This Is Just Not Done

By Oliver Lyngdoh

It’s been two years, almost three years give or take since the Covid-19 Pandemic happened. Lives were lost and normalcy was disrupted since people had to stay at home during the months-long lockdown. It’s been more than a year since the mayhem and the clashes that arose from the cold-blooded encounter between the special police forces and one surrendered militant in the early hours of a Friday morning which led to the killing of one “Bah Che”, now idolised as a martyr, due to the inhumane act of the police akin to cold-blooded murder.
Of course there were ‘peaceful’ rallies, of course there were protests, of course there were agitations by various agencies and NGOs and student unions against a plethora of issues ranging from teachers’ salaries, unemployment, the much debated Inner Line Permit to name a few. And as usual and as is the norm in our state, these “gatherings” would always take a turn for the worse and there would always be some form of backlash by unwanted elements just waiting to disrupt the proceedings that these gatherings were called for.
An unemployment rally that was called for putting the government on notice that the educated youth of the state have had it with its lackadaisical behaviour against their ailments of creating new jobs, of unfairness and inequities turned into a mass procession of a hotpot of anger and unrest leading to unnecessary beatings of civilians and loss of private and public property.
This is Not Done!
Inner Line permit or a version of it has been a debate, a demand and an election agenda/manifesto of almost every student union, political party and NGO and the mass public alike. Some feel the need for it and some do not. But even when a special Assembly Session was called for on December 19, 2019, where in the house unanimously adopted a resolution in favour of implementing ILP in the State, there has been no progress on the same. Of course there is a need to protect the indigenous people of the state and the worry and concern for influx is correct, but the matter on how this particular issue has been taken up is a cause for concern.
Because, it felt like it was just rushed in order for the people and the state to be provided with a sense and an urgency that the ones in power are doing something. Of course, our educated unions/agencies/mass collectives/pressure groups saw right through it and are still demanding to this day that something be done about it and not just offer whimsical solutions. “Maybe this is just a ploy or a tactic of this government to further strengthen its own party so that they may gain political mileage in the next election.” as stated by the HYC general secretary.
This is Not Done!
One of the selling points of Meghalaya, Shillong is as the-Education hub of the North East with a wide array of top- notch missionary run schools and colleges, private schools and colleges, upcoming nationally accredited universities and one ranked central University and the fairly new IIM and NIT.
Our youths are educated and our educational institutions are sought after not only from the students of the Northeast but from all over India. However, our teachers – the backbone of this so-called hub of education are treated poorly and are not given their dues.
Poor government infrastructure and lack of manpower plague the government educational sector. A four part piece in the Shillong Times, a local daily, highlighted just how poorly managed and ill-treated the government schools are – lack of basic amenities, infrastructure and unmotivated individuals appointed as educators only add to the woes of the students who have no other means to go to the aforementioned top-notch private schools.
And to top that, agitation and protests by none other than the teachers, the backbone of the pillars of education because of their mistreatment, their demands of a higher pay and increments, their reinstatement amongst other issues add to the woes of the education sector.
But as previously mentioned, even an agitation by teachers is not spared for earlier in October 2022, our teachers in the course of their rally and sit-ins for their ongoing demands were lathi charged and shot at with teargas- At “TEACHERS” armed with nothing but their educated words and speeches.
This is Not Done!
On the 50th year of statehood, the government decided to finally hold talks with its neighbour and demarcate the borders of the state – a pending issue which has long been awaited by the people. But as newspaper articles and news articles would let you know, this was not done by due consultation with the people affected and residing in these areas but as we were led to believe (And I can’t neither deny or confirm the same, for my sources are the same as yours – media outlets) were done in a hurried manner in order for the issue to be resolved. Of course talks were held, of course people were consulted, we were told but it gives rise to the question on how effectively the same was done as in 50 years we were not able to solve this burning issue but all of a sudden in a matter of months twelve areas were already finalised. Makes one wonder whether kudos is to be shelled out or whether something else is amiss.
This is not Done!
Which leads us to the ongoing issue that is plaguing our State. The unrest at the border, the shootings and cold-blooded murder of five people and the death of six people as per reports. And as per reports, there are varied versions of what happened but there is no wrong or right here. Death is death and killings are killings no matter who pulled the trigger.
This incident, as always. added fuel to the fire that was already burning in our state. Add to the civil unrest hidden underneath the people fuelled by unemployment, uneasiness about how things are going where the rich get richer whereas the poor get poorer and the medium class struggles to survive – another onslaught of agitations have started. Tyre burnings, pelting of stones, beating of innocent civilians and the latest, attacking a healthcare facility which to this day I myself do not understand why and what the relation or correlation these actions have with the issue at hand.
I fail to understand why we the innocent people have to bear the brunt of the inadequacies of the ones in power.
I fail to understand why we the general public have to move out in fear because of the actions of some miscreants who want to take the law into their own hands.
I fail to understand why at the end of the day it’s the ones who have to struggle to survive who are at the receiving end of this nonsense.
This is Not Done!
We are all here to support the cause if the cause has meaning. We will condemn the cold blooded murder of innocent people because as a society, we have been taught to not look the other way. But why do we have to go about this and every other cause like we are animals who are not educated and who do not know how to demarcate right from wrong?
Is it because our teachers are out on the streets demanding for their rights that we do not now know this? Or is it because we are being fed so many lies on a day to day basis that we are angry and can’t even calm ourselves down to be able to see that our actions are impacting a lot of other people who are trying to survive.
Because as Kong Angela mentioned in her post that we are the ones who are losing out, it is high time that we realise that because we really are the ones losing out.
Eggs per piece in a span of four days increasing to INR 10, petrol increasing by 1 Rupee more means all other amenities will increase exponentially. Vegetables, fruits and common produce laid to waste because the market was bleak – said one of the vendors I spoke to when I was buying produce for my home. She almost broke into tears because her whole week has gone to waste and she didn’t make enough to make ends meet for the week to come.
Who then will come
to her aid?
And who will come
to our aid?
No one will.
We are all but dependent on others and we are all just struggling to survive and nobody will come to our aid and hear our cries when the time comes. This is a deeper issue that we need to address by addressing all concerns and by consulting all and everyone involved.
Your wild antics and mayhem will not do anything but will only cause inconvenience to the common man and not to the ones who travel with escorts all around. We all criticise the government for taking an immediate action of blocking cellular internet which has not only hampered small businesses, people who rely on the same for work from home, students preparing for exams and our food deliveries and ride share captains, but we fail to notice that our hooliganism and unprecedented beatings, trashing and acts of violence are also the same – an interim solution to a huge problem where nobody is trying to address the root.
This is Not Done!
A sense of “normal” was just starting to crawl back in our state after years and years of militancy and right now many do not want us to spiral back down to the same path. We need to move towards a brighter and better future but not through violence but via a rational logical path.
Violence begets violence. In the end it’s the common man – you and me who will bear the brunt of it all.
Violence is not the answer to Violence.
This is Not Done.

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