Religion a private affair



Normally I am not given to carping unnecessarily but as a resident of Umpling I have been subjected to arbitrary diversion of traffic from the RR Colony, at timings chosen by the residents because of their non-stop celebrations. I wish to ask under what law is the use of public roads allowed for religious activities and who gives the right to one religious group to block roads for days on account of their religious ceremonies?  This is exactly what the saying, “Give them an inch and they take a mile,” means. People try and make adjustments during Durga Puja out of respect for religious sentiments. That does not mean that dismantling the set up should take another week with some more celebrations in tow which are not exactly religious. On Sunday night the sound system that beat all decibels including that stipulated by the Supreme Court was violated and  Bollywood songs were belted out from the place where just days ago the goddess Durga had been revered. Surprisingly there are no policemen in the area to check this violation of public order. Will the OC of Rynjah Police Station pay a visit to places under his jurisdiction or will he only spend his time doing paper work inside his office?

Yours etc.,

NR Pyngrope,

Via email

Plight of rag-pickers

Millions of our brothers and sisters are engaged in rag picking. They are doing great service to the cause of India’s garbage disposal and world’s environment, risking their own lives. They dispose of the garbage in the most scientific way by taking the recyclable materials from the garbage to where it can be recycled. Without their service, those materials would have been burnt contributing air pollution and temperature to our environment. Given they collect recyclable garbage all around, their service also help stop at least a part of the scattered garbage from going into our drains, water bodies and soil. Ironically, those rag-pickers in their unclean appearances and facing the threat of allergy, skin rashes, tuberculosis and several other infections are trying their best to make India clean. Indeed, they prick our conscience. They should be rewarded for their service. Instead of the prevalent practice of costly celebrity- photo- session of cleaning some “clean garbage”, adult rag-pickers should be employed to help Swachh Bharat Abihiyan (SBA) to have more teeth. The need of the hour is to entrust local self governments to register all adult rag-pickers in their respective areas and make them engage in garbage recycling, compost creation and management. Corporations, municipalities and panchayats are to provide each adult rag-picker under their jurisdiction with an identity card, a uniform, a sack and a stick (to shoo away street dogs and to rummage through a garbage). They should also be given some money, food, soap, hand – gloves and pollution – masks every week. These will give them recognition, prestige and protection which they really deserve and need very badly. It will cause more recycling, more compost creation and less burning. Not only does it help to scientifically manage our garbage but also check air pollution and global warming into the bargain. Moreover, better look rag-pickers with clean uniform and sack will makeover to some extent the appearance of our country. There is no question of disturbing the exclusive job of the cleaning staff to dispose of the non-recyclable garbage. As for child rag-pickers, a government is not supposed to turn a blind eye to such colossal wastage of human potential. Child rag-pickers must be attracted to school with food package and other incentives apart from midday meal.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,

Only a wrongdoer apologizes


Apropos the letter to the editor by the principal, Shillong Public School, (ST Oct 22, 2016) who defended his school and blamed a section of media for going overboard in tarnishing his reputation and that of his teachers, it was stated that the State Commission on Protection of Child Rights would deliver the final verdict and it is not right to pass any judgment on the matter. However, your paper also reported that the parents have accepted the apology of the principal. That the parents of the child who faced corporal punishment at Shillong Public School have accepted the apology of the principal and appreciated such move, now raises the question that if the school and its principal were not guilty then why apologize? The matter is very confusing and we the general public are eager to know what exactly has taken place because the incident pertains to corporal punishment meted out to children and every parent is very concerned about their child’s welfare in the school.

Yours etc.,

Kamal Khongrymmai


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