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Pala’s olive branch too late


Shillong MP Vincent Pala was in Meghalaya when the Congress MLAs decided to desert the sinking Congress ship. Of course it is only recently that he was appointed working President of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee but he could have started the process of reconciliation much before the MLAs could decide to join the NPP/BJP. To ask them to return now is utter foolishness and one wonders why Pala should make such overtures at this juncture. The AICC and its representative CP Joshi was well aware of the disgruntlement of the MLAs and their grievances at being taken into confidence on policy matters in the government, particularly by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. In fact their grievances are against Mukul Sangma than against the Congress Party. Moreover they know that if they remain with the Congress and if the Party wins the largest number of seats then Mukul will return as CM. They don’t want to be humiliated all over again because that is the reason they left the Party in the first place. Many have defended Mukul Sangma’s style of functioning and called him the smartest CM that Meghalaya has had so far. Perhaps that is correct, but as the CM, Mukul has to learn to be a team player.

Meghalaya has just celebrated its 46th year of statehood and a video clip had gone viral showing the leaders of the time who worked with dedication and were able to convince Indira Gandhi to grant statehood to Meghalaya without violence or bloodshed. Look at the caliber of those leaders like SDD Nichols Roy, BB Lyngdoh etc. They brought pride to Meghalaya. At that time many of our MLAs came in from the teaching profession. Mr MN Majaw, PG Marbaniang, SL Marbaniang, Capt WA Sangma, BB Lyngdoh, DD Pugh, Maham Singh, RS Lyngdoh etc were all stalwarts who took part in legislative debates in the House and gave it dignity. Mr GG Swell, who was once the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha termed Meghalaya a patch of beauty and grace. Compare those leaders with the present lot and we know we are all headed for the worse. At that time we had professionals as MLAs. Now we have shrewd and crude mercenaries and bullies. Their only idea of coming to politics is to make money and they don’t even hide that fact. Meghalaya must weep at its fate but its people are to blame for voting for cash and not for quality legislators. Ironically the church which is now crying out loud against the BJP and even circulating WhatsApp messages about the agenda of the RSS to amend the Constitution and turn Meghalaya into a Hindu state, has failed to touch the hearts of the voters to vote good and ethical leaders. 

I have seen many elections and we are only getting worse with each one. People like Rowell Lyngdoh should have just stepped down gracefully like DD Lapang and not contest anymore since their mental shelf life is over. But they still want power, I suppose. What a sad chapter for Meghalaya. Mr Vincent Pala thanks but no thanks for your delayed response to a political crisis.

Yours etc.,

RR Kharmalki,


India must leverage its strategic position


The global geo-strategic situation is changing rapidly. While India-US-Britain-France-Japan-Australia-Israel is coming closer as a formidable global alliance; an evil axis between Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-China-North Korea-Russia is also emerging as a crude possibility. The China-Pakistan evil nexus is a serious and immediate threat for India’s long term strategic interests as these two are unfortunately immediate Indian neighbors. North Korea is a much serious concern for Far East Asia and a Pacific threat to the US. However, Russia formally continues to be an Indian ally from the days of the Soviet Union and will not like to project itself as a direct enemy of India for her own strategic, economic and diplomatic purposes. India also has strong socio-economic and diplomatic ties with Iran. Hence, India with her current strong foothold and support from the Western allies should strive to play a positive role in bringing together and engaging global super powers like the US and Russia on one hand; and the US-Iran on the other. India’s current advantageous global geo-strategic position should be utilized to the best possibility to play a critical role in diffusing tension and bringing the US, Russia and Iran from adversarial to strategic and diplomatic reconciliation. This will reduce China’s influence and help India to elevate her global stature further under the current global power struggle. Even a partial success will make India a formidable ally between Western and Eastern powers with significant influence on both sides.

Yours etc.,

Saikat Kumar Basu
Lethbridge AB Canada,


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