Woke but not Awake

Editor,

You cannot entirely blame an act based on racism which is exactly what our “woke” colleagues are doing. They are shying away from the facts that disprove their leftist political ideologies. For instance during the BLM (bIack lives matter)protests and riots in the USA (and I say riot because the moment you take part in vandalism, you become a law breaker and must reap the full consequences of your actions with the law) the number of people in the United States that suffered during those protests and riots was unprecedented in comparison to the recent riot at the US Capitol. The crimes committed during the BLM protests and riots such as vandalizing of private and public properties, destruction of historical monuments, looting and plundering of people’s livelihoods that was going on in the name of ‘black lives matter’ didn’t get any attention from our “social media warriors” because it disproves their rhetorical political ideology i.e. systematic racism. One of their main arguments is the supposed existential and exponential threat of white privilege and white supremacy in developed western countries in the 21st century.

Blaming everything on the concept of white privilege is ignorance at it’s finest. Yes white privilege and white supremacy existed in the past centuries but that all changed with the passing of the Civil Rights act of 1964 in the USA and now there is not one law that disavows someone because of race, color, religion or sex. A person irrespective of their roots can now climb up the social hierarchy of life as opposed to the previous generations of people who lived in segregation, slavery, immense hardships, etc. Our generation is fortunate to say the least as compared to our ancestors and we are yet to experience what hardship truly means. I do condemn all acts of terror against the law and against democracy irrespective of which country it takes place in. AII lawbreakers must suffer the consequences and the full brunt of the law. lt is ironic that it is now indirectly alright to be racist as long as you’re not white!  That seems to be the exact point our liberal friends are trying to make. YOU CANNOT FIGHT RACISM WITH RACISM, YOU CAN ONLY DEFEAT IT WITH LOVE AND KINDNESS.

We should stop normalizing that the color of our skin is what distinguishes from one another, rather it is the content of a person’s character that sets them apart. If we are to make judgments without the intention to help them then we shouldn’t make one at all. How are people expecting to help others if they can’t help themselves first? This is exactly the case with politics today. We are focusing too much on the hardships and problems of others that we are neglecting our own problems and hardships. Women in our country are not as empowered as compared to their counterparts in the west. Poverty is higher in our country than in the west. Discrimination based on race, caste, sex and religion is prevalent in our own country than in any other part of the world as it is the most diverse country with the second largest population in the world. So why don’t the youths in our own state in particular and the country in general who are experts in international affairs turn their focus around and start working on empowering the people in our society by helping alleviate or even better to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, gender inequality and other social issues that need our utmost attention for the growth and development of our country. We need to stop fighting someone else’s battle and start focusing more on the battles raging on our own turf.

Yours etc.,

Jyohanan D. Nongrum,

Via email

Aversion for rural service

Editor,

Gandhi had rightly observed that India lives in its villages. I had read the news report about the Israeli activist Aviram Rozin and his team in Sadhana Forest who are now camping in a village in Meghalaya to turn the denuded lands into forested areas. I also read the Letter to the Editor by Phrang Roy and since I have been in government service myself I would like to add my thoughts to the ongoing discussions on conservation. If truth be told the reason why government schemes fail is because those in charge of implementing them on the ground hardly know the background and nature of the communities and their strong and weak points. Most of these employees don’t move beyond the district headquarters or the Blocks. They are all engrossed in desk work and are hardly trained for community mobilization. When they visit the interior villages they hardly listen to what the communities have to say. The villagers are treated as dumb and lacking in basic knowledge but they are actually the farmers and growers who know what is good and bad for the crops and the nature of the soil. The villagers know that cutting down trees is bad but it’s a choice between surviving the cold and letting the trees grow. Contrary to what those in the town think, people in villages cannot afford to have LPG cylinders and to buy refills. The system of distribution even in Shillong city is so irregular so one can imagine what happens in the rural hamlets. Hence the only mode of cooking is firewood which means cutting down trees. So unless there is an alternative to firewood, the trees will continue to be cut relentlessly.

No one has discussed this basic problem of the communities – which is – where to source their firewood from. At the moment the forests offer free firewood. If the villagers have to buy firewood they must also have the buying power. But where will that firewood come? It has to come from our non-reserved forests. I don’t know if Sadhana Forest has taken this point into consideration. For everything that is proposed there has to be a viable alternative. I would like Sadhana Forest to respond to this because I would love to see the forests regenerated but who will be their custodians finally? The word community is vague. It is the Dorbar Shnong and Dorbar Elaka that have to bear the responsibility of looking after the forests in their jurisdictions. Can they be held responsible for that?

Yours etc.,

Isabell Kharnaior,

Nongkrem

 

 

Raise marriageable age for women

Editor,

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has stated that the minimum age of marriage for women should be raised from the current 18 years to 21 years. The central government has also constituted a committee by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to look into the minimum marriageable age for women. Today, women also have equal rights to receive education and choose their careers like men. Due to the age of marriage of girls being 18, they are forced to abandon their careers and are pushed by their parents and societal pressures to marry early. In such a situation, women are not able to accomplish their aspirations. Hence raising the marriageable age of women is the need of the hour.

Yours etc.,

 Amit Singh Kushwaha,

Satna,

Madhya Pradesh

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