By OR Challam
“The Chief Minister and his government are all set to achieve ‘another feather in the hat’ out of all the false claims and fake promises fooling the residents with nothing but false hope.”
Meghalaya being a unique matrilineal society has not only flaunted the fame and popularity of its inimitable landscape and its panoramic topographical composition, but most importantly of its complex and distinct ethnic cultures and traditions. The land has three beautiful and distinctive state festivals showcasing the uniqueness and richness of its divine traditions and heritage while each exhibiting its religious and cultural significance. Every resident of the state feels proud to be the sons and daughters of this land embedding unison and oneness with peace and harmony amidst diverse customs and practices. However, others in power are playing governance favoritism for their political and business interests.
The Chief Minister and his government are all set to achieve ‘another feather in the hat’ out of all the false claims and fake promises fooling the residents with nothing but false hope. The Chief Minister while making his presence felt in all the three State Festivals viz: Behdieṅkhlam Festival of the Jaintia, the ‘Shad Suk Mynsien’ of the Khasi and the Wangala Dance of the Garo, however failed to equate the cultural importance’s of all the festivals besides other main festivals being celebrated by other communities in the State. In the modern era of western influences, preservations and conservation of the indigenous practices and traditions are of utmost urgency besides popularizing and displaying their uniqueness to the rest of the world. Government aided and financial grants for such festivals should be prioritized irrespective of ethnic differences.
The Chief Minister in his latest visit to the Wangala dance Festival celebrated a few weeks back handed over a special assistance of fifty lakhs as a means of popularizing and preserving the festival. I personally extend my warmest regards to all our dearest brothers and sisters in Garo hills but the question is – What about the other two state festivals? Aren’t both festivals also equitably entitled for the special assistance Mr. Chief Minister? Is favoritism being played here?
The two other state festivals of the Jaintias and the Khasis who are collaborating and synchronizing in preparation for the grand celebration of the nation’s 75th years of Independence along with the Meghalaya 50th Statehood Day however, remain unaided by our state government. Thanks to our Honorable Chief Ministers for all the lips service that he has rendered to us.
As a veteran and a concerned citizen of the State, I fail to understand as to why our Chief Minister chose to open his eyes in Garo Hills while closing his eyes towards Jaintia and Khasi hills? Being a secular state, why is such injustice and bias being adopted by our Chief Minister and his government even in promoting our very own cultures and traditions which in other words are our sole ‘identity’?
I personally feel a sense of shame and humiliation to witness the drama being presented by the Chief Minister. Where are all the legislators from Khasi and Jaintia Hills? What are you all doing? I appeal to all the Members of the House from Jaintia and Khasi Hills to at least for once in the political history of the state, stand together and fight for the same cause. If the legislators of the Garo hills are all standing in unison for the progress and development of the region, I wonder what our Khasi and Jaintia legislators have been doing all this while. Stop playing the ‘Yes card’ you have all been doing till date. You have been elected to represent the public before the Government, so do your duty and stop playing second fiddle.
Apart from the above cultural agenda, this government is regularly practicing and indulging in partisanship while appointing or assigning officers based on the ‘puppet- centric mode’. While some District Heads or Departmental Heads have remained untouched in the same post for several years, other ‘not so pliable’ officers get prematurely punched at regular intervals during their service, in spite of being the fittest in their line of work. The latest development is being witnessed in East Jaintia Hills district with the recent premature transfer of its Deputy Commissioner who barely served for 14 months for reasons best known to the Chief Minister and his Government. This very practice has sabotaged the progress and development of the people of the District but has only helped to promote the business interests of the people in power. It is high time for those ‘Puppet Officers’ who have been playing a marionette role to realize their very own self respect and dignity of independently working and serving the State for the interests of the people and not for their ‘Political Masters.’
“In the modern era of western influences, preservations and conservation of the indigenous practices and traditions are of utmost urgency besides popularizing and displaying their uniqueness to the rest of the world.”