Prevention a dire need


The recent issuance of a set of guidelines/protocols for home isolation of high-risk COVID-19 cases by the state government is greatly appreciated. The high-risk group needs to be properly taken care of. However, as the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure,” so also, strict prohibition of visitors to homes having elderly people and small children, and vice versa, can be considered as a preventive measure, and therefore, the need of the hour.

Man is, no doubt, a social animal but “extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.” The “from home to home” (“na iing ha iing”-in Khasi dialect) mentality needs to be done away with. This complacent mentality (although not recommended at all) might or rather, could have worked when the state was under a complete or total lockdown. However, people need to keep in mind the prevalence of silent carriers or asymptomatic patients of COVID 19 which can be either “us’ or “them”. The gradual relaxation of the lockdown rules is at our peril, because of which the well-being of our loved ones should be our utmost priority.

Yours etc.,

Loyola Dkhar,

Via email


Make India a self-sustaining nation

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appreciated India’s decision to ban 59 apps with Chinese links and said it will boost India’s integrity and national security. The Union Information and Technology Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad also invited Indian startups and technical minds to create Made in India apps. These bans present an opportunity for Indian start-ups and bright young minds to leverage their intellectual capability and innovative thinking and come up with good apps. Earlier on, the Central Government launched ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local.’ It is creating opportunities for the common man to develop technology, goods, and services at the local level. It would be better that we  support government initiatives to make the nation strong and self-sustaining.

Yours etc.,
Amit Singh Kushwaha,

Satna, (MP)

CRPF  highhandedness


At this time of pandemic which has severely affected the daily wage earners and petty shop owners, high handedness of CRPF personnel in the 4th Furlong area of Shillong has caused much consternation amongst the poor and marginalized people of the area and threatening their livelihoods. Last year, CRPF authority had illegally erected barbed wire structures on the PWD road all along the boundary wall of their campus at 4th Furlong area putting the life of motorists and pedestrians in danger. However, on bringing the matter to the notice of state PWD through your esteemed daily (Letter to the editor July, 16 2019 edition) CRPF authority had no other option but to remove the illegal structures.  Recently Shillong Traffic Police (STP) has put up a ‘No Parking’ board in the entire stretch of road along the wall of CRPF campus. Since the area is dotted with small shops/kiosks, two-wheelers repairing shops etc, many customers stop their cars/two wheeler for few minutes without disturbing the free flow of traffic. But the over-enthusiastic CRPF personnel immediately appear in the scene to intimidate and on few occasions have reportedly assaulted the civilians.

Is the CRPF authorised to assault or intimidate civilians for stopping vehicles in a ‘No Parking Zone’? Since STP has put the ‘No Parking’ board it is their duty to take appropriate action against the violators as per the Motor Vehicles Act and the CRPF personnel have no authority whatsoever in this regard. Such illegal action by CRPF needs to be stopped immediately for the sake of civility. Our policy makers were very right while locating barracks of armed and paramilitary forces far away from civilian areas just to avoid such undue interference into civilian domain.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request,

Via email

China’s coercive diplomacy & India’s response


Given  China’s  unrelenting  stance  on  the  Line  of  Actual  Control(LAC)  in   Ladakh,   India  will  have  to  consider  a  military  pushback.  India  has  no  option  but  to   use force.  Both   sides   have   agreed   for   limited   “de-escalation”   from   some   of the friction  points.  However,  it  was  during  this  de-escalation  process  in  the  Galwan   Valley  that  the  clash  occurred.  India  is  now taking  the  Chinese   build-up  along  the  LAC  seriously.  India  has  been  consistently  demanding  the  restoration  of  status  quo  and  de-induction  of  forces  built  up  by  China  along  the  LAC.

However,  deciding  on  a  military  action  against  China  is  not  easy  for  India. Such  an  action  could  escalate  to  a  full  scale  war  that  can  result  in  not  only  military  consequences,  but  also  long-term  political,  economic  and  diplomatic  impacts.   However,  the Modi  government  is  not  worried  about  the  consequences  of  a  military  pushback.  Both   action   and  inaction   have  their  consequences.  Inaction   may    have   short-term benefits but  it  has  long-term  consequences.  It  is  a  fact  that  both  inaction  and  indecision  have  hurt  India’s  foreign  policy  and  security  interests.  True,  it  is  not  advisable   to  consider  war  against  a  stronger  enemy.  But  India  must  be  ready  to  cope  with  the  situation.  Three  factors  that  influence  a  military  action  by  India  need  to  be  considered  too.  First,  China  is  much  more  powerful  than  India  but  at  the  LAC  the  forces  are  equally  strong.  Second,    India’s  weakness  is  advantageous  to  it  because  anything  other  than  a  victory  will  be  a  loss  to  China.   Finally,  avoidance  of  a  war  by  India  may  create  an  impression  that  it  is  irresolute  and  that  may  embolden  China.  If  China  is  left  unchallenged,  it  will push  India  again.  India  must show  resolve if  its  immediate  goal  is  deterrence.

Adequate   military   preparation   is  required  for  a  military  pushback.  Indian   military  has  traditionally  been  oriented  for  defensive  military  action  at  the  LAC,  not  offensive.  India must  also  consider  the scenario that  China  does  not  back  down.  If  such  a  situation  arises,  it  must  follow  through  with  its  threat.  If  not,  India  will risk  damage  to  its  credibility.  India   must   never   yield   to  China’s  coercive  diplomacy.  China  has  baited  India.  A   quick  and  emotional  response  would be  a  strategic  folly.  India  must  counter  bait  China by  the  strategy  of  maintaining  the  status  quo.

Yours  etc.,

Venu GS,

Via  email

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