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Whats in store for Meghalaya.

Editor,

The 2018 Assembly elections are fast approaching and arrangements to meet this political event are beginning, for good or for worse, to take shape. Political alignments; realignments; handshakes closely followed by backstabs; FIRs and counter FIRs; accusations and brickbats side by side with accolades and rave reviews are now the order of the day. In the shadows, serious side events, deliberations and discussions are also taking place usually illustrated by hectic and desperate manoeuvrings for pocket constituencies; applications for party tickets; by promises and denials for the same. In Meghalaya all the above are usually decided by a common flavour. A common denominator called money!

Money decides who is given a ticket and who will contest from where. Availability of lush funds determines the type and scale of the campaign for each candidate. The enthusiasm of party workers and the zeal of campaign volunteers all depend on how much one is capable of paying for such services. Money spent on each vote finally decides the outcome of the polls. Most important, the ability of a person to financially support the campaign of any candidate, makes such a person a king maker. Business men in the past use to finance politicians to be reciprocated with political patronage for such electoral philanthropy. That is until business men decided to contest elections themselves. Exit the political statesman. Enter the political businessman. Welcome Money – the game changer!

A strong  political rumour is currently circulating. It involves four brothers, two on each side. On one side are two siblings, educated, suave and articulate, with a lot of political goodwill on their side from their respective community. On the other side are the next two brothers, filthy rich, boorish, uncouth and arrogant to boot. They have no goodwill except that they are able to buy their way through. They owe their political clout because of the money they could throw around. For them political power is simply a platform  for  promotion of their business interests. Now there has been a tie up between the two sets of brothers. The rich guys are investing 40 crores in 20 constituencies for 20 candidates in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills for a particular party. For this act of patronage one of the rich brothers, barely educated, has been promised the CMs chair.

This move in turn will be supported by a national party with aspirations for a toe hold in these hills . The assurance of massive future fund flow to the state has been given.  The moves have nothing to do with the development of Meghalaya and its people. The intention is to grab power to promote self interest. The objective is very simple. The objective is to loot the state, from a position of power, of its resources for the next five years. If there is any truth in the above rumours, then Meghalaya is in for big big trouble. Drastic changes will take place, but in the end we all get the leaders and the Govt we deserve. If the electorate will vote for money it might just end up with a change for the worse.

Yours etc.,  

SN Lyngdoh,

Via email

He came, he sang, and walked off on time

Editor,

Bihu is a means of entertainment through music and dance and undoubtedly is the cultural lifeline of the Assamese. The agrarian festival is today being hijacked by the urban community. Now they have begun to organize Bihu on a large scale calling it ‘Stage Bihu’. But here again the question arises; are we celebrating the festival in the right spirit?  The tussle between the organisers and the artistes is the order of the day. Concerned citizens often complain of late night celebration and the loud decibel which crosses the threshold. Although the month long celebration is famous for mass audience, there are people who feel uncomfortable on the other side of the fence. We support a healthy culture that recognizes and values communities. Untoward incidents in the aftermath of late night events are a cause of concern. We live in a civilized society and should do things in the right way and enjoy a festival by connecting people in the right manner. Do we follow the Supreme Court order that decibel levels must be reduced to 45 dB after 10 pm?  There is no ethics in spending a night out by disturbing others. Everybody is entitled to enjoy their natural right of sleeping in a peaceful atmosphere.  The Garba – the nine day festival in Mumbai, is allowed to play the loudspeakers for just two days only up to 10 pm with a limit of 55 dB. Even small organisers that don’t use loudspeakers are prohibited to stay open until midnight. Justin Bieber, the Canadian singer came; he sang and he wound up the show on time in Mumbai recently. No matter how much his crazy fans insisted that he sing another hit, Bieber refused. He had a Purpose and sang for a Purpose and walked off the stage sharp at  9.50 pm.

Yours etc.,

Kamal Baruah,

Via email 

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