Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Identity, Language & Political Manipulation


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It is high time to unravel the ‘Divide and Rule Strategy’ in the Jaitbynriew before things go out of control. In recent editorial discussions, the contentious issue of Pnar/Jaintia identity and language has ignited debates, with various writers presenting diverse arguments. However, a discerning eye reveals an underlying attempt to sow division within the Jaitbynriew (community), seemingly orchestrated for political gains. This manipulation aims to portray the political landscape in the Khasi Hills as exclusive to the Khasi people, thereby undermining the representation of the Jaintia Hills.

The looming threat posed by a political party challenging the incumbent government has fuelled fears of losing power in the future elections. The exploitation of language and identity issues becomes evident as a tool for political gain, with individuals instrumentalizing these aspects to foster the perception that the political party from the Khasi Hills prioritizes the interests of the Khasi people over those of the Jaintia Hills residents

While the fear of political change prevails, it is crucial to recognize the disconnect between pre-election promises and post-election actions. Those in power, once empowered, often prioritize self-preservation and the perpetuation of their government rather than upholding the unity and development of the Jaitbynriew. This shift raises questions about the sincerity of leaders in safeguarding the collective interests of the community.

Addressing the call for a State anthem, it’s pertinent to question its necessity when a National Anthem already exists, fostering a sense of brotherhood among the diverse populace. The real concerns of the people revolve around fundamental issues such as improved infrastructure, employment opportunities, affordable essential items, and other development projects. Introducing a state anthem at this juncture appears to be a diversionary tactic, steering the discourse away from substantive issues. In this context, the assertion is made that India requires only one anthem, the Jana-gana-mana, uniting the nation under a single emblem of shared identity.

Expanding on these perspectives, it becomes evident that the divide and rule strategy is a calculated move to distract the community from pressing socio-economic issues. A deeper analysis is required to unravel the intricacies of this political game, examining the historical context, socio-cultural dynamics, and the vested interests at play.

Examining the historical aspect reveals instances where similar divisive strategies were employed to perpetuate political dominance. Understanding these patterns can shed light on the recurrent use of identity and language as instruments of manipulation. It is essential to delve into the socio-cultural fabric to comprehend the significance attached to language and identity within the Jaitbynriew, exploring how these factors contribute to a shared sense of belonging or create fissures that can be exploited for political ends.

Moreover, a thorough exploration of the economic landscape is imperative to comprehend the genuine concerns of the Jaitbynriew. Unemployment, insufficient infrastructure, and escalating prices of essential commodities are issues that demand urgent attention. Investigating the impact of political decisions on these economic facets can reveal whether the focus on identity and language is a deliberate diversion or a genuine reflection of the community’s priorities.

In conclusion, the deliberate use of identity and language issues as tools for political manipulation is a concerning trend that necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the historical, socio-cultural, and economic dimensions at play. By critically examining these facets, a more nuanced perspective can emerge, enabling the Jaitbynriew to navigate the intricate web of political agendas and assert their collective interests in the face of divisive strategies.

Yours etc.,
David L,
Via email

Much ado about a State Anthem


The state anthem released in the 52nd year of our statehood has created a lot of debate. Perhaps never in the past has the news daily in the state been bombarded with so many scholarly and researched write-ups as those we are reading these days. It’s always good to debate and discuss to have knowledge and to get information on anything, especially those that shed light on who we are and what our identity and ethnicity is. However, does that mean that the Pnars have no claim on them being one of the major tribes of Meghalaya? Why is our demand for inclusiveness becoming an eyesore? It is even disheartening to read that we the Pnars, as perceived by some of the writers, are expressing ourselves more on the basis of sentiments. We feel strongly about our roots and take pride in who we are. We’ve also been made to look at our demand as a means to create a rift or division within the Khasi tribe. Are we looking towards creating a division or are we asking for inclusion? The need for us to ask to be a part of the state anthem reflects the fact that we have been sidelined. What is wrong with wishing to be part of the anthem?

Interestingly while the demand from us Pnars to include the Jaintia language in the state anthem is creating such mayhem I wish such learned and well-informed minds are equally proactive towards introspection and questioning how far we have come and how much we have progressed in 52 years. What have we as a state achieved so far? What contributions have we, as conscientious citizens of the state made towards our state? How much noise are we making about the lack of proper health care, education, unemployment, pathetic road conditions, poor connectivity, corruption, nepotism, crime, substance abuse, etc., that inflict our society? Pertinent issues that need to be addressed and fought for are often left untouched. Perpetrators of crimes are often allowed to go scot free with little to no conviction. The worry and anxiety of every parent are multiple, starting from finding a good school, college, university, job while also facing myriad challenges in our day to day lives as to what young minds might fall prey to. Mind you these are detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of young minds. Starting 2024, let’s hope that we channelise our thoughts and actions towards grave and serious matters that will benefit each one of us, the citizens of the state.

Yours etc.,
Jenniefer Dkhar,
Via email



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