Why Grassroots Options?

India’s northeast, one of the country’s most complex and diverse regions, suffers from natural handicap of being a remote region imposed by a combination of historical and geo-political factors. As a result, the region usually remains on the margin of national planning and media attention. Not only that, it is also one of India’s most
misunderstood region – endowed with pristine forests, rich biodiversity and natural resources, and yet ravaged by a prolonged insurgency, ethnic turmoil, economic stagnation and loss of livelihood. Politically, too, it plays a marginal role in the national Parliament. However, it has spawned numerous peoples and local movements aimed at correcting the perceived wrongs that add colour and political philosophy to the continuing global political discourses of marginalised peoples.

Unfortunately, the country’s influential and metropolitan media is unwilling to invest in media development and help improving understanding of the issues of the region. Bulk of the content that appears in the major newspapers and magazines in the mainland India is something to do with the rich, famous and powerful people, who constitute less than 10 per cent of India’s population. Naturally, a vast mass of people remain outside the media interest and attention, thereby perpetuating the process of marginalization.

Therefore, the main objective of this media initiative has been to redefine the purpose of journalism -- that is to turning the media focus from the coterie of rich and powerful to the vast mass of voiceless people and the issues that affect their lives and livelihood – by creating a platform for those who do not find space and voice in articulating their views.