Friday, May 24, 2024

Kejriwal disrespected Anna Hazare’s ideology


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I read the article by Salil Gewali under the caption, “Why is Arvind Kejriwal in trouble?” (ST April 1, 2024) twice over and found it boldly written. I believe every one of us knows Arvind Kejriwal capitalized on Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption such as Adarsh Housing Society Scam, Coalgate scam, Commonwealth Games scam, and the 2G spectrum scam and nepotism in the Nehru-Gandhi family in which Robert Vadra was one of the main beneficiaries. In the long fasting program at Jantar Mantar in 2011, Arvind Kejriwal and his team vowed to eradicate corruption without any compromise. He also chose a broom as his party symbol. Later he deviated from his main goal. His AAP MLAs have now been arrested in multiple corruption charges, misconducts, and the liquor scam.
Arvind Kejriwal never respected the principle and ideology of Anna Hazare. In Maharashtra in a temple Anna Hazare had vowed to drive a movement against alcoholism which was destroying many families. He also flogged many drunkards with his army belt. Anna Hazare was supported by many NGOs and women whose houses were demolished by alcoholic husbands. But over the years his main disciple Arvind Kejriwal has made a policy where youth are encouraged to drink more by opening lots of wine shops making liquor easily available. Does the AAP want to spoil our youths by encouraging excessive drinking habits?
I personally found the last paragraph from Gewali’s article very touching – It says, “Do AAP leaders take pleasure in seeing their sons become addicted to alcohol and fall into ruins? Are we “lucky” to have elected leaders who are focused on pushing society into a pit of debauchery? Now, perhaps the AAP should consider changing its party symbol from a “broom” to a “Johnnie Walker bottle”.
I am sure all right-thinking citizens agree with what Salil Gewali has written about the bad-effects of alcohol. All should be concerned about the increasing consumption and addiction to liquor among the youths in Meghalaya also. My close relatives are also victims of alcohol menace since the main bread-winner of the family died of Alcoholic Hepatitis one and half years ago due to excess drinking habits. When the main members of the family become alcoholics, it affects all family members, and the children’s studies also get derailed. To sum up, I think the government should not adopt such risky policies to generate revenue, which ultimately impacts the health of the society.
Yours etc.,
Vijay Sharma,

Othering is inhuman

In the article, “Who are the people of Ichamati? (ST, April 3, 2024), Bhogtoram Mawroh rightly said the passing of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 increased the divide between tribal and non-tribals in Meghalaya. My father was in the civil services which was a transferable job. As a result, I had to change my school from one district headquarter to the other. I was bullied on the first day in my new school. That was my first encounter with the dangerous game of othering.
Initially, some students behaved as though I was an enemy from outer space. Was it just fun or ritualistic ragging to welcome a fresher? If it is so then where is its origin? It may have stemmed from the paranoia for anyone outside one’s herd.
Now, what would have happened, had my class teacher after calling my roll number asked me in front of those students to prove that I was actually a student of that school? In that case, I would have faced brutal ragging in the hands of a bunch of heartless students and my name could have been published in newspapers under the headline – ‘Ragging took the life of a young student’. Or I might have become a suicide victim.
But should a class teacher ask such a question to a student when his roll number had already been recorded in the attendance register by the authorities? The same question needs to be asked about the legislation of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019. Should a government ask some voters to prove whether they are citizens of a country or not after being elected by the votes including the votes of those voters? If they were not citizens how could the authorities allow them to vote? And how could a government challenge the way it had been elected while completing its term of five years?
Two back to back incidents happened last month that brought back memories of the first day in my new school. Sujit Dutta (my namesake) and Esan Singh were found dead at Ichamati in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on March 27 hours after an organisation took out a protest against the CAA.
Debashish Sengupta (37), a resident of Kolkata, was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the house of his maternal uncle in Subhasgram. His father, Tapan Sengupta said, “Since the notification of the CAA, my son has been suffering from tremendous mental trauma and agony and was also in acute fear psychosis for not having all the required documents as shown on social media and as prescribed in the said notification. On March 19, 2024, suddenly my son told me that he was going to his maternal uncle at Subhasgram, never to return.”
The Centre should take a note about the apprehension someone has expressed in a newspaper after his death, “The moment I formally apply for Indian citizenship, it will be an acknowledgment that I am not an Indian citizen. That is a huge risk.”
Any legislation or political action that can increase the divide between different communities and create fear psychosis in the minds of the voters of our country should be avoided. It could spell disaster in our country which has achieved unity by accepting its rich diversity.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Via email

Navigating China’s assertiveness: Call for cohesion

I express my sincere appreciation to NK Sharma for his insightful letter published in this column on April 3, 2024, titled “Discussion on China, Crucial.” His astute observations prompt a necessary reflection. It is undeniable that amidst our internal focus, we have seemingly overlooked the escalating assertiveness of China. Recent occurrences, notably their repeated claims over Arunachal Pradesh and the systematic renaming of localities within the region, serve as stark reminders of the challenges to our sovereignty. The looming threat posed by such actions demands our immediate attention.
Unfortunately, discussions on this pressing issue appear to have been confined primarily to the realms of defence and external affairs, perhaps out of apprehension regarding exacerbating tensions through media discourse. However, the gravity of the situation cannot be understated.
Addressing the persistent challenges presented by our formidable neighbour, a global economic powerhouse, necessitates a unified national approach. Strengthening our collective resolve and bolstering the morale of our armed forces are imperative in safeguarding our territorial integrity.
In essence, we must confront China’s assertiveness with unwavering resolve and unity. Only through a concerted effort to safeguard our national interests can we effectively deter external threats and uphold our sovereignty in the face of adversity.
Yours etc…
Krishna Chettri

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