By - Paritosh Chakma
The one thing which I miss very dearly each day is the absence of English news website from Mizoram to keep myself abreast with the happenings of the state on daily basis.
An online newspaper will enable people of Mizoram have access to daily news of the state even though they may be staying outside the state, for example the students.
In the age of information technology, it is really regrettable, more so given the fact that all other six North Eastern states - Arunachal Pradesh (Arunachal Times, http://www.arunachaltimes.com/), Tripura (http://www.tripurainfo.in/), Meghalaya (The Shillong Times, http://www.theshillongtimes.com/), Nagland (http://www.nagalandpost.com/), and Manipur (http://www.kanglaonline.com/) have online version of their state newspapers, not to speak of Assam which has many of them.
There are at least three English newspapers published from Aizawl – Newslink, The Aizol Times, and the Highlander, and dozens of Mizo dailies, weeklies and even monthlies but they do not have webistes. I know only Vanglaini maintaining a good website http://vanglaini.org/ but I do not understand Mizo so well. Hence, that does not help me.
I must thank to http://zawlbuk.net/ which provides links to “Newslink”. But the links are not regularly updated and sometimes do not cover Newslink daily for a series of days. I must confess that I anxiously keep awaiting such daily updates and I shall be happy if http://zawlbuk.net/ can provide the Newslink news update on daily basis without a miss.
I have been subscribing to the Newslink by post but it takes a long time to reach me. The news get old. But regrettably, even the Newslink fail to cover enough news from rural corners of the state, particularly the social problems.
The Newslink has been the only English daily to have successfully run a website for some time, first in the form of http://www.zoram.com/ and then had its own webpage (I forget the exact link). Another English paper, “Aizol Times” had one http://www.aizoltimes.com/ but the link now shows “this account has been suspended”.
All these news dailies must be facing financial problems to even retain their domain and update them which needs manpower. So, the state government of Mizoram must come forward to help the dailies run their websites successfully and provide sufficient funds for that purpose.
The Young Mizo Association (YMA), the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and the Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA) must extend a demand to the government of Mizoram in this regard.
If Mizoram, which is the second most literate state in India, cannot afford to have a news website, it reflects negatively on the state. Also, it is in the interest of all the people of Mizoram, in particular the intellectuals and students who need to be updated on daily basis about the latest happenings in the state.