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The articles by Patricia Mukhim and Toki Blah did not disappoint, and left one with much to ponder about the current election. Kudos to both of them! As we have to adhere to the standard practice as enshrined in the constitution, this once-in-five-years ritual has to be carried out. It is engaging when elections are fervently fought over issues that matter. In Shillong, by the looks of it, the four cornered fight as propounded by Ms. Mukhim will eventually be reduced to a three cornered contest with Vincent H Pala, Paul Lyngdoh and Rev. PBM being the most vibrant. The passionate claims and counter claims as advocated by the candidates over issues that matter is indeed a welcome development.
In Tura, the straight contest between a veteran and a novice is also interesting as the results could go either way. The Chief Minister is campaigning tremendously for the Congress nominee. The newspapers continue to highlight the bitter rivalry between the two Sangmas, with the CM being the more vitriolic of the two. The wily PA Sangma is playing the Garoland card which could work owing to the utter neglect the region has been experiencing. He is also supporting the BJP-led NDA alliance which could see him in the union cabinet with a plump portfolio or salvage the Speaker’s chair if he and the BJP manage to win. The stakes could not be any higher. However, we are yet to hear from the Congress candidate on a proposed roadmap for the hills and the people he espouses to protect. All we know is that he has an MBA from a university in Australia. Politics, as it will unfold before his novice eyes, is a difficult vocation which demands enormous amount of patience and perseverance, and these days ‘paisa’. Earning a degree is far easier. Neither has he been tested in constituency dynamics nor in the turbulent weather of state politics. But what the young aspirant should realize is that in politics, to lean on pedigree and family repute is as good as putting one’s weight upon a dead branch. Rahul G has eventually realized this when he was quoted as saying, “power is poison”; perhaps so has Agatha Sangma. As a parting shot, this abridged adage could pep up Mr. Momin to draw the first line to that roadmap which could stand him in good stead – ‘a man be it in politics or elsewhere, is judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father, grandfather or father-in-law.’ Period.
Shillong – 4
Much ado about a missing clamp
I came across a news item in The Shillong Times (ST March 29, 2014) titled “Clamped vehicle disappears.” I was very surprised to read the report. The vehicle in question belongs to me and was not clamped when I took it home, forget about the vehicle ‘disappearing’. But I noticed a STICKER attached to my windshield. Keeping in mind that the sticker did not specify the time nor date to attend to the matter, I went to the police station the following day, (March 27, 2014) with the said vehicle and met the Traffic In-charge as well as the Officer In-charge and discussed the matter with them. I was told that they would be following up with the FIR. Since I did go to the Police Station, I really do not understand why there was a need to publish the matter as news.
About Reverends in politics!
The issue which concern the voters of 1 Shillong Parliamentary constituency is not how much wealth the candidates have unlike the previous Lok Sabha election or about the achievements of the sitting MP and other issues which concern the society and the State of Meghalaya. Today it is more about a Reverend of the Presbyterian church who is contesting as an Independent candidate after cleverly bidding good bye to his ‘Reverend’ tag by filing his nomination as Shri PBM Basaiawmoit. So everything about him being a Reverend has come to an end but among his friends and followers he is still addressed as Pastor Basaiawmoit. On March 24 your esteemed newspaper had a photo captioned, ‘Independent candidate from Shillong seat Rev PBM Basaiawmoit addresses the faithful during the 125th jubilee celebrations of Presbyterian Church, Mustem village.’ This caption is confusing for the voters. How come an official candidate from Shillong constituency is allowed to address the faithful as a Reverend? Does this not violate the Model Code of Conduct? Can other MP candidates also be invited to address a religious gathering of any established religion? The Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya will therefore have to then amend the Model Code of Conduct or take action against this Reverend!
It is disgusting when political aspirants turn the church pulpit into another election platform.