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Need to value our culture


 The Indian Constitution provides to every citizens of India the Right to Equality (Art:14-18), where there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. The right of an Indian citizen to enter any public and private place (with permission) is one of the fundamental rights, This right is equally applicable to anyone and everyone in the country as a whole. When we look at the Khasi society and the state as a whole, we realise that we are isolated from the rest of India. We are not known to many people in this country leave alone our traditional attires. Sad to say that most Indians in the mainland have a very poor knowledge about the Indian map and its inhabitants.

Having said that racial discrimination is unacceptable in a country like India where rights have been bestowed on every citizen. We are all equal by birth and by law. Let alone kicking a person out of any place (club or otherwise) due to the traditional attire, every individual has a right to wear the clothes he or she is comfortable in. And why should a person be called a “maid” outside her work place? Does any person become a maid only because of her dress? What about a maid wearing a foreign attire? Where was it mentioned that a maid cannot enter a club or restaurant or to dress according to her choice? Nobody holds the right to look down at another’s profession and nobody is supposed to consider others as inferior or superior! This is sheer egotism and we say SHAME to that!

If India is a democratic country, then why does there  exist such discrimination? The identity of the people from north-eastern states is being projected wrongly and negatively to an extent that it amounts to racial discrimination. India’s custom, culture and traditional attire complete its scenic beauty. Therefore every Indian is supposed to respect and recognize each and every culture in India.

On the other hand, it is most upsetting that most of the north-eastern people particularly youth in Meghalaya are proud to adopt foreign lifestyles rather than valuing their own culture and traditions, leave aside wearing their traditional attire. Now whom should we blame? People for not respecting and knowing our tradition? Or ourselves for not being able to promote our own language, culture and traditions? This attitude has put our culture and tradition at stake and could lead to their extinction.

Yours etc.,

B.L. Nonglait, K. Nongrum

& M. Kharsyntiew


A proper apology


Like any other Khasi, I share the same sense of pain, anger, disappointment, outrage at what happened to Kong Tailin Lyngdoh who became a victim of discrimination at Delhi Golf Club. At the same time I am grateful to Dr. Nivedita Barthakur for standing up for her. As Khasis we need to learn from this. I would like to share an incident in the Bible (Acts 16: 19-40) in which Apostle Paul and his colleague Silas were arrested for preaching the Good News. They were dragged into the market place before the authorities. People accused them for teaching a custom which was not lawful. Then the multitude rose up together against them and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods and thrown into prison. While they were in prison praying, something supernatural happened. There was a great earthquake which shook the foundations of the prison. Immediately all the doors were opened; everyone’s chains were loosened. The keeper of the prison awaking from sleep thought that the prisoner had fled, and was about to kill himself when Apostle Paul with a loud voice said, “Do not harm yourself” for we are all here. So the keeper of the prison reported the matter to the magistrates, having heard of all that was happened. They quietly sent the officers saying let those men go.  But Apostle Paul said to them, “You have beaten us up in public and thrown us in prison and now you want to let us go secretly? No Indeed! They made a public spectacle out of the our arrest and they will make a public spectacle out of our release too.” So, the Magistrates and the officers came and pleaded with them and brought them out.

In a similar fashion, AS AN APOLOGY, the Delhi Golf Club must invite Kong Tailin Lyngdoh and Dr. Nivedita Barthakur for lunch again, and the very officials who humiliated, insulted and asked Kong Tailin Lyngdoh to leave the restaurant on the Club premises because of her ‘Jainsem’ should serve them. They made a public spectacle out of her dress and looks; they should also make their apology a public spectacle in order to redeem her self- respect. To me this is a true gesture of Apology.

Yours etc.,

Tirot S Suchiang,



India must address human trafficking

This is in response to Ibu Sanjeeb Garg’s article, “Human trafficking in India” (ST, July 12, 2017). Human trafficking leads to slavery andslavery kills democracy. On being asked about the definition of democracy, Abraham Lincoln had said, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” It is an irony that India being the largest democracy of the world has the highest number of slaves. According to Global Slavery Index 2016, India has the highest absolute numbers of people trapped in slavery with 18.35 million slaves.
We should all take the pledge of not visiting those houses and shops where the working class is getting inhuman and degrading treatment or where children are employed as labour. On the other hand, the
government must stop the juggernaut of human trafficking and slavery before it tramples on the democratic flowers of equality, liberty, fraternity and justice.

Yours etc.,
Sujit De,

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