We are in the 21st century and if we still scrutinize people on the basis of race, caste, nationality, and ethnicity, it may incite social unrest as in the other disturbed nations of the world. Let the Government decide on the statuses of the people. However, as a citizen of the nation, it is a smart move to allude to the government regarding the probable infiltration of Bangladeshis into the state, but just take a moment and think, won’t it be an injustice to the Indian Bengali community as a whole to consider them as Bangladeshis? Organizing protests and targeting minorities is a crime against humanity. It is my humble request to the people of Meghalaya not to engage themselves in these trivial issues that may invite maelstrom and may turn out to be regressive and counter-productive to the development of the state.
It is time for all of us to consider ourselves to be global citizens hence attaching ourselves to a particular group or community, and treating others with disdain will only add to our woes. Meghalaya is no longer the Meghalaya of the ’70s. Back then people were hesitant to move from one place to the other, but now the situation has changed. People are not restricted to their own country or to a state due to the free movement. Students from various states come to Meghalaya for their studies, similarly, the students from Meghalaya go out to other states and abroad for schooling and further studies. If a problem of race, caste, nationality, and ethnicity takes over humanity, free movement of the people will stop and people will be confined to their respective places.
We have been facing restrictions in movement from one place to another since the arrival of a tiny virus. During this eerie and tumultuous time did the medical professionals treat the patients after scrutinizing their legal statuses, caste, and creed? No, if we allow religion, race, ethnicity, and so on and so forth to be pervasive that will only divide people and the problem of racial discrimination will persist and hinder this world from becoming a global village.
The word Meghalaya has been derived from a sanskrit word which means ‘abode of clouds.’ It is one of the most beautiful states in India and a must-visit tourist destination. It seems the people of Meghalaya are oblivious to the fact or pretend to be unaware that the influx of tourists from various parts of the world can be significant in booming the economy of the state. But, racial discrimination, communal riots, and intermittent picketing can be counter-productive for the tourism industry. It is needless to mention that Meghalaya is endowed with profound gifts such as beautiful landscapes, unique cultures, lush green forests, flora, and fauna; cascading rivers, caves, wild-lives, waterfalls, and the beautiful hills encapsulating the states.
It is time for the people of Meghalaya to realize how significant the tourism industry can be in introducing their state to the wider population across the globe. Therefore, a serious approach towards bettering the political situation of the state will help tourism to flourish and to a larger extent that will solve the problem of unemployment as well.
Let me end my writing by adding a Sanskrit sloka – Janani Janma Bhumischa Swargadapi Gariyest which means – “Mother and motherland are superior to even heaven.” One has a right to love his state or a birth place, but not at the cost of jeopardizing the beautiful image of a beautiful state like Meghalaya.
No one’s above the law!
Wikipedia defines a crime as an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. A crime is an offence that is harmful not only to some individuals but to a community, society and the state. Thus crime has legal bearing and if proven guilty, the perpetrators of crime must be punished as per the law. The daily newspapers, news channels, social media are flooded with reports of one form of crime or another committed by some person or group. The impact of criminal acts is that we the general public are directly or indirectly affected as crimes penetrate deep down into the system and the society that we are all part of.
We need to ask ourselves this question: Why are there crimes? Simply put, there are crimes because there are perpetrators of crimes. A crime can be committed for various reasons. For example, a person could be stealing to feed a starving family afflicted by poverty. A crime can also occur as an act of self defence on being attacked; it could be a show of strength on the weak and feeble like women, girls and children. Crimes can also happen due to abuse of power especially in the administration through nepotism, favouritism, bribes, etc. Thus it may not be wrong to attribute crime to poverty, peer pressure, drugs, politics, religion, family conditions, the society, unemployment, deprivation, unfair judicial system. These are contributors towards crimes. The sad truth is that perpetrators of crimes have allowed their conscience to take a back seat. The criminal act overcomes their ability to think rationally. Hence criminals have no fear of the law and no humanity left within them and above all no longer fear God.
But whatever the reason behind committing a crime, the fact is that once a crime is committed, the perpetrator must be punished. When a crime is committed by an individual or a group of individuals it is imperative that they be brought to justice and the law must be allowed to take its course. If proven guilty, the perpetrator must be punished as per the laws of the land. The law must act with no prejudice and unfairness. It does not and should not matter if the perpetrator is an ordinary human being or someone high and mighty in the society. The purpose of the law is to judge one and all with the same yardstick. Therefore, a crime committed by anyone must not be brushed under the carpet but must be brought into the public domain for others to learn that no one can escape the long arm of the law as all are equal before it.
What are these laws? Laws are system of rules that a country or community recognises so as to regulate the actions of the citizens and if there are defaulters then penalties can be imposed. Why do we need laws and the legal system? The purpose of the legal system is not only to punish a perpetrator of crime but to provide justice to the victim and also to help curb such crimes from recurring. The law is also needed to ameliorate the harm done by the offender on an individual or even a society at large. The law does not only regulate behaviours of people but also acts as a deterrent.
For the law to act as a deterrent, it is important that a perpetrator of crime is brought to book and the victim is provided justice. But how is it that some perpetrators of crime go scot free, when others are victimised? Very often it is also a case of justice delayed and justice denied. These are times when the legal system becomes a farce and a mockery. However, the duty of every law abiding citizen is to abide by the rules and laws that govern the State and its people and if there are any violators, they must be punished. No crime is bigger than the one that condones crime and there is no worse criminal than the one that considers himself/herself above the law!
NPP gains by default
As a Congress supporter, I am not surprised that some Congress MLAs are planning to join NPP. Our MLAs have no patience and no sense of shame. They do exactly what they wish to and seem to get away with it. They always want to be in power and feel like fish out of water when thrown out of power. It is only in Meghalaya that politicians switch from one party to another when it suits them politically. While the Congress MLAs have become known for their only love—power; the BJP MLAs are no less. Can we forget that one of the sitting BJP MLAs has changed party so many times? Once this person was in BJP, then went to Congress, and then reverted back to BJP. He has always managed to be in power. The other BJP MLA has been in NCP, UDP, Congress and now BJP. Floor crossing for them is like changing under garments!
I have also noted that Congress is a sinking party. We read news reports about attempts at revamping the party within December. What has happened to that? Now suddenly we find former CM Mukul Sangma has sprung into action. His statements are appearing in the press more frequently. He also went to check coal dumps in Garo Hills. He is the party’s one-horse cart. Mukul has not been able to keep the party MLAs intact. That is his failure. Unless the legislature party is strong, the organization cannot be strong. Therefore, both Congress and BJP are heading for a collapse. Congress because of its internal issues and BJP for political ideology and for choosing to take up wrong issues. Therefore, it is most likely that the regional parties like NPP are going to rule the roost as along as Modi is the PM.
Badalin M. Dohling,