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Region needs nuanced development


At least the minister felt the need to uplift the economic condition of the region when he expressed his concern about the exodus of North-eastern youths in search of quality education and livelihood, during the inauguration of the first North East Investors’ Summit here in Shillong. It is true that with the exception of Manipur, the socio-political unrest has never been the reason for mass exodus from Northeast. Thus fittingly, in 2015 the minister talked about empowerment of the north-eastern youths for checking the mass exodus, and this time around the government’s solution is anchored in the economic upliftment via promotion of textile entrepreneurship.

 In and through the decades there have been all round efforts by successive governments to bring the region to the mainstream of developmental progress. We have the IIT and IIM in an educational infrastructure that’s getting better; there are policies aiming at augmenting border trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh; we have the hydrocarbon industry and so on. Undoubtedly, the government has been transferring resources to North-east, but the resource mobilization and investment policies have seldom resonated well with the structural specificities of the region. In fact many policies were framed with a colossal neglect of the tribal aspiration and empowerment. Without a proper support system, young entrepreneurship in the region would perish as soon as it is born. The textile project then might end up benefiting only a small section of the already established business men and women. Thus if one of the government’s intentions is to help in the budding of young entrepreneurs in the region, then empowerment of the youth, and support system should.

Yours etc.,

T Fightingstar L Mawlong,

Via email

Sexual harassment


This refers to your report “Woman alleges harassment by top Govt officials” (ST- Jan 31, 2017). We are living in a country which is witness to innumerable incidents of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that has long been ignored and treated with complacency. Although it is heartening to see women making stupendous progress in almost every sphere of activity, one cannot be oblivious to the fact that they continue to be victims of violence of different hues. Every human being has the right to live with dignity and respect. It is noticed that the prevalence of crimes against women in a certain place depends to a large extent on the social ambience of that place. Efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women should have high priority by way of implementing various measures. The punishment for battering, molestation, sexual molestation and unlawful threat must be increased. Projects must be launched for a better cooperation between the police, the social services and other relevant parties. Government should come out with much more essence and urgency to check the indecent behaviour against women folk and the need to chart out stern measures on the part of administrative authorities for curbing  such events. People also need to come out with determination against such evils and not be  moot spectators wherein a daughter, or a sister, or a wife, or a mother is crying for alms.
Yours etc.,
Vinod C. Dixit
Ahmedabad – 15

Another Republic Day!


On this Republic Day, we must answer if we are giving due honour to our Constitution. When the Education Minister of a State made cows discharge oxygen to treat our cough and cold, a question might be asked if he himself was discharging his Fundamental Duty “to develop the scientific temper”, as enshrined in Article 51A(h) of the Constitution of India. If not, then what about his oath ~ that he “will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India” ~ which he had taken as a minister for a State as per the Third Schedule (V) of our Constitution?

Yours etc.,

Sujit De, Kolkata

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