With the announcement of the Union Home Ministry of its unwillingness to extend the ILP to the state of Meghalaya basically because of Constitutional reasons, one aspect of uncertainty about the ILP has been set to rest. How Meghalaya now proposes to proceed with its genuine concerns over unmitigated influx of outsiders is about to enter a new phase. From all indications so far, one can safely conclude that the confrontation between the agitating NGOs and the Govt will continue. Over what issues the two will now quibble over is not clear. The unfortunate part is that there appears no scope for confrontation to transform itself into a convergence of ideas and views. The ridiculous part is that both parties are serious advocates of the same issue – a workable influx control mechanism. The folly of mice and men again!
A serious outcome of the current standoff over ILP is the glaring fact that Meghalaya is in definite shortage of leaders, especially in the politically elected category. When a crisis arises, the latest political strategy is to remain silent, perhaps in the hope that the problem will solve itself and incumbents can then go back to what they do best – nothing! I mean where are the voices of approximately 50 MLAS and 90 MDCs on the influx issue? The people need guidance; the state demands that its elected representatives show the way; Meghalaya is crying for a way out- and all that a majority of our elected leaders can offer is complete, unadulterated silence! The CM has clearly said that the ILP is not acceptable to the Government. At least he has made a statement and has also called for alternatives on influx control. The problem is the silence from both the Congress as well as the non congress camp on such an alternative. Where are all those heroes who so courageously roared their way to the Assembly? The car rallies; the pompous speeches; the pigeon-chested poses for the camera at election time- I mean what were they worth? The time has come for these elected worthies to deliver their wisdom and vision to their electorates; the time for them to speak to the people; the time for them to lead; the call now is on how to bring back normalcy. Do our respected and honourable MLAs and MDCs have anything to say? Or will they continue to maintain the silence of the dead? The silence of dead, political leadership!
Considering the huge inflation, Government has enhanced 10% DA with effect from July 2013 to the Government Servants. The is like a Christmas Gift. But can the Government also think of the daily wage earners? Daily wages for skilled labourers is Rs.140 per day, semi-skilled is Rs.120 per day and for unskilled it is Rs.100 per day. With this meagre amount, it would be difficult for a person to get a square meal a day. How will they manage to feed their children, pay the house rent or even think of paying for education?
The Government trying to develop the State with many flagship programmes where money is being pumped-in. These are welcome developments however we must not forget that the daily wage earners are also human beings whose needs are no different from ours. The Government has overlooked the needs of the daily wage earners. They also have been neglected by all sections – No NGO or pressure group is fighting for their cause. It is understood that the Department concerned has moved the file for enhancing their wages but God only knows why it is being delayed! I would humbly request the Chief Minister to look into the matter personally and help these neglected citizens get better wages. Let it be a Christmas Gift from the Government to the ones who need it the most. Let us remember that they are the weaker sections of the society who have never gone to the streets to shout for their rights. Justice should be done to all.
Tributes to Mandela
I sincerely hope that the tributes paid to Nelson Mandela at Shillong were genuine and sincere. Madiba was one of the few titans who fought against apartheid and won. We Meghalayans who are now being accused of this same scourge must retrospect and deliberate deeply within ourselves if our actions have been correct and if so to atone for the wrongs we have inflicted on others. There is no doubt that we must ensure the future of our sons and daughters but there has to be a way for this without the violence unleashed on innocent human beings . Complex situations do demand time and cannot be solved in a short time. There must be worthwhile dialogue amongst the people of Meghalaya and not only amongst those who claim to be representatives of Meghalayans. We cannot be muted and allow our beautiful state to be a fight for territorial supremacy among power brokers-politicians, NGOs (No-Good organisations), self-styled enforcers and what have you. I suppose all these so-called “Concerts for Peace”, “Candle light Vigils”, “Prayers” etc. all go up in smoke or pass out from one ear to the other without being retained by the grey cells and never touches the organ that is known as the “HEART”.
Nesfield B Sangma,