This is in continuation of my letter to the editor an year before where I stated that the likely cause of high increase of population in 2011 over 2001 census data was due to high TFR in response to the views of a certain section of the society that immigration was the major cause.
Now the population break up has been made public. The scheduled tribe population of Meghalaya as published recently is 25.56 lakhs as per 2011 census. This is out of the total population of 29.64 lakhs or 86.23% of the total population. In absolute terms the scheduled tribe population had increased from 19.92 lakhs during 2001 to 25.56 lakhs during 2011. During 2001 the ST population was 85.94% of the total population. The non tribal population as per 2011 census is 4.08 lakhs. During 2001 it was 3.26 lakhs. The increase was 0.82 lakhs in absolute terms or the percentage of non tribal population at present is 13.77 of the total population. During 2001 the non tribal population was 14.06% of the total population. Further the growth rate of non tribals is much less than the tribals and the population percentage of non tribals has declined from 14.06% in 2001 to 13.77% in 2011 to the total population. As per health statistics the largest contribution to increase of population comes from the tribal society due to the TFR (total fertility rate) which is the highest in the country. I am sure people who are talking about increased immigration of non tribals as the major cause of increase of population may heave a sigh of relief at least now!
Shameful act from Police
It is shameful for the country in general and for the state in particular that a police officer like Mr. T.C. Chacko present DSP in West Khasi Hills district supplied sophisticated weapons to the underground groups. Such officers should be investigated immediately and dismissed from service. How can we trust a police officer who is in collusion with the underground elements. According to the version the chief of UALA, the weapons were supplied last year. How can such a thing happen under the watch of the police higher ups? But the more serious question is whether the police officer could have supplied the weapons to the underground groups unless he was directed to by his higher-ups or by the Government. In this regard the Congress Government has failed to uphold its moral responsibility towards the welfare of the people. We need a speedy investigation and those found to be conniving with the underground outfits within the Government and police should own up to their acts and step down.
Wanted an effective Opposition
Through your esteemed daily may I request the Hon’ble speaker to kindly recognise the Meghalaya Parliamentary Forum (MPF) as an Opposition in the current Legislative Assembly of our state. As per rules of the House, the strength of the Opposition should be one-sixth of the Assembly’s total strength of 60 members. MPF has 10 members (UDP 8 and NPP 2). Don’t you think this has met the requirement of the rule? Or does the rule imply that the one-sixth proportion above is to be met by a particular political party to form the Opposition? Rules and regulations are very important in governance and administration and they are ultimately meant to serve peoples’ needs. Not all rules are hard and fast. There are some which are mere guidance. In the case of recognizing the Opposition as mentioned above, I request you to make a proper examination so as to allow the function of an effective Opposition in the Assembly. Representative governance is improper without an Opposition. In fact, Opposition in a democracy could be considered as an alternative government. Without a strong Opposition democracy may turn into an oligarchy. Having a strong Opposition in the House is the need of the people and should not be seen as a threat to government at all.
On the other hand, I request the members of the Opposition to be on their toes. The task of legislators is no cake walk. Those in the government find it challenging. Those in the Opposition find it even more tough and challenging because they have to be thorough with the required details before pointing fingers at the government. Besides, theoretical knowledge one also needs to know the ground realities of the matter in hand. It is indeed a very tedious and tiring exercise. It involves a lot of study and understanding. Being an MLA is a tough call if the legislators understand their fundamental duties and responsibilities. Members of the Opposition have to put in extra effort since they have no easy access to information. They need to know the facts and should be able to present them in the House. They should be able to debate in search of the truth based on facts and realities.
Shillong – 04