Proud Indian, Happy Khasi

Editor,
I would like to add my ‘thumbs up’ to the amazing two-part article by Dominick Rymbai which appeared in the Shillong Times this week. In a composed, sensitive manner he convincingly laid out the cultural landscape of our hills and how mainland Indians and hill tribals are inextricably woven into the fabric of one and the same tapestry. Of course, on one side we have a distinct Khasi identity and culture, but at the same time our history, geography and destiny are tied to that of our fellow Indians. Not to mention, most importantly of course, that we are all members of the human race and that above all, it is the common welfare of all humans on this planet that we must devote ourselves to.
Unfortunately, some of us cannot live in this dichotomy and tend to be chauvinistic about one identity, elevating it above all else and becoming blind to the harm that we do to ourselves and those around us, especially the poor and marginalised who get caught in the crossfire of jingoistic artillery. Such an attitude is equivalent to painting oneself into a corner or sawing off the branch that you are sitting on. Mankind has evolved into a tree, and if we take hold of just one branch it will wither away.
Being born of a Khasi mother and a non-Khasi father, the dichotomy runs in my veins and the brouhaha that surrounds me is sometimes confusing and bruising. At the same time it is so unscientific. DNA-wise, there is no such thing as a pure Khasi. A few intermarriages will permeate the genes of succeeding generations for all time to come. DNA studies will tell us that just half a dozen intermarriages between a Khasi and a Garo have given a smidgen of Garo DNA to almost all Khasis, except maybe a few families among the War who have been geographically isolated.
All kinds of other blood courses through our veins: non-tribal Indian, Nepali, Chinese, English and what not. Luckily it’s all the same colour. Apart from blood, adopting Christianity and Western lifestyles have contaminated true Khasiness according to some. Many backgrounds and social environments have contributed to whom I am today. In the end identity and culture is the good and valuable that you choose to embrace as yours from your given heritage. And those good and valuable components must make you a better human being.
Yours etc.,
Glenn C. Kharkongor,
Via email

Solution to the ongoing MCS case

Editor,
I am writing only to suggest solutions to this quagmire and not to criticise any party. A proposal for a solution to the aggrieved candidates is for a prayer that the Honourable High Court will order for the advertisement of vacant MCS posts from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022 “in advance” for new and vacant MCS posts since it will take more than one year for the MCS personal interview to be conducted if such an order for the advertisement of vacant MCS posts is ordered by the Honourable High Court with age relaxation for only these 6 candidates as well as for other youths to get the opportunity to apply since many MCS posts had become and will become vacant for these 5 (five) years 2017-22. A prayer for an order would be an order for (i) the month for which these vacant MCS posts will be advertised this year, (ii) the months for conducting and declaring the preliminary exams and results this year (iii) the months for conducting and declaring the mains exams next year (iv) the pattern of assessment of marks for both the Prelims and the Mains and finally (v) the presence of the MPSC logos with number codes like the UPSC answer sheets in each and every sheet to remove the alleged insertion of answer sheets including the supplementary MPSC answer sheets which are at present absent. Besides, MCS exams should be conducted every 5 years as was done before and not every 10 years in which Meghalaya is alleged to have the dubious distinction of being the only in state in India that does that (advertises MCS posts every ten years).
The case regarding those aggrieved candidates who filed a case in the High Court and in the Supreme Court and for the many candidates who do not have the power to file cases but who had been wronged nonetheless is valid and legitimate because what had been given in the advertisement has to be adhered to strictly in letter and spirit just as the UPSC adhered to its advertisement strictly. When I first read about this issue, I instantly thought that the whole examination would be dismissed in one month easily with full confidence and it is a no brainer because their case is very much legitimate and valid since the rules of the game were changed and thinking logically in my mind that justice would be delivered to the thousands who had been wronged but it was allowed to be dragged on till this stage now.
Justice has not been done for them for which it is obvious and plain to see that they were wronged. That is why I had made the above solution which to me is simple and not to made into a quagmire of sorts. I pray that that the right call would be made by the divisional or full bench of the honourable high court. An extra issue which to me is not related with this issue directly for which they are currently fighting but an issue which will certainly help clear the air in future job examinations to come is that “constitutionally,” can a reservation not be placed within a reservation ? Especially, when the details of the reservation have not been mentioned in the “state reservation policy.” Going back to this main issue, it is fervently hoped that justice would be done to the thousands who had been wronged by either of the Courts because if the MPSC gets scot free for tweaking with the advertisement in 2018 post exams then it may do so in future exams too. The decision of the court in the months to come on this matter will be most significant.
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request
Via email

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