Monday, June 24, 2024

Religious fundamentalism reappears


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The ISIS extremists in their blitzkrieg advance have reportedly captured large swathes of territories in Iraq in their on-going murderous offensive in which hordes of the minority communities like the Yazidis and Christians are taken prisoners and thousands of women-captives are being exploited in demeaning ways. Further, the ISIS groups has also issued a diktat to the vanquished minorities to either convert to Islam or pay special tax or, even face execution if they fail to fall in line. In this context, if the time-tested adage: “History repeats itself” is anything to go by then the same modus operandi was likewise vigorously  pursued by the Turks in the 13th Century when Mehmet II was the Sultan of Ottoman empire in 1453 upon subduing Constantinople had this beautiful Christian city, ruthlessly plundered of its exotic riches for three consecutive days. Thereafter, Constantinople was re-christened with an Islamic resonance of Istanbul and the majestic Church of St. Sophia turned into a Mosque and ethnic cleansing swiftly followed where the majority Christian populace of Constantinople had to embrace Islam under the threat of a scimitar!
Thus, the latest inhuman actions of the ISIS and all such assorted religious fundamentalists of by-gone era of whatever hue contradict the holistic human value and divine tenets.
Yours etc.,
Jerome Diengdoh

Necessity knows no laws

Loreto Convent is a school revered the world over. Proud to be an `LC’ girl is the oft heard adage. But gone are those days when the first Missionaries came here. Their aim was to educate the tribal people and for that they gave up their luxuries and comforts at home to cross the seven seas to set up schools here.  Alas! Now we can only sing, `Those were the days my friend.’ Everything has turned topsy-turvy. I am compelled to write this letter to the editor with the request that my name be withheld because my child could be victimized by the school authorities. I wish to put forward the following points for the consideration of concerned parents.
1. Tuition Fees for the months of December, 2014 January and February, 2015 was billed at Rs. 5460/- and is to be paid between the 1st and 10th of October, 2014.
2. Another Bill received from the School as per letter dated 25.08.2014 says, `Therefore for this year the fees for January, February, March 2015 are to be paid before the Final Examination in 2014′. A fee slip is enclosed which reads `For the month of March 2015; Tuition Fees =Rs. 1820/- and to be paid between the 1st and 10th of October, 2014.
3. Another quotation, `This (extra fees) will cease as soon as the building is completed.’
Will the school authorities please clarify whether:-
1. Both fees at Sl. 1 and Sl. 2 are to be paid, because Tuition Fees for the month of March, 2014 had already been paid.
2. Does it mean double tuition fees for the month of March i.e. March, 2014 & March, 2015? Which means thirteen months in a year.
3. When will this building be completed? Up to infinity? Because there is always room for improvement.
4. What about traffic congestion? ( I request the concerned District Authorities to please keep a check on this).
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request.

Fruits of corruption

I fully endorse what Tejdor Tiewsoh said in his letter (ST Sep 3, 2014) on corruption. The rampant pocketing of government development funds by unscrupulous legislators, officials, business men and others have made a mess of our beautiful state. This uncontrolled looting of the state has led to a breakdown of ethics where money is now placed ahead of everything else including God. Some years ago a representative from one of our districts poured scorn on the representatives of another because they were pocketing about 30 to 40 per cent of the funds whereas in his district, he bragged, the pocketing was almost 100 per cent. If only it is possible, such people should be hung, drawn and quartered. Corruption is inversely proportional to development and that means the more corruption we have the less the development; hence development in Meghalaya is at a snail’s pace. Can we imagine what sort of a State we would have if one magical day all our corrupt politicians, government officials, businessmen, social group leaders swore to give up the theft of Government funds( or to at least drastically reduce the theft)  and to solely concentrate on working for the benefit of the people? We would rank as one of India’s top states in no time and Meghalaya would once again be the shining star that it was when we first attained statehood. Unless such a day comes, our state will continue to be in the quagmire that it is in now. Alas, hoping for such a day can only be compared to the man who was hoping to put out the fires of hell with a bucket of water.
Your etc.,
D.M. Pariat


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