Why get after petty labourers?


Apropos the news report, “Random anti-influx drives a dampener for development works” (ST February 14, 2020), it is a fact that the construction industry in Meghalaya and other north eastern states relies heavily on masons, carpenters and labourers from Assam if the contractor has to make profit out of any work. Every road-making project uses these labourers in large numbers because the local population either does not want to work in such projects or their work output is much lesser than that of the non-tribal labourers. This is the same reason why even coal miners import labourers. Every business is there for a profit motive. Business people have no altruistic motives. A tribal contractor will not employ tribal labourers if their work output is not commensurate to their labour charges. So this checking that is presently going on by vigilante groups goes against the interests of the state. Labourers come because there is a vacuum in the job market. They will not come if there is no job to do. It’s simple maths! So the state should decide whether it’s going to outsource this unconstitutional ILP checking going on at the entry and exit gates.

Yours etc.,

H Nongrum,

Shillong -3  

Has Meghalaya Govt lost control?


The recent agitation by CoMSO which is trying to act as the big brother to the Meghalaya state administration by forcefully implementing ILP is condemnable. Is the Government of the day so weak that it cannot even depute a few cops to check infiltration that it has allowed a bunch of self proclaimed guardians of the state to frisk people as per their will? Is this a banana republic or sorts? Compare Meghalaya Police to Uttar Pradesh Police during the anti CAA stir. Thousands were arrested due to their tough action even though it was not required. But in Meghalaya its surprising to see few protestors taking the state to ransom. What on earth are they protesting against at the inter-state boundaries? If they dare let them go to the border areas near Bangladesh  and patrol with the BSF. The protestors seem to be an unemployed and with time on their hands. The State Government should get tough now else let the Central Government take over the law and order situation immediately and bring normalcy.

Yours etc.,

Bhaskar D,

Via email

Time to vote for human development


This refers to the letters, “AAP defeats hate politics” by M Haque and “Delhi saves India’s secular credentials” by Kajal Chatterjee (ST, February 13, 2020). There is a popular saying in Bengali that – pagoleo nijer bhalo bojhe. It means that even a mad man knows what is good for him. But if this saying really holds water then Hitler could never have got the popular mandate. One dictator rightly said about the people, “Give them glory they want nothing else.” 

History shows that rulers were indeed able to get support from the people by providing them with “glory” of demeaning minorities and other countries while depriving the people of their basic rights. Now, the people of European countries have learnt from their bitter experience of militant nationalism that they should demand from the government only what is needed for them to improve their standard of living. They have learnt that it is foolish to engage in abusing minorities belonging to their own class while letting the government concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few people. 

This change of mindset is the reason why Nordic and other European countries rank high in Human Development Index. They make their government provide the citizens with quality education, health and social securities. Now, it seems that Indian people are slowly learning what should be the role of the government and what they should demand from the government. Delhi assembly election results are a testimony to it. 

AAP has got success in Delhi by following a welfare model of government by giving top priority to health and education instead of engaging in diversionary tactics or wasting precious money on costly statues and monuments. The people of Delhi have given a mandate in favour of AAP because they have taken a step towards the path of the government of welfare countries. Moreover, it appears that Delhiites pressed the button of EVM hard enough to give electric shock to hate politics.  

Yours etc.,

Sujit De, 


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