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  A graveyard of foundation stones ?  

Editor,

Does the recent spurt in the laying of foundation stones for different projects in the whole state of Meghalaya bring  us a sense of hope that “achhe din aane waale hain” (good days are coming) waiting for all of us in the near future or will they turn out to be just another gimmick to fool the electorate  before the elections? After the elections we just hope that we don’t  see a graveyard of foundation stones and cobwebs of unfulfilled promises. So cast your votes wisely fellow citizens if Meghalaya is to quickly catch up with the more developed states in India and the developed countries of  the world.

Yours etc., ,

Michael N. Syiem,

Via email      

 

Of Kangaroo courts and lynch mobs

Editor,

An old English proverb says,  “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.” It rips a very sinister design open. As the proverb suggests it contains two actions in it ~ first criminalize a person and then kill him. Generally, social terrorists adopt this design to vilify a victim. It helps those terrorists who are actually the real criminals, look like the champions of public morality. The modus operandi of this design can magically turn a helpless tribal widow into a witch ~ a lover into an intruder ~ a cobbler into a cattle smuggler ~ a person with non-Aryan features into a chinky drug pedlar/ cannibal etc. More often than not, the “hang him” cry gets replaced by “lynch him”. After the first act of giving the victim a bad name on the khap/ kangaroo stage, the mob starts lynching the victim on the pretext of witch-hunting, honour-killing, cow-saving or criminal-bashing.  

We know that kangaroo courts are sham legal proceedings which are set up to give the impression of a legal process. But the fact of the matter is that the verdict against the victim is decided in advance. Previously, the proceedings and execution of such courts were in the open. Now, such courts have got very sophisticated electronic avatars. Kangaroo trials can now go on under the guise of social media and television channels.

Sometimes, a victim has been targeted in social media. Then a khap – social – media starts trolling the Internet to hurl unprintable filthy language on that person against whatever she/ he posts. On the other hand, kangaroo trial on some news channels are getting good TRPs. We are witnessing such trials while enjoying our meal inside our homes or while searching the Internet before going to bed. Therefore, Kangaroo trials can no longer be called a street justice as it legitimately enters our living room thanks to – television – court and khap – social – media. However, it is true that though electronic media can malign a person it cannot murder her/ him on the spot. It can only give a person “a bad name” leaving the final job “to hang him” at the hands of a lynch mob that has been intoxicated by hate speeches. 

Now, what happened to Afrajul Khan, a poor labourer from West Bengal, was a case of combination of street and electronic trial. He was hacked to death and burnt in Rajasthan by a lone assassin who made inflammatory comments and footage of the murder was uploaded on social media. It has been reported that the killer gets influenced by hate speeches and messages on social media. So, this murder is actually a chain of events that originated in hate speeches in social media and then it snowballed to a street murder and then again it went back to social media for further snowballing. Generally, there is a common link between all the victims of hate crimes. They are poor people ~  labourers,  cobblers, a butchers,  hawkers et al are the most soft and easy prey of hate crimes.

The need of the hour is to impose a total ban on hate speeches. We must protect our poor brothers and sisters from becoming scapegoats at the hands of vested interests and some TRP hungry market players.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,

Via email

Wonderful tourist sites without signages

Editor,

It was a spur of the moment decision for four golfers to visit Cherrapunji on December 6, last.  Having an inkling of information about the existence of a waterfall near Mawmihthied and with a spirit of adventure, it,prompted Mr.A.Marbanianh, Mr.T.Zamal, Mr.MB.Phanbuh and self to motor from Mawmihthied south westwards for 12 km via Mawkma village to emerge at Dain Thlen and Sa-i-Mika. The road is a rocky divergent from the highway,but improves from Laitduh onwards. Midway,a group of 4 youths from Shilling had parked their Maruti beside the road and continued on foot to the waterfall. Observing the bad condition of the road, the golfers almost abandoned the trip, but decided, otherwise, and pushed on doggedly towards their objective, thanks to the dexterity of the man behind the Scorpio wheel (Mr.T.Zamal).

The waterfall is located amidst a vast tract of flat grassy land of outstanding beauty. From here, the view of Lum Symper of Weiloi and Lum Kyllang of Mairang is magnificent. Further ahead, at Laitduh is a splendid cluster of monoliths over a large area. The road finally gets better to Dain Thlen and Sa-I-Mika and onto Cherrapunji where the golfers practised on the Golf Driving Range, near Jiva Resort. The range was established by Mr Rudi Wariji, a retired IFS diplomat. A Golf course on the grass land would be ideal. It is recommended that tourists visit the waterfall via Sa-I-Mika a distance of 5Km only, instead of the difficult route taken by the golfers. Two other spots of tourist interest are the century old stone motorable bridge at Mawkdok and the famous bridle path starting from Lad Mawphlang to Mawphlang. However signboards would be necessary to pin point these sites           

Yours etc.,

C.M Smith Mawlong,

 Shillong

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