Wednesday, February 28, 2024

ILP or PIL

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Editor,

From the start the ILP issue has relegated into the obscurity the permanent non-indigenous citizens who are genuine stakeholders for generations and had contributed/still contributing to the cause of the State. None of the political parties or the multifarious committees like the HLC on ILP made any effort officially to seek their views/suggestions on the issue. This dwindling segment of the population who had made Shillong their home, were left with no other option but to extricate themselves during the last three to four decades from their roots of choice or birth, disposing off their settlement etc in the absence of any viable opportunities. In fact the reality of educated unemployed has engulfed the indigenous community too. It is a fact that quality has been replaced by mediocrity. While any danger to the demographic status of the indigenous population of the state is bound to have far reaching implications to the remaining genuine minorities as well, majority community must ensure the constitutional rights as an Indian citizen to the latter.

The permanent non indigenous are most often clubbed in the same category with others of doubtful origin and taken for granted, almost like second class citizens, with little say on any issue. It is only during elections when members of the minority communities come to the mind of politicians and political parties. Vote banks and number is what matters. In fact before the last assembly election, when introduction of ILP was proposed a number of candidates from constituencies where the non-indigenous community is an essential factor, resorted to typical double speak by promising ILP to the indigenous and PIL(Prevent Inner Line) to others. It is appalling how it is settled that all indigenous people are for ILP and all non-indigenous are against it. This pre determined mind set closes rational thinking, resulting in creation of hypothetical polarization by default to enforce the “for & “against” division of society. Finally, it is the permanent non indigenous citizens who usually bear the brunt of the fallout like the proverbial “punching bag”, – damned whether for or damned if against a matter of concern like ILP.

Yours etc.,

Naba Bhattacharjee

Shillong- 4.

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