Monday, July 22, 2024
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A den of thieves in a House of Prayer

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Editor,
Why has the print media, electronic media, etc. been a platform for members of the church to vent out their disgust, frustration, and discontentment? As members of the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church, we haven’t had clarifications nor justifications on the various issues breaking the church apart, even after shooting multiple letters (anonymously or otherwise). As stated by an ex-Church Minister via WhatsApp dated June 11, 2024(which has gone viral), that he had written a letter to the church committee on May 29, 2023, but no response nor compliance has been received so far. He also mentioned that few members of the congregation had also written letters but to no avail. In our opinion, we feel it is because the Church Committee has turned a deaf ear to these pleas that the members of the church are forced to ‘wash their dirty linen’ in public and NOT ‘venting out anger and frustrations within’ is NOT nipping these misdeeds in the bud.
As congregates, we wouldn’t have liked knowing that the future of our church is at stake just because of a few unfortunate events that could have been prevented. The church is a united body of congregates whose loyalty towards preserving its dignity is considered as a sacred duty, which should be upheld through thick and thin. But the obstinate nature of the Church Committee, has forced them to come forward and face disgrace just because they want the wrongs to be corrected.
What is the reason for keeping these secrets under a hat? Is it to protect someone’s name? What lies behind the veil of pretence and deceit? Why is there distrust amongst members of the church? If the Church Committee fails to take immediate responsibility, submit the report, and call for a general meeting, everything will eventually lead to bigger issues and even the division of a once respectable and united institution.
We don’t need our church leaders to hide behind a facade of ‘unproven and unbeknownst’ rumours. Where there is smoke, there certainly is fire. We beg for honesty. The anonymous writer in the letter “Double Trouble for Mawkhar Church; Where Angels Fear to tread the vestry,” didn’t sound angry. The person sounded concerned and was simply asking and seeking for honesty because THAT will be the only thing that can extinguish the fire of distrust and disunity in the church.
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request,
Via email

Case of lone wolves in Parliament

Editor,
The special article “Parliament not a place for lone wolves” by Patricia Mukhim (ST 14th June 2024) made interesting reading. Lone wolves, whether in the context of wildlife or politics often evoke intrigue and complexity. From the wildlife perspective lone wolves are individual wolves that temporarily travel alone or have dispersed from their natal pack. The reasons for lone behaviour include territorial disputes within packs, leading some wolves to seek new territories. Co-existence within wolves varies across countries. For instance, Spain strictly protects its 2000+ wolves, aiming to increase their population by 18% and encouraging livestock protection measures. Switzerland, on the other hand, eases restrictions on culling its roughly 200 wolves to safeguard livestock in the Alps. There are different views on co-existence. The rationalist view is to control wolves to avoid disrupting pastoral activities, the protectionists’ view is to restore “wild” nature, allowing wolves to roam freely and a pragmatists view is to balance needs of different groups, including wolves.
From the political perspective lone wolves refer to individuals who act independently, often disrupting established norms. These actors can impact politics world over, sometimes straining relations between different groups. Whether in the wild or in politics, lone wolves challenge existing dynamics and provoke debate. Coexistence and collaboration remain essential for navigating these complexities. The size of an MP from 1 Shillong Parliamentary Constituency in Lok Sabha is equal to 0.2%. Mukhim is right in concluding that the mandate given by the people of 1 Shillong Parliamentary Constituency, “be used to meet the peoples’ aspirations and not to score political goals. We are a small state and we should matter in the way that our MPs represent us in Parliament.”
Yours etc;
VK Lyngdoh,
Via email

Congress must sort out Manipur crisis

Editor,
The two warring sides – Meitei dominated Inner Manipur and Kuki-Zo-Naga dominated Outer Manipur – have, at least, a common choice. The Congress got the mandate from both of those two Lok Sabha constituencies. The people of Manipur rejected the mismanagement of the double engine government. But what is most encouraging is that they have not lost their faith in democracy even after the Kuki-Zo’s initial decision to boycott the elections.
Rahul Gandhi deserves credit for this. He promptly visited the troubled state and gave a strong message to the people of Manipur that they were not isolated from the rest of the country. He narrated his first-hand experience of what he saw in Manipur in the Parliament. Also, the Congress demanded a white paper on the Manipur ethnic violence.
Moreover, Rahul Gandhi started the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur. That also helped the people of Manipur to regain faith in the democratic process.
Now, the India partners have become a formidable force in the Parliament. Their responsibilities to fight a democratic battle in the Parliament for peace in Manipur have increased to a great extent.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Kolkata

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