Developed By: iNFOTYKE
Apropos the letter “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (ST, June 17, 2016) by Aiborlang Nongsiej by and large encapsulates the popular belief of how things turn out to be when Governments remain “stable” or become “unstable”. This kind of argument sounds reasonable but is far from the truth in my perception as our democracy has become a wonderfully crafted ruse. Not so long ago we have somehow divorced the results of elections from the formulation of policy. We have been brainwashed into thinking that we are doing something important when we vote when it is just a distraction and a collective ego trip. In all honesty, can we possibly believe our votes will change anything of importance? For me, the answer is No. I think that elections give us a false sense of having a stake in the system. That is not the case. In fact, common villagers have a far more realistic approach to elections as they see them as nothing more than an extended festival of feasts to be enjoyed while they last with no expectations for the future.
Most of the decisions that determine the course of our lives are not taken by our political leaders or bureaucrats. These decisions are made remotely by lobbies and other forces that have no name who gnaw at the entrails of Government. And Government in turn sucks the lifeblood out of the people through taxes especially from the middle class, who buy things they do not really want or need but just to be one up over their neighbours while struggling to repay the loans they take to buy these things and doing the jobs they hate.
And what about the poor? Theirs is a daily war for survival with all the odds stacked against them. That a large majority of them still manage to lead honest lives is a daily miracle. Hence, I am grateful to them for continuing to do so, for I can well imagine the repercussions if one day they decide to stop doing this. In my view therefore this is the present state of our “Democracy” and I think that things will remain the same at least till the foreseeable future irrespective of who leads the pack of our so-called leaders.
Shillong – 2
Food and healthy lifestyle
There has been a global awareness about healthy life style and consumption of healthy foods around the planet among the consumers. Several consumers are even ready to pay extra money for procuring high quality food rich in specialized nutrients. As such the global nutraceutical and functional food industries have gained momentum with respect to investments, improvements in food technology and food research, generating rapid employment and bringing rich dividends with respect to foreign exchange for producer countries. For example, nutraceutical bread is a specialized and value added food product containing specialized constituents beneficial to consumer health. The ingredients incorporated into such new value added products have rich medicinal properties and can reduce the risk of specific health problems like cardiovascular diseases. Some of the ingredients incorporated into nutraceutical bread could be whole wheat/barley/maize/soy flour, sorghum bran, hemp hearts, flax seed, fenugreek seed or sunflower seed to mention only a handful to enrich the nutritional content and medicinal properties of the final bread product produced. The ingredients of nutraceutical bread is not just limited or restricted to these constituents only but vary according to modern research and development and new innovations emerging rapidly in the realm of nutraceutical and functional food industries around the globe. South and South East Asian nations are rich in food biodiversity and strong agricultural heritage has huge potential for developing nutraceutical and functional food industries to take a stake in the international global market worth several billion dollars. Also SouthAnd South East Asia have a rich heritage of research and development, skilled personnel, technological innovations, hence initial investment in the nutraceutical and functional food industries can pay back rich dividends for the country in the not so distant future.
Saikat Kumar Basu
Lethbridge AB Canada T1J 4B3