Thursday, June 20, 2024

Fish for thought!


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In the last four months we have seen floods of advertisement in local newspapers, huge-sized, attractive banners and posters on roadsides and public places inviting people to organized fishing competitions in fishery ponds. The entry fees are rising by the day and promises of attractive prizes sometimes even as high as a brand new Maruti 800 car for the winner make the proposition attractive. Neither distance nor the inconvenience of rubbing shoulders with many other competitors within confined spaces discourage seasoned anglers or beginners from thronging these competitions. Bamboo fishing rods are out while gleaming fiber glass rods are in. The cost of the fishing equipment would be enough to provide fish for an average sized family for half of the year. But the thrill and enjoyment override the cost and going back home empty handed most of the time does not really disappoint. Fish pond owners never had it so good. Moreover, such fishing competitions also create business opportunities for their family members in the form of food stalls, tea shops , paan shops and perhaps something more to warm up the spirits. Pond owners informed that this is a better way of earning from fish ponds rather than from the yearly harvest because according to them the fish ponds have not given the desired yield particularly in the uplands of Khasi and Jaintia Hills in comparison with the good yield in the plain belts. Angling at a price, pays regardless if there are sufficient fish or otherwise in the ponds. However a recent editorial in a local Khasi newspaper pointed out that the majority of these pond owners are well off people with other sources of income. They took advantage of government assistance for developing fish ponds while the poor and deserving people are not privy to such aid and therefore they lose the opportunity for organizing such competitions. The editorial even suggested that developing community or village owned ponds should take precedence over development of privately owned ponds so that the income from fishing competitions goes towards meeting the needs of the community or the village. With this outlook, it is apparent that fishing competitions get preference over fish harvesting because of better incomes. I wonder therefore if we can achieve the target of attaining self sufficiency in fish production even if we increase the number of fish ponds in the state through the Aqua -culture Mission unless we have a technology to improve the yield and make fish harvesting pay better. Or would too many fish ponds adversely affect the competition business too? Certainly, fish for thought.

Yours etc.

K L Tariang,

Via email

MPSC lapses


I would like to put forth a few points regarding the alleged lapses committed by the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) on November 10, 2012 as claimed by D Kharsati (Glaring lapses by MPSC, November 21, 2012). The aggrieved candidate has purportedly said that he/she is supposed to appear for an exam for the post of Sub-Inspector under Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs for which the same was never conducted on a particular venue. As far as my knowledge goes, the Commission has already intimated the candidates who are supposed to appear for the above mentioned exam that the earlier date and venues have been changed and consequently new dates and venues and have been announced and allotted to all the candidates. This was published in local dailies, both English and vernacular. Similarly, this announcement can be seen at the Commission’s Notice Board at its Head office and it has also been uploaded on its website. I would imagine that the aggrieved candidate(s) do not go through the newspapers thoroughly or might have been out of station for a while so they have not come across the notifications and most probably have not received their new Admit Cards since our postal service is well known for its efficiency (?) and speed (or lack of it) in delivering important documents/parcels on time. Therefore I believe the criticisms against the Commission’s so-called misconduct were somewhat unwarranted, uncalled for, quite unfortunate, a little far-fetched, and slightly off the line. This may be due to the fact that the frustrated unemployed youth have a prejudice against the Commission that whatever it does is never appreciated and often viewed with suspicion and apprehension due to previous lapses and/or misdemeanours. When one looks at this, there is one important point that comes to mind. The MPSC has to improve its efficiency, accountability and transparency in order to regain the trust and confidence of job seekers and to overcome their negative attitude towards the Commission .

Your etc.,

S. Kshiar

Shillong- 5

Time to legalise prostitution

Editor ,

It is appalling to read daily reports of rapes committed by male family members like father, brother, uncle etc on their own daughter, sister or niece . What is more alarming is the fact that the accused after being booked by the cops go scot free for lack of evidence. Often the complainants fail to pursue the case to its logical end; sometimes politicians interfere with the case and if the accused is from a rich family a compromise is made and the matter is hushed up. Ultimately the accused may spend a few days in lock-up / judicial custody and thereafter they walk free. Certain NGO’s would sympathise with rape victims initially for reasons of humanity but at the end of the day its all for publicity. The point here is if NGO’s could initiate issues like ILP , compulsory registration of marriage Act , Lokayukta, and to put on trial the former education minister, what stops them from taking up issue of legislating for more stringent laws to deal with rape so that this menace is wiped out from society. Or if the Government and the NGO’s are too busy with their schedules then why not support Bah WHD Syngkon’s unique idea that prostitution should be legalised. The exceptional thought is not that it comes from a bachelor but from a learned lawyer. Bah Syngkon has seriously weighed the pros and cons on this pertinent subject matter.

Yours etc.,

Cliff R Sohtun

Shillong – 6 .


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