First, it has reassured us that we can still forget our regional, linguistic, religious and other differences and rise up as a nation for a cause, something that Mahatma Gandhi taught us during our Independence struggle.
However, we have allowed our fissiparous tendencies to grow stronger since Independence. This has made some skeptical about India’s survival as a nation for long.
The outpouring support for Anna Hazare a year ago and the current outcry over atrocities against women show that we have not lost our sense as a nation. There is something that still stirs us into action as a nation.
Second, the national protests have shown once again that humanity is still alive in India. We still value moral values, social order and harmony.
We can think and act beyond our regional, linguistic, ritual, and caste differences. People are able to see the goodness in others irrespective of their backgrounds.
This is the good news that the Church in India News Agency (CiINA (or whatever the name) wants to communicate. The CiINA family can discern the working of the Spirit even in the most trying times and pathetic situations.
Our job as media persons is to highlight these positive trends instead of indulging in negativity with the continued belief that “bad news is good news.”
We have to tell the stories of people who see hope, love and godliness in poverty, disasters and tragedies. We have to help people see God’s hands in whatever the circumstances.
The old UCAN India network was unique. It was a group of committed professional journalists who are interested in society, the Church and its activities.
Unfortunately, in the past four years UCAN has deviated from its avowed goal and mission — that is to provide Asians a forum to tell their stories to themselves and those interested in Asia.
Of late, the agency that tried to knit Asians together seems to have become directionless as it tries in vain to report anything and everything that interests only the Westerners. It seems to be interested in only those matters that cockle the Western hearts and make them comfortable, a role played very professionally and eloquently by the Western media.
Similarly, UCAN India is supposed to offer Indians a platform to tell their stories to themselves. But it is not doing so because it is still under a group of people who cannot understand India, let alone Asia.
Ours is a country of myriad problems. Various cultures, languages, castes, religions, ethnicity indulge in internecine wars for supremacy. Calamities, drought, floods, starvation deaths, gang rapes, honor killings, female feticides, sectarian violence, human sacrifices, witch hunting and what not continue to dog us.
Yet, ours is a nation of simplicity, rustic candor and religiosity. Hundreds of thousands of people try to help others. They are in all religions and regions.
We have to tell their stories. We have to help our people to understand and appreciate each other, help them see beyond the differences that keep them apart and work for the common good.
We have to tell the stories of people such as missioners working in remote villages unsung and unheard. We have to put them on a lamp stand so that their light may shine on others and all give glory to God, the creator.
Those stories are yet to be told to a disillusioned world. That is our challenge.
So, we need to have a forum where Indians can share their stories with their brethren in other regions and with those interested in India.
Indians do not know each other. Our detractors say India is only a concept, a creation of the British India.
However, we have lived together as a nation for more than 65 years. To an outsider, we may look like a nation of people at war with each other.
We have shown umpteen times that we can rise up as one people when times comes, when need arises. We need to cultivate this spirit, foster it and nurture it.
The media have a great role in this task. As media persons, it is our prime duty to help our society.
This can happen only if we share with each other our stories – our problems, our successes and failures, hopes and aspirations. What we do and what we think we should do to create a just and peaceful society.
We belong to many religions and several regions and we are proud of them.
There are tendencies and trends to confine people within their religious, caste and ethnic ghettos. Experiences have taught us that such trends are only damaging.
We have so much to share and we will share them through CiINA, if that is God’s will.
We bank on God’s grace and the experience of the former UCAN colleagues.