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Civil disobedience in Mawblei

Editor,

Apropos the news, “Illegal sale of liquor rampant in Mawblei” (ST, 03 Nov, 2016) read with the photo titled “Illicit liquor seized” (ST, 04 Nov, 2016), police should swing into real action and stop this illegal practice once and for all. The  photograph that appeared on Page 10 (Nov,4 2016) where it is mentioned that police has seized and stopped all illegal sellers is balderdash since there are numerous bootleggers selling illicit liquor in Polo and Nongmynsong areas and police are in the know of this. If there was a real crackdown how are these bootleggers still selling liquor under the very nose of the law? The number of drunken people and straying into vehicles in the Madanrting – Mawblei area is perhaps not even seen in Iewduh now. This sight, which was earlier ubiquitous in Iewduh, has now been replaced by Mawblei. It is said that after the crackdown on liquor outlets in the city, open sale has increased manifold and Mawblei is a prime example in this regard. That there is a tacit support of the police, dorbar and perhaps the district administration can be easily gauged by their joint inaction in addressing this menace that is rocking the society. According to sources one can get liquor there till midnight. It is indeed ironic that liquor is so easily available whereas one struggles to get their quota of cylinders from the city’s gas agencies, sugar, kerosene from the fair price shops. It is time for the authorities to pull up their socks and go all out after these bootleggers.

It is learnt that the East Khasi Hills DC enquired from the affected residents when they went complaining to him as to what is the Dorbar Shnong, Rangbah Shnong, Rangbah Dong of that area doing. He even hinted that if there is no support of the Dorbar Shnong such a trade cannot flourish in clear violation of the law. The DC is correct since illicit liquor trade could not have survived without the patronage o0f the Dorbar Shnong.

The “civil disobedience movement” by the hawkers at the footpath of the Civil Hospital junction in town is now a thing of the past in the aftermath of the Meghalaya High Court order but a similar disobedience is seen in Mawblei now. Perhaps the people of Mawblei are correct in demanding the removal of the OC of Madanrting PS since he is found wanting in the discharge of his duty. But the big fish is the local Rangbah Shnong under whose patronage everything illegal is  flourishing. The local Dorbar Shnong perhaps found no better business than this after they were robbed of their power to issue NOC by the Meghalaya High Court. Now the question is if the High Court has to intervene into everything then are we not heading towards a totalitarian regime here?

Yours etc.

PK Dwivedi

Shillong – 1

Bank refuses to accept old notes

Editor,
On the November 19, 2016, I was depositing money to pay my college fees for Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) at Federal bank, Police Bazar branch. To my surprise the bank refused to accept the old 500 rupee notes.  I was compelled to go to other banks to get them  exchanged in order to pay my fees. I want to get clarification from the said bank as to why these old notes cannot be accepted when the deadline is up to December 2016
Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

 One Nation, One Election

Editor,
“One Nation, One Election” can be understood as aiming towards solving the problems that come with frequent elections. Elections in India are a big-budget exercise. Expenditure can be reduced by conducting simultaneous elections. Political parties that are stuck in a ‘constant campaign mode’ for various state elections can concentrate on governance and administration instead of political campaigns throughout the year. The idea of simultaneous elections comes with many challenges especially in a large country like India. The issue of logistics and requirement of security personnel, election and administrative officials needs to be considered. There is a dearth of security and administrative officials to conduct ‘simultaneous free and fair elections’ throughout the country at one go. It can be implemented with a few modifications that are suitable to our democratic environment. Let us unitedly, with the consent of all political parties and the citizens fight for  “One Nation, One Election” so as to wipe out the ballooning expenditure involved in security, administrative and logistics for conducting such polls. But, like GST, this matter also needs political consensus, as it would involve ‘constitutional amendments’ to get the legislation passed.  If PM Modi succeeds in evolving a consensus to make simultaneous elections a reality, he would end up making a significant contribution towards reforming Indian democracy for good. Even if simultaneous elections are not possible, steps should be taken to reduce the frequency of elections by empowering the EC, and effecting wide reforms in the electoral process by curbing the role of money power.
Yours etc.,
Akash Kumar,

Jagraon, Punjab

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