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On another surgical strike

The surgical strike led by the government on black money is a bitter move for the overwhelmingly and powerfully rich, and the fraudsters. Hence we will witness endless ifs and buts on this issue from them saying why the Modi move is bad.  But for a common average layman, what this strike does is that we don’t possess any more legal hard cash in hand for daily usage but again since hospitals, pharmacies, petrol pumps are exempted. I find it’s alright to make some sacrifices now for a better future. It’s a blessing in disguise because I’m not going to spend any money for a day or two. I hardly have one thousand in my wallet daily and my bank balance account barely lasts twenty days from the date of credit thanks to the endless recovery of countless loans. We don’t make too much hue and cry over this issue but we really do feel for people possessing lakhs and crores of rupees because they’ll have so much work and thinking to do and also hope to be able to sleep peacefully. There’s a proverb which says “Suk kiba duk” (blessed are the poor) and this is most appropriate at this juncture. Enough said, I take this opportunity once more to thank the Almighty God for providing what’s basic to me and I pray that may He grant us a healthy life which is the utmost wish one would ever wish for in his/her entire life.
Yours etc.,
D. Warshong,

Via email

Good move by Modi

This refers to your editorial “Two significant events” (ST- Nov 10, 2016). The government’s decision to declare Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupee notes as illegal has really evoked positive response from economists and industrialists. This is the first time in Indian politics that PM Modi has showed actual leadership qualities, which is fruitful for every non-corrupt individual. No doubt the common man would be troubled by this decision but soon everything will be alright. It is good that the PM without giving any indication for such a drastic move carried out a surgical strike and parties who thrive on black money are dumb founded. The Congress party is the worst affected and therefore crying foul and creating panic. The PM has been slowly taking action by bringing maximum people in the banking fold. Most of the real estate transactions in the country are done using unaccounted cash. When, black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty, steps like this will indeed strengthen India’s economy and democracy despite some short term dislocations that are inevitable, and more must follow for ferreting out undeclared wealth stored in other ways. People who have amassed cash illegally in large quantities will find their business terminated suddenly. Government needs to introduce laws where transactions and service payment above a certain amount must be made accountable.
Yours etc.,
Vinod C. Dixit
Ahmedabad – 15

Don’t belittle if unaware


I am not sure whether Allah, Jesus, Bhagwan, Wahey Guru and plethora of other gods will ever reply to the petition of PK Dwivedi’s letter “Noisy religion” that appeared in this section on Oct 26, 2016 but I am flabbergasted by the letter, “Outsiders and their opinions” of one Babet Sten, (ST Nov 10, 2016). I would not have been so surprised had Sten taken a stand against her own religion, presuming that she is a Christian, in the letter instead of her  take on Islam on humanitarian grounds. I have profound respect for all religions but I want to tell Sten not to belittle the comments on the Jhalupara issue if she isn’t aware about this place. All Muslims residing there have not arrived in the 70s rather there are numerous newer ones. In fact the city’s youth vendors are mostly from that area, to name a few. So don’t try to show as if you know much about this place by default of being a local while working from the national capital. I can’t say whether one should dub it mini Pakistan or East Pakistan but there has been undoubtedly a spurt in Muslim population there over the years, apart from the countable few, that certainly raises more than just one’s eyebrows. And one can see that this rise has increased significantly in the last few years Also, take this outsider syndrome out your head since it is putting our own community in a very bad light. Are you not an outsider in the national capital, who despite her education and rest of it, has been unable to come out of the “outside-inside” syndrome. We tribals from Meghalaya are not good at acknowledging others, as there is something that holds us back, but I must say here PK Dwivedi has the tone and tenor with guts to say it upright and that matters most. Keep writing and tell the truth, no matter how harsh it is.

Yours etc.
A Lyngdoh
Shillong- 4

The majority-minority conundrum

Your editorial, “Tarred with the same brush” (ST, November 9, 2016), is a reminder of the danger of majoritarianism. Sri Aurobindo once commented, “The weakness of democracy is that its rule is based on majority consent, so there will always be a minority that is not satisfied with the condition of things. And if the minority loses the hope of becoming the majority it may resort to force”. We are witnessing the use of such force as the opposition parties are not allowed the space for nurturing that hope. The juggernaut of majoritarianism is trampling on the flowers of democracy.
Thanking you,
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,

Overpriced destination


After going through a Facebook page ‘Umngot River Shnongpdeng Spots’, my friends and I finally decided to visit Shnongpdeng in Meghalaya. It was indeed a very beautiful village by the banks of the river Umngot near the Indo Bangla border. The village is very clean and the river is crystal clear which leaves us awestruck. Moreover the locals are Letters to the Editor must have the full name, address and contact number of the writer, even if they are sent by email. Only letters with the requisite details will be published. friendly. However there is one thing which irks us and other tourists about this place. Everything is overpriced and expensive. For instance a bottle of mineral water with an MRP of Rs 20 is sold for Rs 40. Potato chips packet with an MRP of Rs 10 is sold for Rs 20. Everything is sold at double the MRP! Isn’t this a daylight robbery?. We can understand locals selling a packet of potato chips packets whose MRP is Rs 10 @ Rs 12 and thereby earn some profit but to increase the price by 100% of the MRP is no longer profit but exploitation. We have visited many places in Meghalaya like Mawlynnong, Sohra etc., but this is the only place which has over-charged its visitors. We have also seen the local Dorbar put up a Do’s and Don’ts signboard for tourists. Perhaps they should also put up a Do’s and Don’ts for the locals not to exploit tourists. Through your esteemed paper we request the local Dorbar, the Tourism Department and the Deputy Commissioner to apprise the locals of this illegal trade and put an end to it immediately otherwise students or middle-class citizens like us will not be able to afford to visit this ‘Beautiful Place’. Yours etc.,

Rajiv Saikia

Basistha Nagar,


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