra Film
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) :: Timeline
  • Integrated TB-HIV responses are a must
  • Manipur Education Policy #3
  • Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival : Gallery
  • 4th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival starts
  • Brahmaputra Foundation launched
  • India asks Myanmar to act against NSCN (K)
  • Groups start to gather data on fake killings
  • From fibbing to omitting names
  • Discounting lives
  • Tangkhul War Dance :: Ooba Video
  • Visit to Ayutthaya, Thailand #1: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai to represent India at Rio
  • Lilong: Food Basket (with a hole) of Manipur
  • By the way, I am not for Sale !
  • The Killing Fields 2016 :: News Timeline
  • Will Irom Sharmila join BJP?
  • BJP Doesn't Care About Racism
  • Irom Sharmila's epic fast to be remembered
  • Assam Rifles celebrates Vijay Diwas
  • Draft of Manipur bill almost finished: CM
  • Zeliangrong bodies ask IM to stop logging
  • NESO lambasts Delhi on plight
  • Sharmila toyed with party ties
  • Time to stop creating the vacuum
  • The second coming
  • Irom Sharmila @CJM Court, Imphal: Gallery
  • ILP: Hunger strike @Singjamei: Gallery
  • Sharmila agitation (From 2006) :: Timeline
  • Children In Agitations: gift of ailing system
  • Environment Calls For Water Conservation
  • Medical Negligence and Rise of Mob Rule
  • Don't ignore chest pain
  • 8 Rio-bound athletes from NE India
  • Sustainable Eco-Tourism in Mizoram
  • Welcome Move By Irom Sharmila
  • Sharmila's fight takes a new course
  • Army firm on AFSPA in disturbed areas
  • Giving up fast but not stand against AFSPA
  • Future perfect
  • Phiyowon blooms @Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Irom Sharmila to end Fast on Aug 9
  • TG Students [Jul 22] #2: Gallery
  • Joydev Chongba @Kang : Gallery
  • Conceptualising Chak-Hao (black rice)
  • You are 14, what next?
  • Ethnic Groups in politicization of Ethnicity #2
  • RTI climax & empowered citizens
  • Job openings at SKY Hospital
  • Looking back at last 15 or more years
  • Tabletop tourism
  • Non-local labourers @Sekmai #1: Gallery
  • ILP : TG students protest #2 : Gallery
  • Obstacles in conservation of biodiversity #1
  • Games and sports of the Zeliangrongs #2
  • Buddhism differs from other religions #5
  • Dialogue: Protection of Indigenous People
  • Self-stigma: Let us do more than just talk
  • NSCN-IM statement on integration
  • Manipur soldier in missing IAF plane
  • Lauding DESAM stand: PIL against bandhs
  • Kabow Valley : Gallery
  • Ajoliu, Thanreiphy :: eMing
  • Uchek Langmeidong -children theatre
  • Bihar's prodigal science & Manipur's MPSC
  • Seed Bank for conserving crop diversity
  • Jiribam Wallpaper #9 : Download
  • July 23
  • Makeover of storytelling
  • Women rescued from sex ring
  • TG Students [Jul 22] #1: Gallery
  • Dedicated to all Heavy Metal lovers
  • JCILPS Women Volunteers [Jul 20]: Gallery
  • How many racial attacks against NE people
  • Cannot eliminate TB if we leave children
  • IBSD wins Intl Award for Development
  • Population Day: Investing in teenage girls
  • Time for more people to people contact
  • Bewildered Manipur police cyber cell
  • Landscape of Dzukou Valley #3 : Gallery
  • Homage to Khundrakpam Opendra: Gallery
  • Yangnu Golmei : Kala Akademi Award
  • BWF: Boon for the North East Region
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2: Gallery
  • EEVFAM Appeals to all victim families
  • The Beginning of the End : Poem
  • PII-ICRC Annual Press Awards 2016
  • Mary- won't be a poor performer in RS
  • Team effort earned us silverware: Chaoba
  • Arbitration Award on South China Sea
  • 1st batch NE youths join Delhi Police as SIs
  • Outcry on power hub at school
  • Don Bosco Maram : Par excellence
  • Does news amounts to contempt of court?
  • Laishram Bombayla : Rio Olympics
  • Archived News Photo #3 :: May - July 2016
  • Boat rally at Loktak lake #2: Gallery
  • Introspection: A Blog on Manipur
  • Government plans to set up 22 ITIs in NE
  • Woman alleges 'racial discrimination'
  • Govt to Publish Constitution in Manipuri
  • Can we eradicate Congress grass from NE
  • Career option in Sociology
  • Cycles of violence and revenge must end
  • Reg. Press Release issued by HSA, CCpur
  • Feeding false information to SC
  • The neglected sector
  • ILP : TG students protest #1 : Gallery
  • Thadou Freshers Meet @ Blore : Gallery
  • From Manipur, with love
  • 26 banks, 178 branches & 293 ATMs
  • Climate Change Adds To Poverty #1
  • Count the people at HIV risk right
  • Repeated atrocities on 'Enghish'
  • On Rio Olympic Games
  • Neck deep in too many issues
  • Blowing the gaff on greed
  • JCILPS: non-local labourers: Gallery
  • 25th Annual NAMA Convention Report 2016
  • NEROCA FC practising : Gallery
  • Finding A Moniker For Monica!
  • Nigerian, 2 Women Held For Fraud In Delhi
  • Delhi Dynamos sign Manipur's Milan, Soram
  • Climate change & increasing water demand
  • Best use of noble gestures from abroad
  • Multiple Reqts @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Freshers Meet: Thadou Students at BLR
  • Landing in yet another controversy : MPSC
  • Delivery issues
  • Phiyowon blooms @Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Joydeva Chongba @Kang Fest: Gallery
  • Tamu, window to Myanmar
  • 2nd Imphal National Print Salon 2016
  • 'Rhythms of Manipur' treats Imphal
  • Protecting the Environment? Greening...
  • Towards revitalising Communication
  • Inter-community agitations in Manipur #2
  • Media Awareness for Peace Building
  • Manipur HC seeks report on strikes
  • Gearing up for 2017 to 2019: BJP Vs Cong
  • Rina Arambam - Singer #2 :: eRang
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1: Gallery
  • Thoudam Opendro : Trans Am Bike Race
  • Stand of NSCN on National Principle
  • 15th July World Youth Skills Day
  • Education - road to social development
  • 9 April :: Movie Review
  • Deeper Introspection on Electoral Politics
  • Smart city project: NE wants 90:10 ratio
  • Narrow escape for Imphal-bound flight
  • Disquieting discourses on development
  • Imphal-Jiribam Highway condition : Gallery
  • ILP : Meira Katpa for Robinhood #2: Gallery
  • Consumption Of Dog Meat
  • Action against failing healthcare
  • What is Plastic Surgery?
  • Impact of Cartooning and Caricature #2
  • DM boost up aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Call Operator wanted at Virgo
  • Rescue of 21 children from Imphal Airport
  • Nude Protest before Kangla Gate
  • AMMA FC is going to Denmark
  • NE India & Sino-Indian rivalry
  • A matter of facts and Acts
  • Dzuko Lily @Dzuko valley #3: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @ Konung #2 : Gallery
  • Atrocities on "English"
  • AIDS conferences- Has anything changed?
  • Japanese Light Design Workshop at Imphal
  • Bishnupur - In search of an old Mandir #3
  • Women's bodies as terrain of war #2
  • Indo-Naga Talks : News Timeline
  • A Lyrical Evening :: Poem
  • Job @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Rio honour for Manipur half dozen
  • Unity holds the key to success: Sushila
  • Manipur, Myanmar and democracy
  • Kang Khichri chaba : Gallery
  • Manipur State Population Commission #5
  • RNPlive.in -Gateway to explore Manipur
  • Discrimination of a "Pakka Indian"
  • Naga American (NAF) holds Conference
  • 9th Pineapple Festival : Gallery
  • Khubak Eshei @Kang Fest: Gallery
  • Gurumayum Asharani : Akademi Award
  • Sushila Chanu to lead India hockey
  • ILP Demand - Photos from 2012 :: Gallery
  • It is Kakching Town's Duck Egg
  • Th. Manorama Death Anniv : Gallery
  • Blood Donation Camp @Pune : Gallery
  • Career at Marine World
  • UPSTART: NE Startup Fest: Nominations
  • ILP : Meira Katpa for Robinhood #1: Gallery
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Kang Chingba in Imphal: Gallery
  • Soyam Sweety (Actress Photos) :: eRang
  • NE Thadou Trophy : Gallery
  • Kang Chingba by ISKCON: Gallery
  • ILP : Robinhood Death Anniv: Gallery
  • SC judgement on fake encounters
  • RIST Popular Talk -20 : Cosmic rays
  • Dzuko valley #1 :: 360° Panorama
  • Kang Chingba @ Moreh/Tamu : Gallery
  • Isak Swu Funeral at Hebron #2: Gallery
  • Haorongbam Maipaksana - Profile : eRang
  • Fish sourced from Loktak Lake: Gallery
  • Traditional House of Poumai : Gallery
  • Eikhoi Pabunggi (Scenes) #2 :: eRang
  • Great June Uprising #4: Gallery
  • Khoupum Khouduang (Water fall) : Gallery
  • Singda Dam :: 360° Panorama
  • Ha Long Bay Vietnam #2 : Gallery
  • Aspects of Meetei Yumjao : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • ILP: Water Cannon to Students #1: Gallery
  • Manipur Phone Directory :: e-pao Tools
  • Download :: PMP Bill 2015
  • Download :: MLR&LR Bill 2015
  • Download :: MSE Bill 2015
  • SPONSORED ADS