In continuation to my letter captioned, ” Border disputes: different responses” (ST Oct 23, 2020) published by your esteemed paper wherein I had sought to draw attention to the contrasting responses adopted by the Central and Assam governments when it comes to border disputes between Assam and neighbouring states, I had also mentioned that the Central government treats the disputes between Assam and Meghalaya nonchalantly while Assam’s disputes with other states are treated with the seriousness they deserve.
In this regard, I wish to draw the attention of all concerned that as per your paper’s report under the headline ” Centre hopeful of resolving border disputes by 2021,” we understand that the Central government had immediately deputed a Joint Secretary in-charge, Northeast from the Home Ministry who met the Mizoram Chief Minister and top officials in the Mizoram government besides civil society organisations like the Young Mizo Association and assured them that the Centre is keen to bring a permanent solution to the border disputes between the two states by March or later next year. The Joint Secretary made the above statement in the backdrop of talks being held between the Assam and Mizoram officials on their border disputes and the Mizoram’s government refusal to withdraw its police forces from disputed areas.
Implicit in the above report is that if the Central government exercise its will, it can play pacifier and interlocutor between states. In the instant case it acted with alacrity while the Assam-Meghalaya border dispute is left to fester for 48 years leaving our border inhabitants at the receiving end of Assam’s repeated aggression.
To complicate matters further, Assam does not even condescend to spare the time to hold border talks with Meghalaya. Last time it cited the corona virus crisis. But, when it comes to talks with Mizoram there are no such hindrances. Under the circumstances, there is no denying the fact that the Meghalaya Government is really weak and at the mercy of Assam. Therefore we should now beg the Centre to intervene and act as referee to settle the border dispute within a timeline as it has promised Mizoram and in this regard the forthcoming Assembly session may pass a resolution to request the Central government to do the needful.
Curb the trouble makers
It is condemnable that people from outside the state would suddenly emerge on social media platforms and start building a momentum of hate and tension by reviving the past with a deadly motive of stoking communal disharmony in the State. and around. It is appreciable that the State Police sensing a time bomb ticking were able to ensure tranquility and peace during these days of Puja celebrations. Local media reports have now stated that there have been no tensions in and around Majai, Bholaganj and Ichamati which is categorically declared and clarified by the non-Khasi residents of those areas. This raises the question as to what were the motives of the individuals in inciting such actions. It is earnestly hoped that peace and unity returns and these mischievous elements be brought to justice.
Dominic Stadlin Wankhar
Irritating Covid mobile message
Sometimes I wonder if people are really “listening” to the irritating COVID pre-call message that comes every time we make a call. Whoever I have asked have nearly all said that they find the message not just irritating but a complete waste of their precious time. The saying, “too much of anything is bad,” is what is perfectly applicable here too. In order to avoid hearing the same message, many people these days have taken an alternative option like calling by WhatsApp or by sending messages. Even the voice of Amitabh Bachchan has literally failed to cheer up his crazy fans. Is this not an embarrassment for the wealthy?
In the first few months of the pandemic, people never grumbled. As a matter of fact, the massive awareness and warning against the coronavirus was a must. True, the Government must force the message down the throats of its citizens who are habitually irresponsible and insensitive. Moreover, the government can’t take the risk as the major part of the population might not follow the precautionary measures against the virus. But we are now into the seventh month and if “some” people don’t comply with the COVID regulations then they won’t be even after hearing the same sermon for another ten years. One netizen expresses his anger on social media thus: “If I don’t die of coronavirus, I’ll probably die of an overdose of listening to the forced coronavirus ringtone.”
Obviously this pre-call message has cumulatively disrupted the routine affairs of countless people while putting many others on the verge of chaos and loss. A medical officer who has to make frequent calls to his juniors quips – “No doubt, the Covid message can be given once or twice on each alternate day but not all the time. It has adversely affected people’s day to day activities”. Who knows if some hot-tempered freaks would not bang their cell phones like they bang and break their TVs or remotes when their favorite cricket team loses the game? Undoubtedly, the COVID message has wreaked havoc on business and commerce as they are totally dependent on mobile communication.
Now let’s make one small calculation. If a person makes 4 calls in 24 hours then that means his roughly 2-minute time is wasted by this pre-call patter. If we multiply that by 100 crore citizens, it comes to approximately 3800 years’ of time span per one-day-one-night. Just evaluate and imagine how this overdone message has retarded the pace of economic development and tempo of growth and progress. Here I can’t say much but I sincerely wish that some group of mathematicians put these facts and figures across to the PMO. The Government must take the public call now.