The Behndeinkhlam imbroglio

Editor,

Regarding the news item on the boy who was arrested yesterday due to his holding of the Jesus poster at Behdeinkhlam, the question that arises is whether he was a juvenile and if so were the police right in arresting him. Someone asked the question ‘Is Behdeinkhlam a cultural or religious event?” If religious, then how could the CM inaugurate it? Their idea of secularism is that the head of state must keep away from anything religious. Not necessarily so. Secularism does not mean being ‘anti-religious’ or ‘areligious’ but rather being fair and equal in treatment of all religions. But then again the provisions of article 25 of the Constitution, apart from every citizen’s “right to profess, practice and propagate their religion”, that we often miss is the ‘freedom of conscience’ part attached to it. Meaning that if anything bothers your conscience, you are free to leave it. Don’t go to an event if it is against your conscience. Does this apply even to those who occupy high offices? I think so. They are citizens first. My personal wish though, has always been to see cultural festivals not morphed into religious events. Khlam(famine) is something that all people must be against, not just members of a particular group. Shad Suk Mynsiem too is meant to be a purely joyful occasion for all, that even I as Christian should be able to participate in. The mistake of past missionaries, who failed to distinguish between the cultural and religious is not the intention here. In Kerala, there is a festival called “Onam” and although it has its own mythical nonsense, such as the dead good king visiting his beloved subjects again and again each year, but the crux of the matter is the ‘goodness’ of a king, and it became a rallying point for all, and all Keralites celebrate it each year with much fervour, Christians and all.

About the boy again, ‘did the police do right in arresting him?’ On what basis? Is any case filed against him? We would like to know. Was it preventative since it was seen as being provocative? Then the action is valid. Now there is need to mention that the ‘Rights’ of Article 25 of the Constitution, come with a rider ‘subject to public order, morality and health’. The ‘public order’ part may have relevance here. Did the boy disturb ‘public order?’If so how? Was he seen as a threat? Did he come with weapons or had bombs strapped to his body? Or were there many more with him? Or was he alone? I don’t think the above questions need serious answer. The only obvious truths that would arise, if investigation is done which I am sure is his religious conviction. He came with religious convictions and was prepared to pay the price for his beliefs.

Neither the police nor anyone can fault him on that. They can counsel him, but not impound him.

Yours etc.,

Edelbert Kharsyntiew,

Via email

Trinamool Congress disintegrating

Editor,

The saga of desertion of high and low-profile members belonging to the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal continues unabated. The latest being the case of 12 movie and TV stars joining the BJP, which has sent shivers down the spine of the TMC. Why has the Mamata’s party lost its charm and is unable to retain its members? Ever since the last Lok Sabha election, the sway of the TMC party has been petering out, and it is taking a nosedive.

There may be dime a dozen reasons for the mass exodus from the TMC party. According to West Bengal BJP President, the people of the state are inspired by the leadership and development work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But he alleged that many councillors who had quit the TMC to join the BJP were being harassed. The moot question is how long the TMC can retain its members by using force or violence. Therefore, the best policy for the TMC party to pursue in order to survive is to democratize it rather than tyrannize.

The BJP is over the moon now. Unexpected gains for the BJP in the last Lok Sabha election was a great impetus and indeed a game changer in the otherwise placid politics in West Bengal. Just as the coming events cast their shadows before, people are leaving the TMC for a new emergence of political dispensation under the BJP. Come Assembly elections and the BJP has buckled up. Further, BJP is expected to gain more than it is expected to lose as the people seem to be intrinsically oriented to the saffron color. So, the inexorable egress has already set into the TMC, and soon the party may disappear into oblivion unless some drastic changes are made in the policies of the party.

Your etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

Guwahati floods

Editor,

I am a school student, and I am very sad that in this year’s floods in Assam, many people are badly affected. There are many children who are facing lots of hardships. All of us should help the victims to the best of our ability, especially those of us residing in Guwahati, and other places. We can at least donate our old and unused clothes, utensils, etc. to the needy people, especially for children. But, I am not sure of honest and sincere persons or organizations, that can be trusted to hand over such items to the needy. In some roads and lanes of Guwahati, I see people collecting money in the name of  the flood affected people, but looking at them, I am not quite sure whether such people or organizations are sincere and honest, as these people are only collecting money.

I request genuine organizations and people  to come forward and give us the opportunity to donate, by having collection centres around different places, especially in Guwahati. Now, that schools are about to re-open, many school-going children would be able to donate, if appropriate forums are made available.

Yours etc.,

Kavita Bhuyan

Guwahati – 19

A brilliant move

 Editor,

It is gratifying to know about the recent nomination of Mr Rahul Dravid as the Head of Operations for National Cricket Academy appointed by BCCI. Mr Rahul Dravid is a highly talented professional while also being successful as Team India A Coach and is perhaps the best choice for the role. India ‘A’ has already won U-19 World Cup owing to Dravid’s mentoring capabilities and thus the youngsters have tasted success under his leadership as a coach.

Apart from coaching young Indian cricketers at NCA, Dravid also has an additional responsibility of mentoring women’s cricket team, India U-19, U-23, Head Coaches and Coaches, and Support staff in order to prepare stronger and better products from the Academy.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) should also be appreciated for taking a stand on possible conflict of interest in Dravid’s appointment to head NCA by strictly asking him to demit the previously held role. One hopes that under Dravid’s leadership mature and highly skilled cricketing talents will emerge through effective key learnings under NCA as an umbrella body.

 Yours etc.,

 Varun Dambal,

Bangalore -72

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