Political capital from human tragedies

The greatest irony of modern times is that politicians don’t spare any pains to capitalize on human tragedies. When politicians across the spectrum visited the families of the bereaved families in Mukroh recently they made sure that the optics were not missed. The focus became the politicians rather than the tragedy. Each political party shamelessly dragged their own camera persons/videographers to record what they had to say and how they said it so as not to miss making a political point. Some promised to fight for justice for the bereaved families knowing fully well that a month from now Mukroh would have been forgotten and some other more politically surcharged issue would occupy their minds. In Khasi society funerals are solemn spaces where people sit quietly and make themselves inconspicuous. Our politicians, however manage to turn even such solemn spaces into a spectacle with the cameras turned on them and those visuals are later translated into news. The Congress is yet to be seen visiting Mukroh though, and nor have the newer parties. In fact these newly launched parties have been silent on the matter.
The first to reach the scene of the tragedy was the TMC; then followed the members of the MDA Government led by the NPP but with the BJP minister conspicuous by his absence. On Sunday it was the BJPs turn to visit Mukroh and the result was the Party’s demand that the Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui should step down. That was more like the voice of the Opposition. In fact, even the TMC did not demand Rymbui’s head. That’s called political grandstanding as if the BJP has no part in the mess created by the MDA Government since 2018. Surely an astute electorate should take note of all these shenanigans. But will they? There is today in Meghalaya a huge constituency that are camp followers of respective parties, especially the parties in power. These do not believe in internal criticism of their respective parties but like the proverbial fable of the man who bit his mother’s ears for not correcting his faults while there was time, these camp followers also live with self- deception and do not point out their party’s shortcomings. Naturally the political parties live in a fake world where they believe they can do no wrong.
Beyond the call for justice for the bereaved families of Mukroh, the Government of Meghalaya including the one that will return in 2023 will have to constitute a committee which will study the border issues in great details and propose solutions that go beyond demarcating boundaries or sharing of enclaves between the two contesting states.

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