Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pala lambasts Centre for ignoring demands


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ILP, language recognition issues

From Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 2: Lok Sabha member from Shillong Vincent H Pala on Friday raised an array of vital issues confronting Meghalaya like non-introduction of the Inner Line Permit, rampant drug use, delay in recognition of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule and the general feeling of insecurity among Christians.
Participating in the discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President on her Address in Parliament, the Congress MP rose to say that people of Meghalaya have lost faith and confidence in the Union government since it failed to take a decision on any of the vital issues confronting the hill state.
“The state assembly has passed unanimous resolutions in vain for introduction of ILP and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The Centre must take a decision on introduction of ILP in Meghalaya,” he demanded.
Pala recalled how the Centre allowed Manipur to implement ILP in that state but the same government is yet to take a decision in the case of Meghalaya.
“Inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution was the ambition and aspiration of the people of Meghalaya for a long time which could have helped in spreading education in the state,” Pala said.
The BJP government promised to meet this genuine demand during elections but has managed to “fool” the people of the state till date, he pointed out.
Touching on the rise of drug abuse in Meghalaya, Pala said that as per reports there is a rise of 70 per cent in this social malady which is now as high as 6.3 per cent in the state as compared to the national average of 2.06 per cent. In a traditionally matrilineal society, this massive drug use is a cause for serious concern for which the Centre should come out with special stringent laws, he demanded.
He stated that massive rise of substantial drug use especially among the youths in the state has raised alarm. “This drug use is more among the unemployed youths,” he said.
He stated how the central government is basking in the glory of so-called massive infrastructure projects especially on roads in the Northeastern region. “But as I am speaking the important NH-6 linking Shillong to Guwahati and Silchar is in deplorable condition with traffic jams and accidents almost every alternate day,” he said.
Speaking on the growing religious intolerance, Pala said that under the BJP-led NDA Government, minorities including Christians are feeling unsafe and unsecured. The freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion is seriously hampered under this government for the minority Christians, he said.
“In the neighbouring state of Manipur which is afflicted with a long spell of serious ethnic violence, more than 300 churches have been burnt down or razed to the ground or have simply disappeared,” Pala said. About 500 Bishops, Nuns and other preachers have been arrested on silly charges, he alleged.
For months the internet has been blocked in violence-ridden Manipur putting the common people into intense inconvenience, the three-time MP said. Many people have been killed and thousands have been staying in camps being displaced, he added.
“We have nothing to say on the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, but communal elements have put religious flags on Churches above the Cross insignia,” Pala alleged.
The BJP ruled governments at the Centre and in some states have implicit roles in such blatant communal acts, he said.
In Nagaland, the Union government signed a peace agreement ten years ago but the same has not been implemented on the ground as yet, Pala said.
“This government only knows how to sign agreements but does not know how to implement the same,” he added.


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