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Clarification

Editor,

This clarification is about the statement made by Mr Sanbor Shullai that I am a BJP worker and that I work for Mr Sounder S Cajee and Mr Banri Wahlang. I vehemently deny this allegation and would like to remind Mr Shullai that I have been a very prominent worker for his party and have sincerely contributed towards his election and re-election campaigns for the past 25 years during the MDC elections. I would like to remind Mr. Shullai that not only have I helped him professionally, but on a personal level too I have assisted him. From taking care and ensuring proper health care when he needed it in Nazareth & Woodland hospitals to helping him in Delhi when he needed further consultation on his health issues, I have done everything.

As a token of appreciation Mr. Shullai appointed me as a staff with a monthly income. However, I have not received the complete salary as promised in spite of working at his office for about four years. He later appointed me to the post of Vice Chairman of the Programme Implementation & Monitoring Committee (PIMC) only to forcibly demand my resignation after about 4 months’ of work on this Committee without any severance pay.

Therefore, I demand that Mr Shullai should show professional courtesy and duly compensate me for my work and also the severance pay for the PIMC work at the earliest.

Yours etc.,

Disyona Passah.

Shillong- 4

 

Should Opinion Polls be Banned?

Editor,

Should opinion polls be banned? That is what some of my friends were discussing. In recent years, TV channels have taken to this idea of opinion polls whenever an election comes up. One may ask what is wrong with opinion polls. I would say many things are wrong with it. Since 2014, most opinion polls have favoured the BJP. As of now with the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh the opinion polls have indicated a victory for the BJP and painted a dismal picture of the Congress. When the people are still going to the polls, this practice can be highly dangerous for freedom in political thinking and electoral choice. Let me explain – a voter who goes to vote after seeing the opinion poll where he sees the BJP as the imminent winner and the Congress a loser, will undoubtedly be inclined to vote for the BJP because he or she is psychologically conditioned by the foregone conclusion made by the exit poll. Who would want to vote for an already losing party?

The channels which present these opinion polls do them with such proficiency that ordinary people and uncritical viewers would easily fall prey to them. Opinion polls in my opinion are an infringement on the freedom of thought of citizens. It is an indirect way of brain-washing the voters. Another reason why we should not trust the opinion polls is that they have gone wrong many times in the past. Moreover, the sample population they construct could be a purposive sample and highly polarized towards one party or the other. Opinion poll is also another form of bias or injustice towards one party or the other. For this reason, the Election Commission should actually ban opinion polls prior to any election. Today TV channels in India seem to be crazy about opinion polls and exit polls and knowing how politically they are biased towards one party or the other, these poll predictions could be the most dangerous strategy to curb the political freedom of citizens. Let us hope that some good sense will prevail amongst those in a position to put an end to this malpractice.

Barnes Mawrie sdb,

Via email

Of hate crimes and impunity

Editor,

Your editorial, “Darkness in Rajasthan” (ST, Dec 12, 2017), is right in pointing out ~ “Hate and crime with impunity will foul the atmosphere and make a mockery of culture.” As a matter of fact, Hindutva vigilantes just like the ISIS and the Taliban brigades are making a mockery of their religion also. Swami Vivekananda had warned us about the dangers of religious prejudices. He said, “We are neither Vedantists, most of us now, nor Pauranicks, nor Tantrics. We are just “Don’t-touchists”. Our religion is in the kitchen. Our God is the cooking-pot, and our religion is “Don’t touch me, I am holi”. If this goes on for another century, every one of us will be in a lunatic asylum.”  Inter caste and inter- religious marriage vigilantes, cow vigilantes and fairy – tale  vigilantes want to limit Hinduism to such a narrow space that it will make us forget the great teachings of Maha Upanishad ~ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam meaning “the whole world is one family”. Our regressive mindsets are making things happen in such a narrow way that sooner or later as Swamiji said “every one of us will be in a lunatic asylum”.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,

Kolkata

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