GUWAHATI, Oct 6 - Maintaining that policing is easy in a monarchy than in a democratic society, former Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay today said laws are not merely for enforcement because they are issues related to human values which need to be fostered and imbibed.
Sahay was speaking at the function where this year�s Pabindra Nath Sarma and Kunjabala Devi memorial journalism awards were presented to Diganta Sarma, staff reporter of Sadin weekly and Gagan Kumar Nath, Sipajhar correspondent of Asomiya Khabar daily. Nath has received the award for the third time.
�Policing in a democratic country is one of the toughest and difficult jobs. Success of democracy is only possible when it is backed by the rule of law. Police too is the creation of law and they cannot afford to deviate. Strong institutions of law are needed to protect human rights and civil liberties,� Sahay said.
Stating that while there are both internal and external mechanisms to check the tendency of the state to usurp the system, Sahay said earlier the number of aberrations was much more.
�Today, the security agencies are much more tuned and focused, and their operations are intelligence-based. Human rights issues have come down, but there are new forms of violations like trafficking and child labour which have emerged as new challenges,� he said.
Sahay further said �laws are not only for enforcement� because they are issues related to human values of equality and dignity which needs to be imbibed. �This should start at home. If family members treat each other with dignity, they would practise the same outside,� he said, adding that more the respect for law, the less would be the transgression.
The guest of honour at the function, noted women activist Hasina Kharbhih said the dynamics of journalism was changing with the advent of electronic media. �The way we perceive things has changed. Digital media has become faster and reaching more and more people. Journalists need to be on their toes all the time,� she said, calling for more women representation in the field.
Referring to the new trends of trafficking which are taking place through internet and social media where even educated girls are duped in the pretext of prosperous opportunities, she also called upon journalists to go deeper into the issues.
�A trafficking incident should not just be seen as a mere incident. We need to delve into some other issues and go beyond the incident like how it happened and why. At the same time, journalists also need to be sensitive as the survivors also face more stigmatisation,� Kharbhih said.
The awards instituted in the memory of late Pabindra Nath Sarma, freedom fighter and senior advocate of Gauhati High Court, and his wife Kunjabala Devi carry a cash award of Rs 30,000 each and a citation. The Pabindra Nath Sarma award is given for investigative reporting on human rights and civil liberties, while the Kunjabala Devi award is given for investigative reporting on women�s issues.
The function was presided over by Dileep Chandan, editor of Asam Bani. Pabindra Nath Sarma�s sixth son Anil Sarma also spoke on the occasion. Convenor of the awards committee and executive editor of The Assam Tribune Prasanta J Baruah compered the proceedings.