The letter captioned ‘Empathising with Ampareen,’ by Jonathan S, reflects on the emotions that humans feel when someone near and dear to us is being harmed just as we feel concerned when they are not in good health, even as this scam is being screened by law of the land. However, I disagree on certain points raised by the writer regarding the contributions made by the MLA of East Shillong towards those who need her interventions. As a legislator, she or any other MLA is duty bound to assist the people of the constituency in their need, be it to provide safe drinking water, good roads, drains, street lighting, PDS, other social developmental schemes and above all security of the constituents. But to extend help only to those with personal needs does not justify the position that an MLA holds. As an elected representative she represents all the constituents cutting across party lines, caste, creed or religion and not only those that voted for her.
To extend generous assistance beyond expectations to supporters from the public exchequer does not add to the credit of an MLA. Doing good to others and showing the right path are two conflicting attitudes of the human mind. ‘I may be a good person but am I doing the right thing?’ The writer also pointed to the illegality that the legislator might have committed even though it was not for pecuniary gains. But that does not justify the fact that she had committed the act only to help others or to have been merely victimized by the corrupt system. If that is the case then a thief who steals to feed his family stands justified for the act he/she commits! Can that be a rational argument for any right thinking citizen?
Ampareen would have been applauded if she had brought to light such practices that were prevalent in the education department then, whereby posts for teachers were allotted not on merit but on recommendations made by public representatives. Helping those who are known to the legislator by depriving the rights of those who are not known to her are the bases of the entire accusations. No sane mind will help someone by infringing upon the rights of the other even for a political reason. If that is the case then the entire approach of a competitive exam for jobs should be done away with. In that case departments or service commissions could advertise for jobs by asking candidates to submit the legislator’s recommendation instead of conducting the exams to fill up vacancies. How legal will that be?
Ever since the Education Scam came to light all those with conscience and reason knew that whatever happened did not just happen. As the Education Minister then the white ink saga could have been avoided considering her past records as an academician. Many futures were marred because those in the Education Department played God, merely because they were elected to be in the seat of power. Many parents toil and sweat to send their children to get the best education so that one day the system absorbs them in the form of a job and the continuity of livelihoods is maintained.
For a mistake that can in no way be termed as a momentary lapse of a few irresponsible people in power, others cannot be made to suffer. Many deserving candidates lost their golden opportunity to prove their caliber while even those who were found tainted also face an uncertain future. The corrupt practices of a few in the government system demoralises many in the end. And to correct and reform the system, we elect legislators to do their jobs judiciously and to make laws but not to abuse the laws according to their whims and fancies. Alas! They do so and citizens at large are least bothered except for a small number. Take for instance this scam; with the exception of those who are directly affected and a few others, most are not even aware of the gravity of the situation when rules are openly violated in the name of ‘helping’ someone.
There is a saying, ‘If you cannot change the system, be in the system.’ But this cannot always form the basis for not correcting an error. We can as well echo another version, ‘If you can’t change it now keep on trying.’
Lastly, it is illogical to say, ‘go after the crime; not the perpetrator,’ for how would you get to the loot without catching the thief?
We sincerely empathise with the legislator and others accused in the scam for they may have been victims as cited, but we all hope that justice shall prevail, and that the truth will certainly favour the righteous.
Where is my LPG?
There is no LPG supply in various parts of Kench’s Trace and Harisabha area of Greater Laban. The last two supplies were made in the first week of June and August, 2020. Since then there is no supply of LPG cylinders. On enquiring, an office worker of M/s Longkmie Gas Agency said that the owner has changed and since then supply is affected. Now, if that is true, what are we gullible customers supposed to gather from this? Does change of ownership mean that the supply will be stalled indefinitely until wisdom prevails in the new owner and we start getting our cylinders? And what crime have we the consumers committed that we are made to suffer because of ownership change at the said gas agency? It has been noticed over the years that no sooner does the festive season start than the supply of cylinders takes a backseat and if someone tells me that there is no black marketing going on then it would be difficult to believe. The District Administration of East Khasi Hills must look into the matter and see that supply of LPG cylinders is restored in various parts of Laban, sooner than later.
Shillong – 4
Odd-even scheme for a healthy town
As in other states, the odd and even scheme for the vehicle movement in Shillong has brought immense relief to city dwellers. The roads now are not as congested as earlier. The credit directly goes to the CORONA VIRUS. Moreover, lesser number of vehicles on the road invariably means “swiftness of communication” leading to the fast growth of the economy.
It goes without saying that we have an excess of vehicles in Shillong town, probably more than double or triple the capacity of the town’s roads, resulting in the slowing down of communication and economic growth. Many people now wish that this odd and even system should continue even after the COVID malady is over. I think the Government should look for viable options so that the public does not suffer. Incidentally, the usefulness of two-wheelers these days is beyond explanation. Due to the disgusting traffic “frustration” many businessmen, government employees, teachers et al have already switched over to two-wheelers. Now they are happy go-getters.
Hence, one believes if two-wheelers are exempted from odd-even regulation, people will heave a sigh of relief. In view of pollution and traffic congestion, two-wheeler and bicycles should be encouraged. Many European countries have fast been adopting environment-friendly motors and bicycles. Our priority should be towards creating a healthy environment than fulfilling the greed of human beings/capitalists. Yes, excessive greed has only contributed to ecological disasters. The traffic congestion and pollution should not take a toll on our health and disrupt communication.