MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
It is obvious that journalists, rights activists, intellectuals and those who raise their voice are facing trouble in the districts. But the physical assault on Rukum journalist Tika Bista has only inspired us to pursue professional excellence in journalism.
The courage and commitment of journalists working in the districts has challenged the reign of fear in a society already facing intimidation, threats, assaults and 'physical action'. Even after the Maoists' move from insurgency to peaceful politics, they do not seem to have developed an inclination for political norms and ideology. They are consolidating the party by recruiting people with brutal criminal backgrounds who have tarnished the party's image. The leadership occasionally makes apologies for atrocities committed by their party cadres but they tend to overlook the increasing number of such incidents.
The Maoists' nurturing of a culture of impunity has helped create an environment conducive for opportunists to take advantage. The journalists in the district are in the frontline to discourage this trend. If their morale is low, the whole of society will have to bear the brunt of it. At this moment, we remember Uma Singh and wish Tika Bista a speedy recovery.