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Kudos to those who kept the peace!

Editor,

The recent Durga Puja and NH7 Weekender Musical event at Umroi has seen the changing mood of people towards positive fun and enjoyment. The enthusiasm of the crowd at the NH7 was infectious. There were people from different parts of the country who attended the programme, and happily returned home. Someone was heard saying, “Coming here is like going abroad. The function was very well managed and the law and order machinery including the traffic police did their work with aplomb. Cleanliness was maintained around the venues. Shillong is becoming a happening city and set to attain its past glory.”

I thought this must be conveyed to all those who have invested their time and energy in the recent mega public events.

It is not easy to control and host functions like Puja and the mega event at Umroi. We want to congratulate the officers, people and village heads who all were involved in the function.

Yours etc.,

Ajay Kumar Gupta,

Via email

Noisy religion

Editor,

Religion has become louder and louder over the ages. Be it Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and what have we in this world of ours today. One wonders what the need of this sound is. Of late there are opinions in this column regarding the Durga Puja pandals, post puja events with Bollywood numbers, traffic congestion and rest of it. While agreeing that religion is a private affair with regard to the letters by NR Pyngrope and column by Paramjit Bakhshi (both ST, Oct 25, 2016) I am not for this high decibel show and traffic. It has been seen that the drum beating of the Islamic festival of Muharram is a daily affair in Jhalupara area of the city. Many dub this place as a mini Pakistan. However, regarding the pandals which are causing difficulties in movement of traffic and people, it cannot be blamed on the puja committees alone without knowing the essence of this festival. These are not feasts or marriage pandals that they will be removed immediately after the festival. It is believed that the spirit of the departing goddess lives on for days and so the pandals, as can be seen everywhere, is dismantled gradually. But if pandals are causing inconveniences to traffic and people then so does the demise of tribal people here whose departure results in immediate blockade of roads and erection of tents for grievers to mourn the occasion. This is a common sight here which cannot go unnoticed. Does this not also invite the saying here, “Give them an inch and they take a mile?” If festival is causing inconveniences so does death. One is now living in trepidation with the incoming festival of Christmas. All localities will see temporary erection of pandals on roadsides and marketplaces with some larynx popping gospeller and his/her companion translator. I want to ask under what law this fortnight long act before Dec 25 every year is allowed in use of public roads for religious activities while blocking traffic, public movement, emergency services and public tranquillity? I want to ask here Jesus, Allah, Bhagwan, Wahe Guru and the plethora all of whom I cannot name, are you all deaf that your propagators have to shout from roadsides, pandals and beat drums relentlessly without any rhyme or reason?

Yours etc.

PK Dwivedi

Shillong – 1

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