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True Independence


15th August 1947 marks the beginning of a ‘new happy era’ and end of British Rule in India. Undoubtedly, the country became a free and independent nation yet we still are slaves to oppression, poverty and exploitation especially of women and children.

The country still bears the brunt of hate and unrest. We all are familiar with the saying “Unity is strength” and that love is the fruit of peace and happiness. This is what the country needs – Peace, Harmony and Unity are the key ingredients for the country to prosper. If we citizens respect each other and remember that we have fundamental rights along with fundamental duties, the country will be peaceful and more prosperous. Sadly when we look around us, it appears that all the rights & duties are only in black & white as nobody seems to care for or respect anybody’s rights. Yes, we are happy and proud at having got independence but it’s time that we spread awareness amongst all citizens about true independence especially to our youth.

We can motivate and guide them to grow to be good and responsible citizens. Institutions may perhaps organize programmes on Independence Day not just to commemorate the occasion with the usual flag hoisting and parade but with an aim to enlighten the children about the mission, vision of the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for their love of the country and for our freedom.

 It must be made mandatory for all students to attend such programmes so as to inculcate in them the spirit of patriotism. Irrespective of gender, caste, creed or religion, let us take pride to be Indians and show the world that we are one nation. Everybody talks about wanting change and progress. We must remember that ‘we’ are the ‘change’.

We need to change our habits just as Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam rightly said “But you can change your habit. If you can change your habit, you can change your future.” We need to stop being narrow minded and communal. Let us broaden our minds and perspectives for our country to progress and prosper. Light up the spirit of oneness and mutual respect for each other which is the need of the hour. Let us all open up our minds and hearts to make a better and shining India. Long live India. Jai Hind!

Yours etc.,

Phyllis Rani,

Shillong – 4

Clamour for development!


Apropos the news item, “Rongjeng Body demands development from CM” (ST July 25, 2017), first of all, I must congratulate the Rongjeng Area Citizens’ Forum for asserting itself by coming forward to demand development packages from the Chief Minister not only for Rongjeng village itself but for the whole Rongjeng Constituency. Other citizens’ bodies of Garo Hills’ villages and constituencies should have been very assertive, aggressive and even sometimes belligerent some 45 years ago in order to secure their rights to development of their respective areas, since much money has been spent from the public exchequer for the development Garo Hills and the whole state.

The main reason for the germination and growth of underground outfits (elements) in the Garo Hills is because of the lack of development and its complete absence especially in nearly all pockets of Garo Hills except Ampati, the favoured constituency. In fact, many of the MLAs from that region of Meghalaya spend most of their time elsewhere than in their respective constituencies. It is a fact that proper attention was not given by majority of MLAs from Garo Hills to their respective Assembly segments, hence the underdevelopment of Garo Hills.

This does not mean that the MLAs from Khasi and Jaintia Hills are more caring of their constituencies than their counterparts from Garo Hills. Most MLA representing the rural constituencies live in the capital city and are only infrequent visitors to their constituencies. Now, what the Rongjeng Citizens’ Forum should have done was to put pressure on the local MLA and MDCs to bring about development in their area and if they fail to do so then they have ample option to forget them in the upcoming general election which is just six months away.

 This also applies to other constituencies of Garo Hills and Khasi-Jaintia Hills. Of course, demanding development package from the CM is legitimate as he is more powerful as the Chief Executive of the State. But the sole responsibility for the development of the constituency of Rongjeng rests with the local MLA with the co-operation of the people there.

 I have travelled extensively in Garo Hills and have many friends there and I know for a fact that major parts of Garo Hills are still undeveloped despite producing great Chief Ministers like Capt. W.A Sangma, Purno Sangma, Mukul Sangma, many Ministers and officers whose terms lasted for many years. It is a wonder why Garo Hills is still lagging behind. However, Garo Hills has other forte and it will not be a surprise that very soon it will beat the KhasiJaintia Hills in many sectors of the economy. Those key areas are that (a) they are united (b) they know a leader when they see one and they follow him.

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

 Via email

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