The ongoing ILP debacle which has upset normal life in the state needs to be supported if ILP happens to be the only solution to the influx imbroglio. However it would need to be such that the infiltration of foreign nationals be completely arrested. The questions that needs to be answered by the pro-ILP politicians and NGO’s are as follows :
1. There are 35 official entry points into Meghalaya, national and international so how are these to be manned and by whom
2. Where does a person coming to Meghalaya obtain the Inner Line Permit from, for all these entry points?
3. Who will bear this mammoth cost for the necessary infrastructure and human resources required at all these points?
4. Assam, our neighbouring state will react to the ILP as it will impede the movement from Guwahati to Barak Valley, similarly will Mizoram and Tripura.
5. Anticipating reactions from Assam, we should be prepared to generate both development and livelihood from our own resources, which we currently cannot do. We are presently dependent on mainland India for everything from the food on our plates to the clothes on our backs, and even the alcohol which we so enjoy during the road blockade evenings.
6. Looking a little further, the ILP will spark a shift of corporate offices and maybe even regional offices of the central government. Can we afford the loss which will be incurred by such consequences? An example is the repeated attempt to shift the headquarters of NEEPCO to Assam.
7. The smart politicians and NGO leaders talk about a modified ILP; can we have these details and answers before we pledge an all out support of the ILP. There have been initiatives taken by the KSU for selective debate, unfortunately not an open forum for the general public to voice their opinions. Whenever there has been any criticism from individuals on the subject, blatant threats and intimidation from the NGO’s appear in the print media the next day.
Name withheld on request
Adrift opinions and sentiments on ILP
The ongoing agitation demanding the implementation of ILP in Meghalaya, has created quite a stir in the minds of young and old alike. Discussions in hush-hush tones about what is Inner Line Permit, what will be the consequences of it, if at all it gets implemented are doing the rounds among the hoi-polloi in the state. Amidst the chaos, one thing to be noted is that many do not even know what the ongoing agitation is about, what good or bad it will do. What is certain is that misleading ideas are being generated by a certain section and worrisome public opinions being formed.
An instance can be highlighted where a certain post on a social networking site demanded that the writer of a specific ‘Letter to the Editor,’ published in this paper, apologize for his opinion. The post subsequently had endless comments and it was disturbing to read them. Most of the comments lacked any rational judgment and were merely instigated by biased sentiments.
Where the agitations will head, what the outcome will be is difficult to predict at this juncture. But this whole turmoil is surely creating bad-blood among the largely peace loving Shillongites. At this time it is important that emotions be kept at bay and cogent ideas be upheld.