Sunday, May 19, 2024

Can we take a pledge for peace?


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The harrowing news of the brutal broad daylight murder of a non-tribal labourer at Mawroh, serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for empathy and compassion in our society. It compels us to reevaluate how we perceive and interact with one another, urging us to view our fellow human beings not through the lens of superficial differences such as community, race, religion, or caste, but as beings united by our common humanity.
In the wake of such a tragic and senseless crime, it is imperative that we ask these probing questions: Why was the victim singled out as the target of such unwarranted aggression? What led the perpetrators to harbour such hatred and animosity towards him? And what transgressions, real or perceived, did they believe justified their actions? Who granted these individuals the audacity to take the law into their own hands and mete out vigilante justice? Covering their faces only implies their awareness of the illegality of their deeds. Their action was an exhibition of a disregard of the sanctity of human life. Who granted them the power to destroy that which they cannot create?
As a society, we must confront these uncomfortable truths and hold those responsible for such heinous acts accountable. We must demand justice for the innocent victim whose life was unjustly cut short, and we must work tirelessly to dismantle the system of oppression and prejudice that breeds such violence.
The brutal murder reveals a disturbing truth: that some individuals feel entitled to mete out violence against those they view as outsiders or inferior. The victim’s crime, in their eyes, was simply being a non-tribal individual seeking work to support his family. His status as a petty worker made him vulnerable to the monstrous cruelty inflicted upon him. The fact that they targeted the non-tribals while spared one of their own is violence borne out of an ideology of being communal. The perpetrators were well aware of the illegality and immorality of their actions hence conceal their identities by covering their faces. Can they be allowed to go scot-free? Will the perpetrators of crime be punished? Will the victim and his grieving family ever get justice? These are questions that weigh heavy in our hearts, and the uncertainty surrounding their answers only deepens our sense of despair.
This incident serves as a poignant reminder of our increasing unwillingness to coexist in peace and harmony. In a world marked by rapid development and transformation, we appear to have taken a turn for the worse. The mindset of intolerance has reached such heights that it seems to overshadow the greater good that a human being is born with. It is time we pause and reflect if this is the legacy we wish to impart to future generations? Do we want our children to inherit a world where divisiveness and conflict prevail over cooperation and understanding? We must strive for a more compassionate and inclusive society, one where empathy and respect guide our interactions with one another and not one that will only kill and murder. Can’t we cultivate empathy, foster understanding, and pledge peace, for the good of our children and generations to come? A world where harmony and unity reign supreme will be a world we must live in.
Yours etc.,
Jenniefer Dkhar,
Via email

Intolerance and hatred on the rise
Intolerance and hatred are destructive forces that undermine the fabric of societies, erode human rights and fuel conflict and violence. Intolerance refers to the unwillingness or refusal to accept or respect beliefs, opinions or practices that differ from one’s own. It can manifest in different forms, including racism, religious bigotry and discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity or social status.
Hatred on the other hand, is a deep and intense feeling of hostility, animosity, or aversion towards individuals or groups perceived as different or inferior to one’s own. It often stems from ignorance, prejudice, or a sense of superiority and can lead to acts of violence, discrimination and dehumanization. One of the most significant consequences of intolerance and hatred is violation of human rights. When individuals and communities are marginalized, discriminated against or denied equal opportunities because of their race, religion, their fundamental rights to freedom, dignity and equality are compromised.
Intolerance and hatred have led to some of the darkest chapters in human history. Can we forget the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Rwanda? Ultimately, creating a world free from intolerance and hatred requires a collective commitment from authorities, civil society, religious leaders and individuals alike. We can build societies that embrace the richness of human differences and thrive on the principles of equality, justice and peace.
Yours etc.,
Anjan Kumar Das.
Shillong- 6

Why the need for CAA & NRC?
Patricia Mukhim rightly expressed her apprehension about the possible link between the sudden spurt of violence in Meghalaya and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) in the article, “Mindless killing and Khasi society’s response (ST, April 12, 2024).
Sujit Dutta 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. Recently, a local non-tribal labourer was killed in Meghalaya in spite of his having a labour licence. It appears that the CAA has increased the divide between tribal and non-tribal people of Meghalaya.
The NRC-CAA combination and the non-acceptance of a voter-ID as a sufficient document for citizenship have raised more questions than they could answer. Given the Members of the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha are directly elected by the voters, it is akin to putting a big question mark behind all of them. 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?
How could a government challenge the way it had been elected while completing its term of five years? Moreover, the CAA has gone against the secular character of the Constitution by removing one particular religion from the selection process.
Anything 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,

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