Much ado about restrictions


I had recently gone out of station for some work and would like to state my observation on the scenario as regards the Covid situation. While at the airport, before boarding the plane, proper safety kits were given to protect ourselves from the virus but when seating was done, it became a joke as we were squashed up literally breathing into each other’s space (Economy class of course, I’m not of the elite group).

When we deplaned, there was none to restrict our movements. The shops and bazaars were bustling with activity, some with masks, most not, it was a jolt to realize that our government here has created a sort of unrealistic bubble which has, in turn, hampered the free movement of its citizens.

However, in spite of this stringent restriction of testing at the entry point, many returnees have skipped this by having their loved ones pick them up and thus, avoiding the testing there, preferring to do so in the city where it’s more reliable.

While lauding the government for its endeavour to check the spread of the disease, I wish that some of these unrealistic restrictions be lifted so that common people like us aren’t unnecessarily taxed after our long and tiring journeys.

Yours etc.,

Angela Lyngdoh

Shillong -14

Our craze for social media


Free services always have some strings attached. So don’t boast of having accounts on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, Instagram etc. Besides their social utilities and academic, informative and communicative values, these social media portals can also be addictive and sometimes make us go crazy looking for ‘likes’ on our posts. They prod us in every possible way into shedding all our inhibitions. Have they not been pouncing upon all our five senses — the complete mirror that reflects what we truly look like? These service providers now know our likes and dislikes and what turns us on, sometimes more than we know ourselves. They keep all the records. They keep track of what makes us giggle, what worries us; how we have jumped in excitement and what all interests us. Do we know last year, this hour and this minute which all keys we clicked? But Marc Zuckerberg, Larry Page et al know that. They have a master plan to dive into the ocean of world-population and feel the behavioral pulses of each one of us. For this, they have also put several sophisticated systems in place. Beware, some of those social media platforms are all determined to exploit each one of us to the bone.

Please note that these popular social media tycoons prey on our weaknesses. In fact, it is just the beginning of this crazy era. Moreover, we cannot blame them because we ourselves have allowed ourselves to be preyed by these modern masters of the universe and agree to their conditions for logging in. We cannot say no to their services either. Have those portals not successfully made us taste the sweetness of the base indulgences? Those joys of gratification have already reached the deep recesses of our minds. Our psyches are overruled now by those silly thoughts of social media alone. Don’t we all check our phones every 5 or 10 seconds to glance at whether another “LIKE” has been added to our posts?

Our minds hover over stupid things in a similar manner that a madman goes to the garbage can to look for things he does not know. That these “unimportant” things on social media have become so important and so indispensable to our mental faculties is a sorry state of affairs. Our minds have become unstable these days as we lack concentration and are easily distracted by the thought of who is posting what. Have we not become indecisive and are we not losing our focus and hence our discretionary powers and moral sensibilities? We are grumpy and uncontrollably reactive and unhappy? Our short-term happiness rests on all those silly, unimportant stuff, and wrong indulgences. Without social media services, many of us feel totally at a loss.

Just see how our emotions are manipulated by Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Chad Hurley et al and they want us to be hooked on to our fragility. Moreover, international laws have given them full freedom to feed on all our failings and frailties. They have successfully put all our weaknesses inside the vault of their database. What’s more, this database is also “sold like goats and cows” in the secret market. It’s not surprising therefore that against the backdrop of this advanced technological world, these few digital magnates have been allowed to play on our stupidity to grab wealth at our expense. To sum up, our craze for their services of boosting us with temporary dopamine and their craze for wealth will certainly keep this modern civilization in a state of perpetual convulsion.

Yours etc.,

Salil Gewali,


 BJP versus personalities


I have been following the goings-on in Meghalaya where the State BJP and its two MLAs seem out of sync. While the State BJP feels it is important to address the issue of corruption in the GHADC, more so because BJP spokesperson Bernard Marak has been following the case from close quarters. Many are surprised that AL Hek the MLA cum minister in the MDA Government and the verbose Sanbor Shullai who made did a filibustering act in the Assembly that he had found a cure for Covid with some idiotic explanation which later on turned out to be a joke. That the members of the State legislature laughed at what is supposed to be a very serious matter shows a distinct lack of legislative culture. The Assembly is called the “August House” because it has a sanctity in a democracy. To my mind that sanctity is violated by the likes of Sanbor Shullai who made light of a very serious virus infection that has claimed many lives.

But let me get back to the point of this write-up. Make no mistake but both AL Hek and Sanbor Shullai know that they won the last elections based on their personal popularity. They know that if they jump ship tomorrow and join the NPP they will still win the elections. Hence they are nonchalant and don’t really value the philosophy of the BJP and it’s Pradhan Sewak, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who vowed to cleanse the country of corruption. It’s a different matter that Modi too has been forced to patronize Ambani and Adani because every political party in India needs money to run its office and to fight elections. Hek and Shullai are both well established businessmen and their only ambition is to be with the government, no matter if its saffron, white, green or red.

People of Meghalaya vote only those that can pay them money for various purposes such as hospital fees, children’s education and other needs. As long as an MLA can satisfy these basic needs he/she will continue to win. Hence it is better for an MLA if his/her constituency is populated by poor people. It’s those poor people who are compelled to vote in these politician-businessmen.

Yours etc.,

AN Kharkongor,

Via email

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