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Who violates the freedom of expression?

 Editor,

Apropos, the article, “Violating the Freedom of Expression” (ST, February 2, 2016) I am not able to understand Vinay Joshi’s allegations that I have violated my freedom of expression. Being a Catholic priest I do not lose the right to express my views on any issue. In fact, I sincerely feel I need to get involved more in the various matters concerning the society. Nowhere in my article, “Shillong RSS linked to Nazism and Fascism (ST Jan 29, 2016)” did I indulge in the RSS bashing or tirade against the fundamental organization. Nowhere did I condemn or show disrespect to the Khasi-Pnar/indigenous people who have joined the RSS. They are free to do so. Nowhere did I even imply that they have no constitutional rights. The substance of my article was to show that the RSS’s ideology traces its origin from Nazism and Fascism of Germany and Italy respectively and that it continues to expound them in India.

This is well documented. The references I quoted are available in literature aplenty, including on the internet. The quotes in my articles are just a handful. More references can be provided. I am also sure that Joshi has read the RSS’s Geeta, Bunch of Thoughts, by M. S. Golwalkar where the author not only bashes minorities but denounces them and even explicates their extermination. Joshi listed the names of RSS leaders/ pracharaks who have been supposedly abducted or killed or threatened. In my article there was not even a remote suggestion to justify, let alone, propagate or advocate violence against RSS or against anyone. In this connection I refer also to Sunil Khanal’s letter to the editor on January 30, 2016 which states that ‘Meghalaya is already a fascist state’ For the sake of argument even if Khanal’s opinion is true, should we bring more fascist elements in the state? The author gave some examples to prove his point. In my article, directly or indirectly, I did not condone the so called ethnic cleansing and other aberrations (if I may say so) that happened in and around ‘my surroundings’ in the past. If all the riots and acts of hooliganism and fascism of the RSS and its associates before Independence till now are mentioned the list will be endless. For the interest of all, hope the RSS’s exclusive religious ideology/nationalism have not taken roots in this state. The RSS will not help preserve Niam Khasi or Niamtre. It will hasten their end (Marching with the khaki: a fight back by a disappearing people by Bhogtoram Mawroh, January 30, 2016).

Yours etc.,

Albert Thyrniang Tura,

West Garo Hills

 

Whither Pollution Control Board?

Editor,

Of late Delhi & Mumbai’s extreme air pollution has made headlines. Mumbai is in the news because of garbage fire at the Deonar dumping grounds. Serious attention also needs to be paid to our very own Dump Yard at Marten, Mawiong which is perpetually on fire at least for the past two years and smogging out our skies. An argument for the fire is that it is “Un extingusihable”? Another is the lack of space for additional garbage, hence the need to burn to create additional volume. Recently an Expression of Interest (EoI) for a construction contract at the same site was floated in the local papers, prompting a serious question – why are additional funds to the tune of crores of rupees being pumped into a defunct site, rather than simply relocating to a new a site for a new dumping ground in New Shillong. Hundreds of acres are lying with different Government departments for years on end waiting for some project or other to fructify. This would have saved precious financial resources on acquiring a new site. But all this is just wishful thinking I suppose as the powers that be, always have some grander schemes which are beyond the comprehension of us the Mango People of a Banana Republic. Till then we can making the doctors, hospitals, medicine companies, air purifiers firms richer and ourselves and our health poorer. Or wait!! How about a PIL? And pray where is the State Pollution Control Board in all of this?

Your etc.,

Gagan Jain,

Via email

 

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