The Mukroh incident which has taken lives has shaken Meghalaya, and the demand for justice grows ever stronger as the days pass by, and rightly so. The sad turn of events in this village is now overshadowed by agitations of the masses against the MDA government. The roles now seem to have changed. Who represents the masses now, the NGOs or the so-called representatives of the people?
From a layman’s point of view, the MDA government or governments that have gone by, have not been the voices of the people, though they have done what ‘pleases’ their voters most, thus playing on the emotions of the people. If the representatives cannot be the voices of the people, then someone has to step in to fill the vacuum.
Having said this, we still need our political representatives for obvious reasons. We need representatives who are able to switch off their lal batti attitude, and acknowledge the fact that they are representatives not demi-gods. At the moment, we can all be sure that every politician is thinking of the political mileage they can gain from the Mukroh incident, for this will be used in the upcoming election campaigns. But, for once, can these individual political and business agenda be kept aside? It does not matter whether you are in the government or in the opposition, be the voice you have been chosen to be and put your heads together to resolve this, and the many other issues that have gravely affected Meghalaya. You do not have to be at loggerheads at all time.
There are three kinds of personalities in the world, each having a distinct way of looking at the world. Each personality has an underlying motivation which powerfully influences the thought process, emotions and behaviour. One is not greater than the other. Among our representatives, we have all these personalities, and all can share a common platform to resolve issues. As a lay person, I see this but do our representatives see this or will they argue that this is not the political game they play?
Fabian W Marbaniang,
Why punish internet users?
Here in India, mobile internet suspension has become the easiest tool to maintain law and order by the central and various state governments. This has been widely abused to hide their inefficient administration and adopted as a one solution fits all model. However, this has affected the economic activities carried out by both public as well as private entities in great magnitude and very much in contrast to the policies favouring ease of doing business tag for the country. Presently, the state of Meghalaya is witnessing such events due to over 5 days of continuous internet blockade imposed by the State Government due to fear of breakdown in law and order. Common citizens, petty traders, students, e-commerce, etc are being greatly affected by such arbitrary measures. Surprisingly the Government has turned a blind eye to this monumental loss and is ironically claiming the success of governance in the state in the wake of approaching state legislative elections slated to take place early next year.
We have witnessed on TV news channels the parading of security forces in the aftermath of a few incidents of arson in Shillong. If these forces were deployed to the disputed border areas by the State Government, then many problems associated with law and order could have been minimised. Sadly, the state police force had to take the blame but actually it is the Government that failed to put its trained manpower to good use. Consequently, the Government resorts to knee-jerk actions by imposing mobile internet shutdown which is in vogue these days as its easier than brainstorming for better solutions to deal with the present unfortunate events unfolding in the State. May their eyes open to such truth for ensuring better days ahead for us citizens.
Earningstone R Sangma,
Establishment of a second State capital
I wish to draw attention to a few crucial concerns that the Government needs to take into account. It is evident that Shillong rallies have occasionally descended into violence. Although the NGO leaders have maintained strict instructions for their members, some take unfair advantage of the situation to damage government vehicles, public property, and people who are caught off guard by the sudden developing situation. It is now clear that Shillong’s law and order is frequently disturbed by this violence, which also has an impact on the Government machinery. This is the case when Government employees are compelled to skip their regular workday schedules out of fear for their lives. Therefore, the daily operations of the State machinery and administration are disrupted. Even though they had the option of using force, the police have also been largely restrained. There have been reports of police personnel being beaten up and/or receiving petrol bombs (Molotov) thrown at them.
Therefore, I believe it is imperative that another administrative capital, namely the Winter Capital, be established in the Garo Hills. This would not interfere with the operation of the Government apparatus because, in the event of law and order issues in Shillong, the Additional Secretariat would take care of daily needs, thereby safeguarding government revenue. I defend this by pointing out that Ladakh, a modern Union Territory, too has two State Capitals: Leh and Kargil. Jammu & Kashmir also has a Summer Capital (Srinagar) and a Winter Capital (Jammu). The destruction of public property, the breakdown of law and order, and the victimisation of innocent individuals hurts me as a law-abiding citizen. Since the Garo Hills have ended their rebellion and returned to normalcy, the Government should reconsider establishing a second administrative capital. This would be advantageous for both the Government and the public as it would make it easier for the former to carry out its daily operations. It will take time, but I believe it is better to start now than never.