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Silent before the PM?


The “Rally vignettes” in the Shillong Times of December 17, carried a short news report that the church leaders of different denominations met the Prime Minister at Upper Shillong helipad before he departed for New Delhi. According to Union Minister KJ Alphons the church leaders supported the initiatives of the PM towards the poor and the downtrodden. Further the union minister stated that the church leaders did not raise any issue with the PM and had only words of appreciation for his good works.

This is quite curious. Is it true that no church leader raised any concern with the PM? Is the general sense of insecurity among Christians, Dalits and minorities in the country a non- issue for the leaders not to bring it to the notice of the PM? The PM in his election rally in Gujarat was at his rhetoric best labeling the letter of the Archbishop of Gandhinagar a jihad. Just before the PM’s visit to the state a group of priests and seminarians were detained on charges of forced conversion in Madhya Pradesh just because they organized a Christmas Carol in a village. It is strange that the leaders decided not to led the feelings of aggrieved Christians known to the PM.

Or it might be well true that the Union Minister did not speak the truth, in which case the leaders should clarify and let their faithful know the agenda they took up with the PM, otherwise they stand the risk of letting their followers down. They might lose the high esteem they enjoy.

Yours etc., ,
Albert Thyrniang
Tura, West Garo Hills

Too many CM candidates

That the 2018 elections will throw up a fractured mandate is a given. It is difficult for the Congress Party to return with a majority. The NPP too is unlikely to get a majority hence it will need the UDP-HSPDP combine to form the government. Over and above that every political
party in the fray other than the BJP has projected its own chief ministerial candidate. Hence it would be naïve to expect that the next government that will be formed will have a smooth sailing. There will be a real jostling for the chief minister’s chair. I expect Meghalaya
to go back to the old days of instability with a stint of President’s Rule thrown in as it was during the tenure of Governor RS Mooshahary.
All the chief ministerial candidates, other than Dr Mukul Sangma have no idea where to lead the state and have no experience of providing state-wide governance which is a challenging task. None of them have emerged as leaders of the state, but of the Khasi-Jaintia Hills only.
It is ironic that after 45 years of statehood we don’t have leaders who stand out and who are accepted across the state. This is the bane of Meghalaya that we are still fragmented as tribes and politicians
take full advantage of these societal fissures.  I for one would not want PN Syiem to be the chief minister considering that even a small event like the Monolith Festival ran into rough waters and there were allegations of mismanagement of funds. How will a man who cannot run the district council efficiently ever manage to run the state? Syiem has a over-inflated view of himself and this is borne out by his body language.

None of the chief ministerial candidate actually have the people in mind when they aspire to this post. They are all thinking of the direct benefits that will accrue to them if they  sit on that chair.
No one sees that chair as symbol of great responsibility and greater public service. This is what ails the state of Meghalaya. At no point in time have we had chief ministers who understand the meaning of what it is to lead the government. Each one thinks about how they can benefit from holding the Chief Minister’s chair. Divisiveness has been our Achilles Heel and politicians don’t seem to have learnt any
lessons! Instead, before the election they are trying to use class, and religion as props to garner votes.  Meghalaya needs to come together to discuss the pressing needs of the state and present their shadow manifesto before the people.

Yours etc.,
AS Nongrum,
Via email


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