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Government induced bandh

Editor,
Bandhs are regressive and have no place in a modern, progressive society. They are a cruel joke on the poor and daily wage earners. They cause loss on every front – economic, political, social and educational. They are a form of enslavement and imprisonment. They are undemocratic and they impose the will of a few on the rest of the population. They are a forced denial and curtailment of the entitled freedom of every citizen to work and move.
Having said so, it must be pointed out that it is the government that encourages agitations and shut downs. In Garo Hills life has come to a standstill. What we hear is the dreadful silence of vehicles off the road and people staying indoors. The protests called by the All Achik Youth Federation (AAYF) and supported by other pressure groups, political parties and underground groups was actually prompted by the government’s repeated shameless, unethical, unreasonable, unjustified, undemocratic and unconstitutional extension of the term of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council. ‘Non-cooperation movements’ do no good, but the Government has to be firmly told that it cannot play around with democratic institutions. It is a desecration, a sacrilege that has visited the GHADC.
Yours etc.,  
Albert Thyrniang
Mendal, North Garo Hills

Streamline the admission system!

Editor,
The results for the High School Leaving Certificate Examination of various Boards are either out or are expected soon. Result printouts are to be downloaded from the internet immediately and then begins the mad rush for admissions to higher secondary schools and colleges in Shillong. One parent queues in one institution, while the other parent lines up at another at the same time. Some get brothers and sisters to line up at other institutions. Admission status is relayed by phone. If admitted, fees are to be paid immediately or by the next day, otherwise one forfeits his seat. The admission process is ragged and totally unorganized, with many institutions taking advantage of the system to replenish their coffers.
I am surprised why Government and students organisations like the KSU are silent on this matter. The nature of the present system of admissions always results in financial loss and undue harassment to both students and parents. Precious time is also wasted. The only absolute gainers in this whole process are unscrupulous schools and colleges, which we very well know exist.
It is now high time that the system of admissions is streamlined. A better system would be to issue forms well ahead of the results, set cut-off percentages, fix a deadline for submission of forms and then release the list of admitted candidates as First List, then Second List and so on, while allowing sufficient time for successful candidates to deposit the requisite fees.  Government can issue advisories and guidelines to all institutions. Students unions can also help to keep a watchful eye on any sordid admission practices. Well-meaning institutions should not hesitate to adopt such a system, or a better one which is practical, organised and transparent, for the benefit of the student community whom they seek to serve.
We need to begin somewhere but which institution will take the call first?
Yours etc.,
D N Lyngdoh
Shillong

Read Macaulay again! 

Editor,
This refers to ‘Education and the Youth-Iai Minot” by Bijoya Sawian (ST May16,2015).The statement attributed to Lord Macaulay,”I have not seen one beggar who is a thief” is a blatant lie. No scholar has ever found such a statement in all his writings but it has been circulated through the internet by some spurious fakers subscribing to a certain ideology. Like most things in India this is a habit (meaning culture) to deify one’s land at the cost of truth.
I can give you many examples: Go to the Refugee colony in Rynjah and you find huge  sign-boards, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” attributed to M K Gandhi. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fallen for it. But in truth it is a proverb found in the Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts. Its debut in the English language is found in the writings of Francis Bacon(1605) long before Gandhi. Another again saying falsely attributed to Gandhi, “There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” This was a phrase first used by Frank Buchman who founded the Moral ReArmament in 1938.With the rise of Hindutva more such fake statements (like fake meat nutrela in every shop) can be uncovered.
One more example:Narayani Ganesh writing in Times of India (August16,2014) praised Modi for claiming to be India’s first servant. She also said if he cannot be truly humble, at least he can try”faking humility.” She even quoted Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “If you can’t make it, fake it”.
O the land of fakes!
Yours etc.,
Rasputin Bismarck Manners
Kolkatta

Dereliction of duty!

Editor,
Every time there is a thunderstorm in this city the Meghalaya Rural Bank Branch at Bishnupur goes kaput. This branch has been in a state of limbo for the past several days as the computers are not working, thereby forcing customers like me to return empty handed and unable to do any transaction. A lady, who is the only official working in this ‘ghostly’ branch, informs every visitor that she is unable to transact because the computers are not working even while fiddling on her phone. Her reply to customers is that the lightning last week had damaged the computer system of the branch and it has not yet been rectified. How can a bank be non-operational for so many days without any transaction? Is the bank not bothered about customers who have urgent transactions to make?  And what about the bank’s own turnover? Are the shareholders not worried? If the computer systems in this branch are so vulnerable to lightning and thunderstorms that they go kaput whenever there is one then it should put up a lighting arrestor immediately on the building so that customers like us are not harassed. This is not the first instance; the same branch was in a similar state a month ago when its computers crashed for reasons best known to the branch. Apart from its computers this branch does not even have forms for SMS alerts, KYC and other banking documents meant for customers. Many customers like me have been asked to come to the branch repeatedly by this lady official since there are no forms available. She is not even bothered to keep photocopies of these forms hence customers leave the branch frustrated. This is as ridiculous as it can get. I have not heard of any other bank or branch getting away with such lame excuses. Hope the authorities listen and take corrective action or else put up a sign-board,”This branch is prone to lightning flashes. Please do not enter”.
Yours etc.
BC Paul
Shillong – 4

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