Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Letters to the Editor


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Only God -centric programs during Durga Puja

Apropos of the letters “Essence of Durga Puja Observance” and “No vulgar entertainment during Durga Puja,” I also wish to write a few lines. Firstly, I appreciate the Central Puja Committee (CPC) of Meghalaya for holding the ‘All Faith-All Religion Get-together of Harmony’ every year. But it will not suffice until CPC members remain vigilant, ensuring that no organization performs their puja function in a manner that is against the ethos of Hinduism.
It is better not to hold puja at all if an organizer believes in fun and cheap entertainment in the name of Goddess Durga. Such irresponsible puja organizers should not be given permission by the district administration.
It is for the general information for those of other faiths that nowhere in the Hindu scriptures is it written that people should indulge in sense-gratification. There are many scriptures in Hinduism, and all of them clearly mention that the sense gratification is the biggest obstruction to devotion to God. People with a lack of scriptural knowledge have tarnished the image of Sanatan Dharma and started doing anything they like. The CPC is also to be blamed for not being vigilant all these years. I sincerely request the CPC to ensure that from this year on, only “God-centric” spiritual programs are held during Durga Puja, including on any auspicious puja occasions like Vishwakarma puja, Saraswati puja, Kali puja, Krishna Janmashtami, and Chhat puja.
Thank you ‘The Shillong Times’ for inspiring each citizen to be vigilant.
Yours etc.,
Neha Dhananjaya,
Via email



Elevating Durga Puja: A Call for Cultural Excellence

As the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja approaches, the fervour and excitement among devotees is palpable. However, there’s a collective call for elevating the quality of the festivities and ensuring that cultural enrichment takes centre stage during this sacred time. In a recent letter to the editor dated September 25, 2023, concerns were raised about the need to preserve the cultural essence of Durga Puja. In addition to the existing sentiments expressed, it has become increasingly apparent that a few more steps can be taken to enhance the overall experience for everyone involved.
1. Fostering Cultural Heritage: The Central Puja Committee (CPC) is at the heart of organizing Durga Puja celebrations. It is imperative that they take a proactive role in promoting cultural events over other forms of entertainment. Concerts and Bollywood dance programs, often cited as detractors from the spiritual core of the festival, should be limited or even replaced by more culturally enriching activities.
2. Ensuring Hygiene and Reverence: The sanctity of the venues is of paramount importance. Organizers must ensure that all puja venues maintain the highest standards of hygiene. To enhance the experience, Prasad distribution could be improved by providing it in sealed packets rather than by hand, ensuring not only reverence but also safety.
3. Streamlined Entry and Exit Points: To avoid overcrowding and maintain a sense of order, it is crucial to establish well-organized entry and exit points at the puja venues. Volunteers can play a pivotal role in ensuring that devotees can access the puja pandals with ease while adhering to safety measures.
4. Traffic Control: The issue of traffic congestion near pandals during Durga Puja has been a persistent problem. The local police department should work in tandem with puja organizers to restrict vehicular movement in the vicinity of pandals, thereby alleviating traffic woes and ensuring the safety of all attendees.
In essence, the collective aim is to rejuvenate the spirit of Durga Puja by emphasizing cultural and spiritual facets while simultaneously enhancing the overall experience for devotees. With the Central Puja Committee at the helm, it is incumbent upon them to uphold the sanctity of this revered festival, fostering an environment where traditions thrive and the quality of the celebrations is second to none.
As we prepare to welcome Goddess Durga into our hearts and homes, let us collectively work towards creating a truly enriching and memorable Durga Puja experience for all.
In the spirit of unity and reverence, let cultural excellence shine through this Durga Puja.
Yours etc.,
R. Sarki




Meghalaya Rural Bank’s’ transfer order inoperative for some

It has come to the public knowledge that the authorities of the Meghalaya Rural Bank had issued an official order in April this current year regarding the inter-transfer of staff from one place of posting to another, especially for those who have served more than a minimum duration of three years. Reportedly, this order seems to have kicked off only for the higher status-officers but those of the lower rung, like the office Clerks/Attendants are left in the lurch and they are in total darkness of their transfers notwithstanding their respective names and place of new postings having surfaced nearly six months ago. Now why such discrimination?
Markedly, the challenges of the said staff specifically from Khasi-Jaintia Hils who have been posted for indefinite number of years in remote districts of Garo Hills far off from their hearths and homes and disadvantaged by language communications with the rural folks who can’t converse in any other language than their own. The less on this the better. It’s mind-boggling why the management of this bank is posting their staff in odd places where the latter cannot interact with their clients on account of language barriers. It seems the management is oblivious of the directions of the Union Finance Minister Sitharaman, who has strictly observed in recent meetings with the the banking institutions that they must not post their personnel in places where they don’t know the local languages, as banking operations could suffer inexorably
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request,
Via email



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