There is a glut of “NGO”s in our state and that too, of the wrong kind. Not a day passes before we hear of some NGO or the other indulging in anti-social activities like harassing daily wage earners, locking up govt. offices, demanding removal of govt officials (for ludicrous reasons) and beating up or murdering people. The law is unable to act against NGOs with anarchist tendencies because the weak-kneed political class inevitably bows to pressure and succumbs. The case of RBYF vs. MUDA is a classic example where the Govt once again had to eat crow. The constant, daily interference in every aspect of policy-making and administration has paralyzed the Govt. While some of the charges against the Govt (such as nepotism, corruption and inefficient administration) might stick, to say that every project and development activity it undertakes has to be opposed blindly, is a ridiculous argument. It almost appears as if our NGOs are incapable of any positive action which will benefit society as a whole and allow us to lead a peaceful, harmonious existence. Their track record in the last 30 years speaks for itself. Whereas most NGOs in other states work towards uplifting the poor, helping the disabled and saving the environment, our so-called NGOs are only focused on gaining political mileage and making underhand deals. Bandhs and road blockades are the stock weapons in their armoury which they have been using indiscriminately to cause untold suffering to the masses and loss to the State. The Govt. is yet to come up with a strategy to nullify these arm-twisting tactics. Until and unless the Govt. stops treating these NGOs with kid gloves and takes affirmative action, it cannot hope to implement any developmental measures successfully. Law and order has become a joke and development remains a distant dream, thanks to these NGOs!
Deifying U Tirot Sing
I would invite readers to revisit the reports and write-ups appearing in this newspaper such as the page one photo (ST July 18, 2013), Morningstar Sumer’s letter on U Tirot Sing (ST July 22, 2013) and Paul Lyngdoh’s lengthy reply to the eleven line letter on U Tirot Sing (ST July 23, 2013). These make interesting reading indeed. I request these gentlemen to write more often, if not on a daily basis, on the burning issues of the State and the woes faced by the people, especially the marginalized lot. To lock horns on an issue like paying homage to U Tirot Sing is distasteful; in fact it is a non-issue. All communities pay homage to their great leaders and freedom fighters differently. Paul Lyngdoh paid homage to U Tirot Sing with the lighting of lamps as prepared by the organizers of the function at Shillong. There is nothing contentious about this at all. In fact, lighting up of lamps in Hindustani practice, has different connotations for different types of functions and occasions. It is laudable indeed for some organizations and traditional institutions of both Khasi and Non-khasis to have observed the 178th death anniversary of u Tirot Sing on July 17, last. But it is a pity that many Khasi Dorbar Shnong, Dorbar Hima, educational institutions and even the Government of Meghalaya, did not organize any function to commemorate the death and sacrifice made by this legendary freedom fighter king of Hima Nongkhlaw. A holiday without organising functions is meaningless because a holiday is granted to enable people to hold functions in honour of the person or persons intended to be remembered as is being done for Gandhiji and other great personalities. Freedom fighters transcend all barriers and communities. It was great to see that non-tribals of Meghalaya, especially those who have been here for many generations and who have contributed their main and might for the growth of the State, observing the death of U Tirot Sing
in a befitting manner. In this context, I request both Paul Lyngdoh and Morningstar Sumer, to contribute their brilliant talents to the society, especially through the print media, which can percolate to every remote corner of the State. Your talents are widely acclaimed so please do not waste them in trifles and on-issues. People are behind you in all good things that you do.
Of bogus colleges outside NER
Results are out and bogus colleges and touts from outside NER are thronging in once again to lure students from our region. I request the student community not to be tempted by the name and fame of studying outside North-East and not to take admission in any colleges outside the region unless the student is sure about the credentials of the institutions, even though the institutions boast about affiliation, infrastructure, 100% job guarantee, etc. Speaking for myself, the R.S. College of Bangalore (Karnataka) which has been in advertisement in The Shillong Times for the last 3-4 days, my own experience is different. I was doing my 3 years BBM course from the RS college under Bangalore University. But as a matter of fact, for six years, I was made to run from pillar to post to get my results and mark sheets which I have not got till date. When I raised this issue in the college, the Chairman manhandled and threatened me at that time. Frustrated and seeing the six years of life, career and money spoiled in that college, I left Bangalore and came back to Shillong to complete my B.Com graduation recently from Umshyrpi College.