4 Years for Times of Assam! For Members of Times of Assam family, today is undoubtedly a tall milestone with a long shadow. We look back and rejoice in having lived through an enduring journey which has been extremely tough – yet rewarding – extremely criticized – yet highly respected – extremely bold – yet fearless.
Any honest attempts at social entrepreneurship go through its hard days of rejection and criticism before tasting the first fragrance of success and recognition. Conspiracy of the torture in the name of blames – attempts of assassinations on August 5, 2011, & July 28, 2012 – the arrest in manipulated case after a failed attempt of assassination on August 11, 2011 – every single step was hard as we walked past the treacherous roads. One of our correspondent and well-wisher Tapan Boro was killed with cold blood and that would be a painful memory forever. May his soul rest in peace. Times of Assam – an attempt to have an alternate media platform for our burning state from a few common people with uncompromising attitude have gone through the same phase.
We have been accused by any and many. When we criticized the Congress – we were branded as BJP mouthpiece. When we criticized BJP and AGP (We did not spare Modi too) – we were labeled as Congress Supporters! When we wrote in support of lateral talks between ULFA and Government of India – we were branded as insurgent supporters! Later when we exposed the truth behind the same ULFA members – we were called a covert mouthpiece of the Indian Intelligence!
We were probably the only Indian Media who pointed out flaws in the very popular Anna Hazare movement during its zenith of popularity, spoke about Irom Sharmila and AFSPA like no one before, criticized KMSS Leader Akhil Gogoi during the peak of his popularity, exposed many truth about Insurgency in the state (including revealing identity of the new Chairman of ULFA).
We have had threats from high flying politicians, threats and criticism from Insurgents and even media-mafias. When we revealed the truth, we were called Conspiracy Theorists every single time until everyone agreed after few months that “Times of Assam was right”. One of our readers called us Wikileaks of Assam and while we humbly admit that such a statement is way too far from reality, we do take pride in establishing ourselves as someone who speaks just plain truth. No Nonsense.
We had our share of difficulties too – issues with people, not-so-good write-ups – lack of money to maintain a Dedicated server – technical constraints all came knocking once in a while to our doors. But as all our avid readers would agree – Times of Assam is a site for the classes and not the masses. This has remained our mantra and will continue to be. Quality over quantity, always.
At the same time, we would like to remind our readers as well as ourselves the very root causes for which Times of Assam stand for. We stand for Change. We stand for standing up against social prejudices and culture which is rotten and outdated, we stand for the rights of the deprived (not in the conventional way of calling off Strikes and Bandhs though) and most importantly one of our goals was to attract people to solution-based discussion to end the insurgencies in Assam and North East once and for all. While a lot of militant outfits are in talks with the Government, the mood of rebellion and the root of the insurgency is still getting deeper in new and old corners of the state. Many of our readers still believe in the dream of an Independent or Autonomous Assam – but we believe this is not possible by any militant group through the barrel of gun and splash of blood.
In coming days, we would like to dive more in solution based articles and discussions for solving the root causes and would invite our readers to advise, contribute and help us in doing so.
It’s just 4 years now and Times of Assam has won accolades from thinking people all over the world. We thank our readers for the support so far and promising to get better and stronger to serve the nation as we move ahead.