Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Days in the ides of July

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 Editor,

Days in the ides of July have proved that Royal Britain’s democratic credentials are very much intact. Fox hunting Britain has singed the tail of Fox News, Sky News, Star News Corporation’s Chairman Rupert Murdoch. The quintessential robber baron, the royal above all royals, who could with a twitch of his eyebrows bring down prime ministers, governments and institutions from China to Chile has literally had his face shoved in slime. “Humbled” is the word that came through his gritted teeth, but it did not stop the disgraced media moghul from trying to put in the last word for his young ‘pup’ to obfuscate the whole truth. “Humbled” is the word which certain Indian newspapers went to town with, with extraordinarily bold and long headlines, usually reserved for a nation shaking event. ‘Greedy pig’ is the other word! The British parliament has dragged over hot coals its top policeman on his improprieties, even after he and his top rung officers quit their exalted posts in shame over cover ups and pay offs, and finally the British PM has to bite the bullet and offer public apologies for his oversight in cavorting with the felons and frumpets. Can we hope to see similar scenes in the world’s largest democracy? I am afraid we have to wait a long time, till we shirk off our closet ‘royal camp followers’ mentality!

Yours etc.,

John D Jayakumar,

Via email

 Unprecedented incident!

 Editor,

The simultaneous cylinder blasts are truly harrowing. Well, accidents are accidents and may take place anytime anywhere. But what’s surprising is that twin LPG cylinder blasts were so well synchronized. They took place on the same day, at separate restaurants owned by the same owner, within a span of one hour. The concerned authorities and investigating agencies should probe into the matter as this not only involves casualties but also caused damage to an age old building. It is a matter of grave concern when such restaurants are allowed to run in the commercial hub of the city without proper safety measures in place. This incident clearly indicates the failure of the owner and the employees in maintaining routine checks of the kitchen appliances. The blasts could have been even more devastating.

Yours etc.,

Subash Deb,

Via email

 Let’s honour the dead!

 Editor,

At the outset, my thanks to the ST Tura correspondent for the wonderful write up “Tura remembers 93rd year of Garo’s return from France.” At the outbreak of the 1st World War King George VI looked to India for help and the 26th Labour Corp comprising a good number of Garo, Khasi and Jaintia men was formed, to be shipped to France. Many of these returned home to tell the tales of a totally different world but some were not that lucky. To honour the fallen, the British rulers built three cenotaphs at Shillong (Iewduh), Jowai (Iawmusiang) and Tura (Babupathar). On the marble plates the names of those who fell were inscribed in deep black ink. Some self styled modern patriots may brush aside the idea of remembering and honouring these men. Their point of argument might be that we were slaves fighting for the Emperor. But if we ponder dispassionately the saying ‘Render ye to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God that belongs to God’ we will be convinced that our ancestors had faithfully fulfilled their duty as the ruled and vanquished. It is only then that we can picture the quality of our forefathers who went as porters right into the line of enemy fire with no weapon whatsoever to protect them, save their faith in God. Of course some of them might have died of diseases most prevalent then like malaria and cholera as was the case at Alkut (Baghdad), the mass Indian grave. But war is war and those who died were honoured. Let us in the Khasi and Jaintia hills emulate our Garo friends and honour and respect the dead. Motphran (Shillong) is still in pretty good shape but the Cenotaph at Jowai is in a decrepit state, despised and spat upon. It is my sincere request that we give due respect to these standing monuments.

Yours etc.,

Wandell Passah.

Via email

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