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TUR and uranium mining

Editor,

The two-day exceptional river festival ended on an interesting note with the TUR taking their anti-uranium mining cause to the venue at Aurobindo Institute. They have alerted the visiting delegates from Bangladesh about the harmful effects that will drain down into the low lying plains of Bangladesh if at all uranium mining is carried out in South West Khasi Hills. But what is appalling here is to see that this organization can overtly foresee the evil effects that uranium mining may cause whereas there was none of its type among the plethora of pressure ‘cooker’ groups here who could see the destructive effects of the inhuman coal mining in Jaintia Hills district that not only affected its own ecology, environment, rivers et al beyond repair but also the adjacent Dima Hasao district (North Cachar Hills) in neighboring Assam. It took the All Dimasa Students’ Union and Dima Hasao District Committee to petition the NGT – which has rightly banned all forms of coal mining in the state, now.

Is it not opportunistic that a group that can see the harmful effects of uranium mining could not see the same in coal mining? Or for that matter the effluent infested streams and rivers in Shillong town? I don’t take much from these jamborees decorative dialogues in seminars, conferences, symposiums etc. because time and again it is seen that the deliberations remain confined to the four walls of the venue alone. We have seen in the past how organizations went fullthroated about the need to address the cause of single mothers, preserve environment, ecosystem, ethnic tribal culture, traditions and what have you only being talked about. Nonetheless, credit goes to the Asian Confluence, which has in all its effort tried to bring North East and its neighbours to address this vital issue on rivers. Now it is up to the respective stakeholders to act.

Yours etc.

A Lyngdoh

Shillong – 4

Challenges before May

Editor, Kudos to 59-year-old Ms May for becoming Britain’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher. After many decades, England has a second May to watch out for, with almost breathless anticipation and fear of the worst. Theresa May takes over at a tough turn in the UK’s history. There is deep dissension over Brexit. She has shown herself to be astute at business end of politics. As PM May has a very full and difficult agenda, a weakened nearterm economy, little spare money in the budget and no party-conviction to deliver on her rhetoric she will have to face many more challenges.

Yours etc.,

Vinod C. Dixit

Ahmedabad- 15

On cow slaughter

Editor, Recently, a cow protection group namely Gau Rakshak Dal has exposed that they are no less criminal than the Taliban by mercilessly beating four Dalit youth who skin dead animals for a living at a village in Gujarat. These elements should be given exemplary punishment to send out a clear message. On the other hand, cow slaughter should be lifted for the greater interest of the poor people of India. Cruelty to animals should be banned immediately but not slaughtering of cows. Not only does the prohibition on cow slaughter add insult to injury in the lives of the poor people of our country but it also jeopardizes the lives of the cows that can no longer produce milk. What needs to be done is to build slaughterhouses where animals can be slaughtered away from public glare and in a less painful way. It is time to protect animals from their being subjected to abject cruelty in the name of the traditional sports like Jailkattu (bull taming) or Dhiro (bull fight). Cruelty to animals whether it has been practiced in the name of traditional sports, callous practices or for fulfilling sadistic pleasures should, immediately, be banished whereas killing them for food or for saving human beings from their attack must not be prohibited. The former ban is necessary for the survival of humanity and the latter act is a compulsion for the survival of human beings.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,

Kolkata

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