Friday, May 24, 2024
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Arrogance of the NPP

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Editor,
The one thing that stood out during this Parliamentary election was the arrogance shown by the NPP and its government. When the NPP-led government was first formed in the last term, people, by and large, were happy with the alliance and expected changes to take place for the better. However, within a year, the public, including myself, became disillusioned! Now this government is corrupt to such an extent that the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the politicians (and many bureaucrats) is no longer hidden but flaunted in grabbing prime estates, purchasing fancy cars and hosting out of this world wedding receptions, among others! But this time around, this government has gone a step further and added arrogance to corruption and general non-performance.
For decades we have observed the sudden spurt of road repairs in the major towns of the state in the months leading up to any Legislative or Parliamentary elections. But this time, this was starkly absent. The roads in most parts of Shillong were in a deplorable condition and remained so. Even the ones that were being repaired were left unfinished for weeks on end! The power supply remains erratic with power outages left unattended for hours on end (never happened like this before). This only shows that the Government has not even bothered to cover up its non-performance in the earlier years – it has become so arrogant that it believes that its candidates will still win despite everything. Or is it that they were banking on their money power? Further, the tone of the speeches made by some of their top leaders was so slanderous and outright third class and smacked of arrogance.
The Congress (INC) party at the national level lost power not only on the plank of corruption but also because of the arrogance of many of its top leaders. The same was the fate at the state level, and I believe, for the same reasons.
I may be wrong, but I feel that the NPP is clinging on to straws in this election. It appears it has no chance in the Shillong Parliamentary seat. Its next biggest partner in the government, the UDP, is nowhere in the picture. Its turncoat behaviour just after the last Legislative elections (with whatever justifications) and its association with the NPP has left many disillusioned with it. It has again proved what I had publicly said before – it is a parasite party! It appears that the VPP will capture this seat and then it remains to be seen how this new party performs. Reports also suggest that the NPP will lose the Tura parliamentary seat.
People everywhere are gradually turning away from the NPP, not only because of its close association with the BJP; not only because of its corruption, but because its leaders have become arrogant by their show of power and the damn-care attitude to its government’s non-performance!
May I quote from proverbs 16:18 in the Bible: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall!
Yours etc.,
Eugene D. Thomas
Shillong – 6

Understanding the roots of Hindu religion
Editor,
This refers to an article by Bhogtoram Mawroh (ST April 11, 2024), where he stated that Hinduism is foreign to India. I vociferously disagree with him in this context and wish to share my personal views on why Hinduism is deeply rooted in the Indian subcontinent, as compared to other religions and their places of origin.
Hinduism is a religion or spiritual practice with its deities and epic stories, which are completely woven into the fabric of Indian culture and its geographical landscape. Two of Hinduism’s principal God-incarnate deities, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama, are believed to have been born in India, in Mathura and Ayodhya, respectively. These cities are the most sacred pilgrimage sites long before the existence of other religions and are integral to the religious life of millions of Hindus. The argument that Hinduism is foreign to India will only hurt the sentiments of Hindu believers.
To understand the inappropriateness of claiming Hinduism is foreign to India, one can look at similar hypothetical scenarios with other major religions. For instance, imagine the revolt and hue and cry if some group of intellectuals claim that Christianity originated in Vatican City rather than in Judea, where Jesus was actually born. Or consider the confusion if some third forces begin teaching that Buddhism originated in Japan, despite the well-known facts that Buddhism began in Nepal, where Gautam Buddha was born, or in India, where he attained enlightenment. Such misinformation could significantly mislead and upset the followers and spiritual leaders alike. Even Japanese people would not agree with this.
I agree with Salil Gewali, who emphasized in his letter ‘A Genetic Analysis of Aryan Invasion Theory’ (ST April 17, 2024), that there is no reference whatsoever in the extensive ancient scriptures — such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, 18 Puranas, and Yoga Vasistha — or in the vast body of folklore and tales, of Aryans invading or migrating to India from the West, or to claims that Hinduism did not originate in India. I will be happy if Bhogtoram can name a few Hindu scriptures written by sages from outside India.
As Christians believe in the words of Jesus Christ, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. Andrew, and St. Anthony, Hindus place their trust in the teachings of Lord Krishna, Shankaracharya, Ramanuja, Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo, rather than in those of Max Mueller or Tony Joseph, as far as their belief systems are concerned. I hope my Christian friends also will agree with this view. The Aryan Invasion Theory or Aryan Migration Theory, proposed in the 19th century by Max Mueller and linguistic scholar Sir William Jones, was a recent development. Before this, no such ideas existed. Why so? Despite resistance from spiritual leaders, this theory was forcefully imposed. It is unacceptable for a third party to rewrite the history of any race’s belief system by distorting the real history. These are my personal observations.
Yours etc.,
Homnath Gautam,
Shillong-2

Construction of a new motorable road through Brookside complex
Editor,
It is entertaining to know that a new motorable road is being constructed from Rilbong via Zig-Zag road to facilitate people’s movements and reduce traffic congestion etc. No doubt the plan is good and in public interest, but what is shocking to know is that the route of the new motorable road is planned through Brookside complex, a century old heritage complex bearing memory of the great poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Very recently Mr Paul Lyngdoh Minister Arts & Culture Govt. of Meghalaya had laid the foundation stone of the ‘Tagore Cultural Complex’ at Brookside to commemorate Tagore’s memorial here. It is worth mentioning that for the last many years Brookside complex is regarded as one of the tourist spots in Shillong. Tourists from far and wide visit the complex as a tribute to Tagore’s stay here and greatly appreciate the maintenance of the calm and quiet atmosphere and serenity of the Brookside Complex of which Tagore himself was mesmerized. During a critical political situation in 1919, Tagore came to Shillong for the first time to spend a few days in peace and solitude. The placidity and serenity of Brookside charmed him,
It is evident that the new motorable road allowing free movements of vehicles through the complex will destroy the eternal solitude and serene atmosphere of the hermitage, and it will become part of this hustle and bustle of city life, which will hurt the visitors who visit Brookside to enjoy the peace and solitude of the heritage complex.
I earnestly appeal to the concerned authority to kindly rethink the matter and to alter the route to exclude Brookside complex. This will be deeply appreciated by all those who love and respect Tagore.
Yours etc.,
Uma Purkayastha,
Shillong – 4

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