‘Media hides the crime of elites and focuses on working class’ street crime’ philosopher, Karl Marx has blamed the mass media. Mass media itself isthe voice of voiceless. Probably, it is one of the prime roles of media to bring the voice of people who cannot speak or whose voices are not heard. However, current mainstream South Asian medias are just reverse. They have been sidelining the issues of workers, farmers and other marginal communities and have been completely devoted to the government. It has helped the regime to apply additional oppression towards marginal people of class, gender and ethnicity who had been marginalized, suppressed and discriminated throughout history. Actually, media should check and balance the power’s tyranny but now, in India, it has become one of the powerful weapons to oppress the commoners.
In Nepal, we have not faced such ‘regressive medias yet. However, it is not assured that the Indian trend would not affect the Nepalese big media houses in near future. Even though, one of the bitter truths is that Nepalese large media houses have not properly raised the issues of marginalized people of class, genders and ethnicity. If they have done so, our government would not have the courage to take series of regressive decisions, it would not dare to push further margin to the marginalized people and community and finally would not dare to dissolve the parliament.
Not only ‘the parliament dissolution’, there were other series of regressions we have been facing. Regime’s terror against marginal community and people is not decreased even in this Federal Democratic Republic. During the parliament dissolution, in the cold January, sugarcane farmers were in the streets of Kathmandu demanding the sum of their products. The scene was not new, previous years too, they were in the street for the same insist. This year, Covid 19 affected the public life. Migrated labors returned home in hunger with bare feet during lockdown, but the state just watched it as if it was ‘a great spectacle to look at.’ State did not sympathize them, rather it engaged on the corruption on medical supplements. In the same year, a Chepang youth is killed by state because he had taken ‘morning glory’ for vegetable from national park. State run dozer on the hamlets of squatters in this December and had burned the Chepang’s huts in August. It had killed the people who have different political/ideological thought in fake encounter. Even now, the Tharu leaders who have been fighting for their identity are imprisoned. Police brutality towards the gender minorities is same as in past.
Brutality of state is not limited within these few examples. It is accused that around dozen of dalit youths in Tarai are killed in police custody during torture. Against this brutality, there were various protests in Tarai but mainstream media hesitated to cover the issue. Neither the ‘Khokana Bachaau’ movement gets proper space in Nepalese media. State has the intention to destroy the ethnic land and culture in order to make them vulnerable but no media is here to raise their voice. Why these issues of marginal people and communities hardly get space in mainstream media?
Even today, Madhesi, Thaaru, various ethnics and indigenous have been suppressed by state centric mono-cultural nationalism. Society even hesitates to treat dalits as human. Moreover, patriarchal state has intentionally boycotted the women’s rights and all these people of caste, ethnicity and gender have not assimilated them as first class citizens. Furthermore, the regime had already hit on reservation system, continually attacking on ethnic identity/language and has shown rigidity towards female. These were far harmful regressions than parliament dissolution but these chronicles of regressions hardly got any attention by mainstream media.
The mainstream medias have their own readers and add agencies; both of them from mainstreams. Thus, these medias are guided by their interests. Similarly, mainstream medias directly or indirectly, not only in touch with government but also directly or indirectly influenced by the power. That is why the mainstream medias of South Asia are unable to raise marginal voices of subalterns sufficiently. In India, media has become the medium to suppress the marginal voices. In this critical situation, The Margin has arrived to fulfill this gap and will be devoted to its mission, to raise the voice from margin, voice of subalterns who cannot speak or whose voices are unheard by the power holders. We hope, we all move ahead together to raise the suppressed voices.