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Highways or death traps?  

Editor,
Finally, the long awaited Shillong -Tura Road that by-passes Assam is opened after much waiting! This became a reality after a better vision prevailed with the Vajpayee Government when he came to power! The vision of highways has definitely brought India closer even in the midst of diversities arising out of languages and cultures! If there is one cultural melting pot called a country, India would stand among the top if it’s not already at the top! From language, dress, food habits, practice of religion, you name it, we have it all! India is a miracle called a country! From, “We are Tamilians first” or Muslims,  to, “Khasi by birth, Indian by accident,” it was always a question of who is an Indian!

In the midst of these conundrums, these highways did bring some sense of cohesion, though populist thought of the past brought in division through introduction of a regional language by brute force of sheer numbers! Regionalism raises its ugly head everywhere because of the desire of politicians to indulge in vote bank politics! Hope the present leadership will see things through the prism of non refraction but of reflection that can still create rainbows! With due respect to the inauguration of the roads which have for sure reduced traveling time, they have also become death traps for many! India was already the worst offender in road deaths, but lack of engineering auditing, cost cutting and all the ills are creating a far worse scenario for the road commuters! Accidents and death statistics will further go up because of these roads. Further, the absence of trauma centres to handle victims of accidents is going to create myriads of psychological trauma in our land! We may just find that the psychological cost is too high; higher than the investment the country made! So help us God!

 

Yours etc.,

D Kitbok Ryntathiang,

Camp: Pnom Penh,

Cambodia

 

Congress party’s dilemma

Editor​

The derogatory remarks made by veteran Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar against PM Modi on the last day of campaign for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election is totally unacceptable and highly condemnable. The quality of Indian politics and the comments and counter comments made by various political parties and politicians holding responsible positions is absolutely alarming and certainly puts India in a bad light in the international platform.

However, I see this a little differently. Is this a political sabotage by ​Mani Shankar Aiyar and  Kapil Sibal to harm the Congress party in the Gujarat elections and silently put Rahul Gandhi’s accession to the top Congress post under duress? This aspect needs to be seriously introspected by political analysts. The Indian National Congress is now globally criticized for being transformed​ into a private limited company owned by the Nehru-Gandhi family. As a consequence many political veterans may be finding their secret aspirations for the coveted top position in Congress crashed or sidelined within the party. As Rahul Gandhi will be choosing his close work aides and strategists, he may face considerable challenges from many old veterans (read ‘sycophants’); who have been unquestionably loyal to the Nehru-Gandhi family for several decades and are now possibly finding themselves sidelined and not part of Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle.

It is quite disturbing to note that veteran and highly experienced ​politicians like Aiyar and Sibal could make such irresponsible comments and behave in a way that can have hugely negative impacts on the prospects of the Congress in local elections at a ​strategic time. It could also hurt the party’s prospect at the highest levels. Rahul Gandhi’s ascent to the top post may not be as clean and unambiguous as it appears to be on the surface. He needs to look deeper into the resentments and counter revolutions across various ranks of his so called dedicated party loyalists. This could in fact be the writing on the wall for further degradation of the Congress party in the not so distant future.

Yours etc.,

Saikat Kumar Basu
Lethbridge AB Canada 

Public disquiet about Aadhaar

Editor,

People of North East fee a sense of disquiet at the lack of interest shown by the central government. There are rumours about blocking transactions of bank accounts to stopping mobile connections and LPG unless they are linked to the Aadhar number. The twelve digits numbers are a must for joining corporate jobs nowadays. Also CBSE needs Aadhaar for appearing at competitive examinations like Medicine and Engineering. Now Government is extending the time for mandatory PAN-Aadhaar – unique identity number (UID) to March 31, 2018. Yes it is mandatory and deadlines are valid and lawful except for Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir as stated by the authority of UIDAI. Linking of PAN with the biometric ID may avail various services and welfare schemes that bring transparency and arrest the spread of illegal black money.

Govt also made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITR) as well as obtaining a new PAN. Banking sectors have geared up by opening multiple channels to assist their customers through internet banking, iMobile, phone banking, ATM, SMS and branch visit. A number of petitioners have challenged this move of the Government.  And the issue of interim order in the matter by the Supreme Court is expected in mid December.  Surprisingly the Aadhaar enrolment in Assam and Meghalaya has not yet been completed. The reason behind this delay is not understood. Is NRC the factor behind the delay in Aadhar enrolment in Assam? Thankfully the public sector banks have started Aadhaar enrolment works recently. The largest bank, SBI should start the process for the greater interest of this region.

Yours etc.,

Kamal Baruah

Guwahati

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