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People should come first: Arnab


GUWAHATI, Nov 13 - Urging the legislators to put the masses in their agenda, noted journalist Arnab Goswami today said that people should come first, whether it is in politics or in media.

�We are all here because of the people. People should come first whether it is in politics or media,� he said.

Goswami, who was addressing the legislators of the Assam Assembly on the topic �Legislators and Relationship with Media� during the third phase of Sabal Bidhayak, a series of orientation programmes initiated by the Assam Assembly, said that Indian journalism is stronger than journalism elsewhere, and that the media here can question everything including religion � something not practised by the western media.

Goswami said that at the same time, Indian media is independent and secular � it can cover issues for instance as to why a woman cannot enter a place of worship. �While in the UK the media is very structured, in India it is not. Politics is about taking responsibilities. Development follows when the media behaves responsibly and politicians too work responsibly,� he added.

Stating that his channel Times Now has broken six major scams so far and each case has been followed by the Judiciary, Goswami said the media in India has kept the Judiciary on its toes.

�Media in India has come a long way. Today�s media is an unusual media. It is confrontational unlike the media in earlier days which had information but little impact,� Goswami said.

The series of programmes have been designed and coordinated by the Centre for Development and Peace Studies (CDPS).

Terming the new media an activist media or campaign-driven media, Goswami said today�s media follows up news until there is response from the quarters concerned.

�Today journalists are no longer disseminators of information only. Media is a reflection of the changing country. Legislatures should open up new relations with the media, both should think about how they can work together and not how they can fight,� he added.

Veteran politician and former Minister Abdul Muhib Majumder addressed the participants on �Procedural Devices Available to Members to Raise Matters of Urgent Public Importance on the Floor of the House�. Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta also addressed the participants and spoke on Parliamentary etiquette, ethics, customs and conventions. He said that if the legislators follow the rules and procedures of the Assembly, it will be beneficial both for them and the public.

Phani Bhusan Choudhury, who has been representing his constituency for the seventh consecutive term, threw light on the General Rules of Procedures of the Assembly - Questions, Legislation and Resolutions.

�It is very important for an MLA to know how to put a question in the Assembly, which question is to be given priority and how to frame a question. The question must be focused and proposals should be such that they include the problems and issues important for the State as a whole, apart from the problems of a particular constituency,� he said.

Dr Gautam Barua, Director, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Guwahati, said that new and relevant courses should be introduced in the ITIs and there should be vocational courses for students who cannot pass Class X.

Keshab Mahanta, Minister, Water Resources Department, Science and Technology, Information Technology, also addressed the MLAs on the relationship between legislators and media and said that for legislators, media is the medium to reach out to the masses. Veteran journalist Samudra Gupta Kashyap stated that media and politics are inseparably related and while media plays the role of a watchdog, it also has its own responsibilities.

Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Vice Chairman, State Planning Board, addressed the legislators on �Skilling and Regenerating Assam�. He said courses must be developed with an eye on the employability sectors of the region.

Wasbir Hussain, executive director, CDPS, presented an overview of skill development initiatives in Assam.

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