By Aristotle Lyngdoh
In Meghalaya politics is like a game of football where people are the grass or the ‘Ri & Jaidbynriew’ having no option but to bear the brunt of this game. Some of our youth are uprooted prematurely without a chance to bloom and grow to their full potential to show the world their gifts and talents. This is the fate of more and more of our youth. They get easily motivated by Students’ Bodies and are inclined towards political issues rather than matters that concern the eucational growth of every single individual right from nursery onwards to the various stream of studies especially technical education since at the moment we have to depend on technical experts from outside the State thereby draining out so much wealth and resources.
Like their political masters or friends who have made good fortune from politics most young people want to follow their footstep. The so -called students or youth organizations whose functionaries are either drop-outs or non-collegiate are showing keen interest in playing this game of politics. Every other leader of an organization or pressure group (including newly formed groups) look at politics as a career option because in this game there are more chances of scoring a goal without playing as a team or of rising to become financially secure; but at the cost of the people (ri and jaidbynriew). Forming NGOs and other social group with the motive to oppose the Government seems to be the only career option for our youth both rural and urban as of now. And the interesting part in this match is the presence of players (teammate from political parties) in the field who never make any effort to dribble the ball but wait near the goal area where they think they will become top scorers in case the ball lands at their feet, whereas those on the defensive run away from their positions as if they colluded with the offside.
If one tries to do a follow up on our so called ‘leaders’ both past and present, one can easily identify that few have made their careers and achieved their objectives. They have scored goals by becoming political masters but not all have the capacity and efficiency except one or two in affecting changes on issues and policies. Some have made an attempt to climb the same ladder but have fallen short and landed in government contracts or supplies without having skills and commitments as entrepreneurs but only to tamper with the good purpose and intention of that job by executing it with the sole intention of maximizing profit. Some have gone to the extreme end and became militants. They are proud to be called “khla ka wait” (super warriors) but with the intention to surrender later and come back before the next general elections promising fertilizer and manure for the grasses. Some have departed before their time.
For those who have made it to the top in politics, do they see their followers’ fate? Are they ready to guide and pave a career path for them where their skills and talents may contribute immensely to the society? Are these steps the only way to reach the level of political diplomacy? Are our people so blind that they fail to see how they are being used? Oh yes I have forgotten there are groups of people called “nongiew” (from bazaar) whose vicinity are the perimeter of their area ‘iew’ or market and not beyond. Can this section of the society define the strategy for the whole state? Does market mean Iewduh or Bara Bazaar only? Are we prepared to reap the benefit of skills development the core strategy of modern development? Where is the level of our competencies or how many local youth in the near future can fit in if big corporate houses and multinationals want to establish their centres here? It is here that empowerment strategies should address issues correctly and resources channeled judiciously to enable the youth to acquire hard skills; skills that will make them competitive globally anywhere anytime and skills that will remain with them for life to generate income in the field of economics and market advancement. It is here that human resource is a crucial factor and where we are far behind rather than in the acquisition of soft skills.
Amid turmoil and chaos during recent developments where traditional authority stands challenged, the good part is being is being shown by intelligent and smart Dhar team in pursuing relentlessly central funds to finance their rural road construction projects both old and new amounting hundreds of crores of rupees. Does the meaning of Ri & Jaidbynriew imply only people and their issues? What about the natural environment, wildlife, forests etc.? The uniqueness of the ‘Jaidbynriew’ is also associated with these things. If the same crowd that thronged Polo ground and then parade behind their candidates during election campaigns and victories can exert the same pressure and support for environmental protection, Wah Umkhrah would have been different like the ‘Thames of London’. But how could somebody cut down huge numbers of pine trees from Lum Iapkynthei, Umiam (Damsite) opposite SOS Children Villages – a land owned by MeCEL? Where are those watch dogs of Ka Ri & Jaidbynriew then? Why they are vocal against someone and silent against another and what is this game? In the absence of futuristic, appropriate and meaningful economic and human resource initiatives, such disgusting games will continue to be played in the same arena for many years.
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