Thursday, February 22, 2024

Appreciate the bandh callers!


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Through your esteemed daily, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the “leaders” and “protectors” of our land, for their unflinching stand on the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (a.k.a. ILP) in our state. For a commoner like myself, it is indeed heartening to know that our state has a group (indeed groups) of selected individuals with the vision and muscle to create invisible divides between ancestry and descent. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the day when free access across national boundaries will be just a faint memory narrated to our grandchildren. As the entire world embraces globalisation, we are fortunate to be insulated from progress and development which if allowed to take place would no doubt rob us of our identity leaving us confused and punch-drunk, ripened for the picking. I am elated, that we are amongst the privileged few benefiting from the State’s treasury whilst sitting at home enjoying a cup of Assam tea on a cold winter morning, when the rest of the country is busy at work. The scheduling and re-scheduling of bandhs/night blockades/ picketings, etc by the NGO’s have tremendously eased the pressure on the working class to have the need to plan their daily schedule. I must therefore thank these leaders for their kind consideration. It is not very often that a state and its people are blessed with not one or two but more than half a dozen of able-minded and able-bodied men and women willing to lead a “fight for a cause” even if it means holding a state to ransom. However, it must be said that even in the midst of such “struggle”, it is not lost on the leaders that we still need to enjoy a good game of football that should not be hindered by an early night blockade. I must also make mention of the noble intentions of the leaders to not implement bandhs/ night blockades during religious celebrations and weekends. These instances allow us (and maybe even them) the opportunity to maybe seek penance for the duties that we have neglected or the atrocities that we have committed during the bandhs. Such good judgement from public leaders is extremely rare and must be heartily appreciated. As a citizen of this state, I must say that I find it extremely difficult to understand the resistance from the Government. Is it not apparent to the authorities that we as a people do not want progress, development, private sector investments, development of eco-tourism, regulation of market prices and the likes. We want ILP….period! It will not matter even when prices of essential commodities shoot through the roof, tourism screeches to a halt and daily wage labourers live hand-to-mouth. It will not matter even when we have a repeat of a mass exodus of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo students and professionals from the Indian “mainland” back to the “homeland”, a homeland which we presumably imagine to be overflowing with “milk and honey”.

Yours etc.,

E. Kharshiing

Vi a email

Hail Madiba!


Our city was so quite – somewhat in mourning by virtue of a Bandh when a world leader like Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service was taking place in Johannesburg. It would have been a befitting tribute for the people of Shillong to pay their respects for the peace icon on the day of his funeral but the bandh made that impossible to happen. However, the timing of the bandh, then the shortening of the bandh hours all seemed to synchronise very well. People could relax at home and enjoy the memorial services of MADIBA (which was attended by Heads of more than 91 countries) without the disturbance of having to go to work/office and undisturbed by the noise and chaos of vehicles and traffic jams. .

Yours etc.,

Anand Koirala

Shillong – 2

Writing on the wall?


Apropos to the statement of Ardent Bassaiawmoit (ST dt. 2/12/2013) regarding the public rally on ILP, I would like to inform the readers that I also attended the rally on 30/11/2013 to listen to what the pressure groups and political parties had to say and clarify to the public on ILP. But none of the speakers could explain on what ILP is all about and its implications to Meghalaya. All I could hear was screaming by the speakers while the crowd applauded and joined the chorus of screams. Mixed with the sound of drum beats, the rally literally turned into a house of noise. Though the turnout was about 8,000 crowd, majority of them are audience like me who either just passed the time since there was no bazaar, no taxis, no football games and no economic activities to do or those who wanted to hear what the ILP is all about and those who were brought by the MDCs and MDC aspirants with free transport from all over the state and of course some with free booze. I would say that the rally should not be taken seriously since there is political mileage for somebody behind it. Sorry, Mr Ardent, you got it wrong this time. Yours etc.,

Bernard L Syiem


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