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Modi-fied India

Editor,

For almost a month now since 8th November, all news items are on demonetization drive of the BJP Government championed by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He has called it a surgical strike against black money. Indeed it is a preemptive strike that might have taken many black money hoarders by surprise. However, as the situation has unfolded now, it seems like the culprits had their way out but it is the simple, honest citizen who is suffering. As of now over 70 innocent persons have become victims of this drastic measure. More deaths will occur either due to long hours in the queue or because of hunger due to unavailability of money. What is more mysterious is the government’s quick suppression of the 1000 and 500 currencies and the issuing of a higher denomination of 2000 notes which has created more transactional problems for the public. No shopkeeper accepts a 2000 note because he does not have change for that. By suppressing the lower denomination of 500 rupees, more inconvenience has been created since the new 500 notes have not even arrived in many parts of India. What is delaying the issuance of the 500 notes is another mystery. It looks like the government is playing games with the lives of millions of innocent people. Calling it a strike at the heart of the terrorists has become a joke, because as the news report shows, terrorists have already acquired the new currencies in their collection. Claiming it to be a war on black money also seems like a cruel joke because many black money hoarders have already had a preemptive solution. If reports are true, many of the big- moneyed persons have already been informed about the move and so they have already converted their black money into white.

The government is guilty of two crimes: first, the death of so many innocent persons who even though had their legitimate and hard earned money, have been robbed of their earnings and even their lives; secondly, the crime of wasting thousands of working hours daily which a poor country like ours cannot afford to do. People in the west are laughing at us to see long queues of people lining up daily in front of banks and ATMs as if we do not have any work to do. Mr. Modi’s statement that demonetization is causing sleepless nights to culprits, is the most insensitive statement ever made, because it is the poor people who are really losing their sleep since they have to think about what to eat the next day, how to buy medicines and how to pay their children’s school fees. As I write this, I can imagine how many poor people especially in rural India, are silent and voiceless victims of this Tughlaq-like law. One Chinese paper has remarked that if such demonetization were enacted in China there would be a revolution. But thank God, Indians are peaceful and tolerant by nature. But it is not morally justified for someone to take advantage of the goodness of people. I am really surprised to see how most media channels seem to be on the side of the oppressor than of the oppressed. The arrogance with which Mr Modi and the BJP government are going about by not caring a hoot for the criticism just shows how India is gradually slipping away from democracy into an unofficial autocracy.

Yours etc.,

  1. Mawrie

Via email

Unfair criticism of St Rose School

Editor,

St. Rose School is my alma mater and I am proud of its progress over the years. Hence I am  deeply offended by the way the School has been painted through letters to the editor time and again. As someone whose ward is also a student in the School I do not hesitate to say that our human wants are unlimited. We always seek for more than what can be provided to us but as someone who is seriously determined to see their children prosper I don’t subcribe to this  method of exposing and disgracing the very school that nurtures your kids without actually negotiating or even learning the full truth before making such serious allegations. Not everything is always the best in St. Rose School but as important stakeholders it is our responsibility to positively contribute to making this very old school of ours shine like any good school in Meghalaya. Belittling the great efforts put in by every teacher in this school despite the desperately scarce resources and infrastructure that is common to all non-urban, non-profit making school is nothing but an effort to destroy the hard, surviving education network that actually sustains the under-privileged.
I contest the idea of dismal progress as indicated in the letter because I have the conviction today to stress that my ward studying there since class IX is doing wonderfully well in every aspect as compared to the stress she could barely sustain while she was in another city-based school. Student’s progress is therefore a matter of perspective. Not everyone who is very good in Grammar or let’s say very fluent in English will necessarily always excel or have the kind of confidence that is otherwise specially endowed to others along with separate talents that can make them prosper. Being a teacher myself I believe the best way to impart education at this historical juncture is to appreciate and nurture the best that students have in them rather than consistently mainstreaming them to numbers and marks. Particularly while dealing with weaker students, I believe acknowledging and exposing their talents is the best way to boost their confidence in other spheres as well.
Since not all parents of St. Rose School students have the commitment as the writer of the letter and which is reflected by their attendance in the PTA meetings and result day, I would like to stress that I have full faith in the teachers for the selection of candidates for SSLC exams which is also the resolution of the last PTA meeting.
While endorsing the idea of enhancing the space for interaction with parents to air their complaints, I also wish parents become more responsible in ensuring that such destructive methods are avoided in the future and try instead to resort to more constructive contributions towards the school’s development. Finally, St. Rose is a wonderful institution which has a long history of producing great personalities and alumni who are away from the limelight. I am sure the corrective measures suggested by the writer is an effort to collaborate in the progress of the School.

Yours etc.,
M. Kharbithai
Alumnus, St. Rose School

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