Through your esteemed newspaper, I would urge upon the State Government and the Shillong Municipal Board that since the rotary at Laitumkhrah Police Point is being refurbished and since the area is host to some of the most renowned schools and colleges of the state and the NE region, the monuments, statues or plaques honouring eminent educationists and poets such as Rev Thomas Jones, U Soso Tham and Rev Fr Hopeful Elias Khariong should find a place there. This will serve as a befitting tribute and memorial for the contributions made by these intellectual stalwarts for the people of Ka Bri U Hynniewtrep. Rev Thomas Jones gave the Khasis the written alphabet; Soso Tham is remembered for his graphic poems on Khasi society and Rev Fr H Elias was a Khasi poet, critic and author. It would also be befitting to remember the first settlers of the then Laitumkhrah Village before the Salvatorians fathers bought ‘U Lum Tyngkong’.
Such a plaque at the heart of the busy educational hub of the state will mark a new beginning to the learning ecosystem at a time when the State is celebrating 50 years of statehood.
Read the Khasi folk tales Mr Bhagwat
The special article, “Khasis are not Hindus, Hindus are Khasis,” By Bhogtoram Mawroh, (ST September 27, 2022), is an excellent write-up. Mawroh has based his arguments on the 1920 book, “Folk Tales of the Khasis” by K.U.Rafy which has been digitized by Internet Archive in 2007 with funding from Microsoft Corporation. I am in sync with the argument of Mr Mawroh who has rightly concluded that Mohan Bhagwat is wrong to say that everyone is a Hindu and that instead he should have said everyone is a Khasi. Through this letter I would urge Mr Bhagwat to read the “Folk Tales of the Khasis” by K.U.Rafy which is available for free at www.archive.org/details/folktalesofkhasi.00rafyrich/page/ni/mode/2up. This would help him to gain insights about the Khasis.
Full & correct disclosure important
This is to further place a comment on the recent letter, “illegalities /irregularities in Govt appointments” (ST, September 26, 2022). It is indeed a matter to be appreciated that some concerned citizens have had the courage to unearth the “illegalities /irregularities in appointments to various Government departments and Directorates. The concerned citizen(s) must have put in a lot of effort in doing so and we do need such torchbearers to keep the officials in the system on their toes; not to frighten them or threaten but simply to spread the message of justice and ensure appointments on merit and capabilities. However, in doing so, may I also place a request to all such concerned citizens that prior to such publications they need to conduct proper ground survey. I am not here to speak on behalf of any Department/Organization/ Directorate, but simply questioning the modus operandi adopted by the concerned citizen in approaching the two named Directorates. Let’s take the Directorate of Food Processing. Was any RTI filed to the Department on that matter? Did he/she find any abnormalities? Do he/she know who the “relatives and friends of higher ups” are? Can he/she state how many have been appointed with full pay and how many on contractual basis? Are they connected to the higher ups?
The concerned citizen should do a background check and verify the claims made. Start off by checking how many staff are employed at present and also seek the advertisement for their recruitment. If these appear to be in order then I am sorry to say that the letter has misguided me and a lot of readers, especially the hopefuls who were supposed to look up to people such as you. Let us all be ethical in our criticism but also with a strong proof, else we would be shamed if we cannot justify our allegations. In short, let us not use this platform to misguide the readers.
Name withheld on request,
Voice against PHED muddy water
I also wish to add to their voices of Salil Gewali, AN Kharmawphlang and Michael N. Syiem on the issue of muddy piped water and the irresponsible management of the PHED of Meghalaya. As Gewali has pointed out in his previous letter, “Uncaring attitude of PHED” (Sept 19, 2022), I also believe that this public health office of Meghalaya has incurred negative karma. It has committed a grave sin by making innocent people, who cannot raise their voices, drink contaminated muddy water. The condition in Upper Mawprem area is worse, particularly during rainy days. Is it not shameful that in the 20th century we are condemned to drink dirty water? What are all our leaders doing if the public is not safe and is forced to live like in the primitive days? How can our leaders enjoy five-star facilities when they cannot fulfil the basic needs of the poor public?
I also call upon the Hon’ble High Court and all the vocal Opposition leaders like Mukul Sangma, George Lyngdoh, HM Shangpliang to take this matter seriously in the larger interest of the public. Most of the people living below poverty line cannot afford any kind of water filters as pointed out by Gewali. They also cannot boil water to kill harmful germs since the price of a gas cylinder is increasing day by day. The Government should do a survey and take full account of the ground realities, particularly concerning how poor people are living life. What Michael Syiem has said is cent percent correct. We are just surviving by the grace of God amidst all these callous government authorities.
I am also thankful to The Shillong Times, which has become the voice of the voiceless. Through this public platform, the ‘letter to the editor’ column, the public should expose the anomalies in the departments concerned. My point is also that educated people should not remain silent. They should put pen to paper and write against a system that does not deliver. This is what democracy demands.
Rupesh R. Nath,