Cash or cashless in hallowed halls of learning



Our PM wants cashless, our schools want cash and parents are literally cash…less!! Very soon there will be  lines to pay fees and to collect “hampers” of knowledge from schools (text books, exercise books, plastic coated covers, stationery, bags… ) all branded – in exchange for crisp cash  in denominations of new  500, 2000 notes multiplied by digits ranging from 2 to 8 (old 500 and 1000 denominations strictly not allowed, in keeping with the zero tolerance policy for black money of the Government!) The full “hamper” must be collected – no reusing of previous years unused exercise books or use of second hand books! These terms are strictly for celebration of “World Environment Day”!  Is there another way to do this or is it business as usual? School Managements, this is an earnest appeal. We parents are your loyal, silent, regular clients between (1-15) years, some for a few more years if the “no detention” policy is revoked.. we all know that there is an easier way!! Can you give us options please?  Congratulations to those schools/colleges who have already adopted cashless payments for ALL charges.

Yours etc.,

Carmo Noronha

Via email

BJP’s Lotus in Meghalaya


The Lotus of BJP in Meghalaya, was planted in 1991 by the then head Mali of Meghalaya BJP, Mr. Moina Sing Phyllut. He was assisted by many others. Like any other political party in Meghalaya, the BJP went through ups and downs and today it is somewhat at the crossroads.

This party has had seven Presidents including the present one. The first was Moina Sing Phyllut, followed by Aiontis Roy Kharphuli, Dr. W.Kharshiïing, A.L Hek, H.S. Syiemlieh, Khlur Sing Lyngdoh, and Shibun Lyngdoh. The BJP first contested the Meghalaya general elections in 1998 and bagged three seats with N.N Simchang from Dalu, T.H. Rangad from Laban and A.L.Hek from Pynthorumkhrah. In 2003 T.H. Rangad and A.L. Hek returned but Simchang lost. Mr. Rangad expired in 2003 July 4 and his seat was replaced by Jopsibon Phanbuh the same year. In 2008 only Mr. Hek returned and in 2009 he went over to the Congress, leaving the BJP without any public representative.

Since then the party was orphaned but somehow its state leaders carried the flag of the party forwards through difficult times. It received some booster in the last general elections to the Lok Sabha when its candidate to the 1-Shillong Parliamentary constituency, Shibun Lyngdoh, managed to poll nearly one lakh odd popular votes. Ultimately, he was made the Ad-hoc President of Meghalaya BJP following a reshuffle in the party organisation. However, this reshuffle was just an ad-hoc arrangement until state level elections of the party are held. Shibun went around the state to organise the party but the work is far from over because many districts and constituency mandals are yet to be fully established.

Pending the establishment of fully organised units in different districts and constituency   Mandals, which will take more than five years, the party is ill prepared for the 2018 state general elections scheduled for early February of that year. Moreover, the party, except for Shibun Lyngdoh who is the president, are nowhere near the status of Simchang, Hek and Rangad and unless the party gets into its fold people of calibre in all respects, it would be foolhardy to dream of getting even few MLAs to share power in 2018 with some regional parties.

However, if the state BJP leaders can play politics well, the party might get some MLAs – one or two in Jaiñtia Hills, the same number in Garo Hills and perhaps in Shillong. But many of the present leaders in the state and district level need to be changed immediately. In fact. the Party has been infiltrated by former Congress and other members of other political parties whose credentials require to be screened meticulously. If not screened properly they may become a  liability to the party. Many of them may not know anything about the aims, objectives, ideology and programmes of the Party The BJP leaders of North East and especially those in-charge of Meghalaya and especially the central BJP need to go in-depth about party organisation in Meghalaya and who to put in-charge of party affairs in the State if it wants to ensure the ouster of the Congress and also a slow but sure penetration into Meghalaya. Without good leadership and unit based organisations, the party should not dream of coming into power in 2018. Even for the Congress it took about 25-26 years to be accepted by the grass-roots voters in Meghalaya. The people here are regional minded but regional parties do not come to power here because they are not cadre based parties and are stabbing each in the back.

Yours etc.,

Philip Marweiñ,


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