Thursday, December 7, 2023

Letters to the Editor


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Essence of Durga Puja observance
I am writing to offer my thoughts in response to a letter penned by Mr. Suraj Biswa, which was featured in the September 25th, 2023 edition of The Shillong Times. While Mr. Biswa’s words were candid and thought-provoking, I believe his sentiments resonate with a broader global context, and I wish to share my perspective on this matter.
Mr. Biswa astutely highlighted the transformation of certain religious committees, irrespective of their religious affiliations, into commercial entities or conduits for short-sighted promotional endeavours on behalf of their leaders. These organizations, once dedicated to spiritual devotion and community service, seem to have ventured into profit-driven initiatives and public relations endeavours like beauty competitions or Bollywood style vulgar and commercial entertainment, that, at times, lack the authenticity and solemnity, which ideally should define religious institutions.
In addition to Mr. Biswa’s observations, it is worth noting that some Christian churches and Sikh Gurudwaras have successfully maintained the sanctity of their religious activities. These institutions, in their commitment to preserving the core tenets of their faith, organize competitions and events centered on hymns, sacred music, and religious activities. Their steadfastness in adhering to their religious principles is commendable and serves as a testament to their unwavering dedication.
As we navigate the complex intersection of spirituality, tradition, and modernity, it is imperative that we remain vigilant and discerning. Our religious institutions hold the potential to serve as bastions of genuine faith, enlightenment, and benevolence. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they continue to inspire and uplift individuals, fostering a deeper connection to their spiritual journey.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to The Shillong Times for providing a platform for such meaningful and insightful discussions. I trust that our shared reflections will contribute to a broader dialogue on the evolving role of religious institutions in today’s world.
Thank you for your attention and consideration.
Yours etc.,
Ankush Kurkalang
Founder & chief Mentor
@ Kurkalang Skilling & Learning Centre
Via email

Women’s Reservation Bill
The Women’s Reservation Bill is welcome. But the problem is this Bill has two strings attached to it. The first one says it will wait for the census conducted after this Bill has been published. Then comes the second string in the form of delimitation. It says that on the basis of that census report, delimitation will be undertaken to reserve seats for women. Given that the Lok Sabha election is due next year, this would be the job for the next elected government. The women of our country may even have to wait for two Lok Sabha elections if the next government also fails to conduct a census like the present one for one reason or another.
In this sense this Bill is really historical in nature. I do not know if there is any previous record of issuance of a Bill in the Lok Sabha which looks like a travel in a time machine. Unfortunately, this particular Bill will serve as a bad precedence. It will encourage central and state governments to come up with more such Bills which are to stay in the deep freeze for 5 or even 10 years.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Via email

Meghalaya’s cry for unity: What are we waiting for?
As I read the newspaper report which proclaimed “Meghalaya’s inflation rate highest in India,” (ST September 25, 2023) my heart ached for the “Abode of Clouds.” It is indeed a sorrowful sight to witness our beloved state bleeding; its once pristine charm eroded by the relentless onslaught of economic woes. It matters not who or what is to blame for this decline, for it is high time for all genuine citizens of Meghalaya to unite in a common cause.
The pain is palpable as we witness the gradual erosion of our state’s allure across every sector. The time has come for religious leaders, government officials, and pressure groups to join forces and extend an invitation to the Railways, imploring them to set their tracks in the heart of Meghalaya, at least for essential commodities. The soaring prices of daily necessities have pushed the middle class to the brink of survival, and it is incumbent upon us, for the sake of our shared humanity, to find a solution to this pressing problem.
In this crucible of crisis, the demand for the Inner Line Permit (ILP) becomes all the more urgent. Until this protective shield is granted, it is the solemn duty of our government to devise a robust mechanism for controlling influx, rigorously enforced at all entry and exit points. This measure, if implemented effectively, will not only curb the rising prices but also serve as a catalyst for employment generation among our youth.
So, we must ask ourselves, “What else are we waiting for?” The time for unity and collective action is now. It is our shared responsibility to breathe life back into Meghalaya, the jewel of Northeast India. The very essence of our state lies in its diversity, and in unity, we shall find the strength to overcome these trying times.
In the spirit of coming together, let us rekindle the hope and pride that defines Meghalaya. Together, we can once again see our “Abode of Clouds” soar to new heights, where prosperity knows no bounds.
Yours etc.,
R Sarki

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