February 9, 2019 3 min read


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MANIPAL: School of Communication (SOC) inaugurated the latest edition of Article 19, its core communication event, on February 7. The three day event has invited five eminent personalities, Dr. Anand Ranganathan, Bobby Wahengbam, Nag Ashwin, Omar Mohammed (The Mosul Eye) and Archishman “FeTT” Pradhan, from the fields of media, films, and online gaming, to address the people of the town.

The inauguration took place in the presence of the chief guest, Dr. Anand Ranganathan, guest of honour, Bobby Wahengbam, Dr.Padma Rani, Director, SOC, and Registrar of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Dr. Narayana Sabhahit.

Dr. Anand Ranganathan is a PhD holder in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, having several academic publications and having won several academic awards and honours. He is also an author, with a number of books such as the ‘Land of the Wilted Rose’ and ‘For Love and Honour’. Bobby Wahengbam, is a Manipuri filmmaker striving to bring Manipuri medium into mainstream media and society. He has also authored Manipuri books, of which the latest, ‘Matamgi Manipur’, was launched during the inauguration ceremony.


Bobby, overwhelmed after his book launch, interacted with the students in the afternoon session about filmmaking and Manipuri cinema. || Photograph Courtesy: Vanessa Shingare


Bobby Wahengbam’s book is based on the movie of the same name which is the  first feature film of the Manipuri film industry. The book looks at the socio-political scenario in which the Manipuri regional cinema was born, as well as a critical, systematic analysis of the film. The book also reviews film theories, cinemas of the world, and the scenario of the Manipuri regional cinema prior to the production of Matamgi Manipur.

After the inaugural ceremony, Dr. Ranganathan addressed the audience on ‘Science: Selectivity and Public Discourse’ saying,  “Subjectivity and selectivity bring walls. Objectivity and impartiality brings calm and rational thinking. There ought to be more journalism in science and science in journalism.”

The consulting editor of Swarajya magazine was of the opinion that Article 19 (1)(a) of the constitution does not provide freedom of speech and expression, but in fact, curtails it. “According to me, freedom is the right to offend someone. Dr. Ranganathan also provided advice to the students who he considers the future of the media, stating, “No media is truly independent media. Media should work for the good of society.”

His session concluded with students receiving answers from him to questions regarding the media industry, political system of India, laws of freedom under the constitution, and the ideology of media during the interactive half of the session.


The inaugural ceremony received the audience from various colleges of MAHE. || Photograph Courtesy: Vanessa Shingare


Before this, following director Padma Rani’s welcome address, Dr. Narayana Sabhahit addressed the students and faculty, stressing on the importance of Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India, which provides its citizens with freedom of speech and expression, and is the foundation of the event. He emphasised on the fact that India is lucky to have such a provision in her constitution, going on to say, “If we go out to countries where they do not provide for freedom of speech, you will feel the pinch.” Along with freedom of speech and expression comes the responsibility of ensuring that we do not harm any other individual, group, or community. Dr. Sabhahit went on to talk about how language can be ‘sharp’, and with the lack of mutuality in language in the country, the way we convey things matters greatly as interpretations can vary.

This edition of the media event is more integrated with technology with Omar Mohammed giving his first ever address in India via a video conference call on the second day of the event.

Takshak Pai, co-program planner of the event provided the vote of thanks and requested the audience to attend the lined-up sessions at the event.

Featured Image Courtesy: Vanessa Shingare

Edited by: Niharika Nambiar