Friday, July 19, 2024
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Political ability versus nepotism: What is the NPP prioritising?

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Editor,
Apropos to various reports in your esteemed daily regarding NPP supremo Conrad K. Sangma planning to field his own wife Mehtab Chandee for the Gambegre bye-polls, it seems like it is no longer a hidden fact that the NPP is facing a heavy issue of nepotism.
NPP veteran Agatha K. Sangma suffered a substantive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, an indicator that voters are disenchanted with the current leadership and governance dynamics in the state. Despite this, it appears that the lessons from this electoral debacle have not been heeded.
The current murmurs also raise a critical question about the internal democracy of the party and the value it places on its dedicated workers, where people working for the party for nearly two decades have been sidelined to perhaps pave way for someone who is politically inexperienced.
Is the NPP becoming a one-man show where leadership positions are reserved for family members, irrespective of their political acumen and public support? Such actions not only undermine the morale of loyal party workers but also erode public trust in the commitment to democratic principles and meritocracy.
Party workers, who tirelessly campaign and support the party’s endeavours, deserve recognition and opportunities based on their hard work and dedication. The current trend suggests that their efforts and aspirations are being overlooked in favour of familial ties. This approach is detrimental for even the electorate.
Transparency, merit-based leadership, and genuine inclusivity are crucial for rebuilding trust and ensuring the party’s long-term success. And if the current trends continue and the media reports turn out to be true, then it would not be impractical to expect a repeat of the Lok Sabha election results for the NPP in the Gambegre bye-polls.
Yours etc.,
Patrick Kurbah
Via Email

This is 2024: Not 1975 nor 2047

Editor,
The present is the only area where a person has the option to work. The Bhagavad Gita says, “You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits.” But we are entitled to the action only in the present. Therefore, the present is all that matters. It will become the past and can take care of the future. This is a simple truth. Lord Buddha famously said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
However, to study the past is not to dwell in the past. It is for taking appropriate actions in the present and not to repeat a mistake of the past. It is not for living in the past but for making the present actions more prudent. For example, the study on the Holocaust is done all over the world not to abuse the Germans but to tell the world leaders not to repeat the dangerous act of demonising the members of a religion.
Germans have learned their lessons from the Holocaust and have thrown any trace of Nazism into the dustbin. Recently, Germany has withdrawn jerseys with number 44 immediately after it was pointed out that there was a resemblance between that number and the stylized SS used by Nazi Party’s Schutzstaffel group.
The Holocaust should be discussed to prevent the totalitarian inclinations of a government and attempts at demonising a minority community that happened during the Nazi regime. But to invoke the Holocaust to criticise the Germans, who themselves are ashamed of it, is totally unacceptable.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi publicly apologised for all the mistakes and excesses committed during the Emergency and declared that she was taking “the entire responsibility for the same.” To criticise the Congress now for the Emergency that happened nearly fifty years ago and for which its leader had sought public apology long ago, could only be compared with flogging a dead horse.
Given the people in power are to take action, they should not dwell in the past but remain in the present. They need to concentrate on how to safeguard our Constitution now in 2024 rather than dwelling in the distant past period of the 1975 Emergency.
A government in a democratic country gets the mandate from the people to govern. Similarly, the opposition MPs get the mandate from the people to make the government answerable to the people and to critically review every government action.
In a parliamentary democracy, opposition parties are there to provide checks and balances on the government; to prevent it from becoming a totalitarian one. It is said, ”dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” It means dissent is necessary to protect democracy, and democracy is necessary to protect the nation.
People in power need to concentrate on how to safeguard our Constitution now in 2024 by not gagging the voice of dissent by misusing technology and the UAPA.
India is ranked 159 out of the 180 countries in the 2024 World Press Freedom Index. A few months ago, several journalists from across the country had written to the Chief Justice of India. They observed, “Journalism cannot be prosecuted as terrorism,” and the invocation of the UAPA was “especially chilling”.
Also, the people in power must focus on the pressing problems of the present, like rising inequality, unemployment, inflation, train accidents, question paper leaks, airport roof and bridge collapse, highway cave-in, corruption, and pollution. It would be equally damaging for all of us if they start dreaming about the future as distant as 2047.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Kolkata

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