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Lopsided reportage of events 

Editor,

It is quite natural that untimely death of such a versatile actor as Sridevi must cover a lot of media space and people’s attention. But it is also expected that at least equal media space and follow up reporting is given to the agonizing incident at Muzaffarpur in Bihar where at least seven girls and two boys who were aged between seven and eleven, had been crushed to death under the wheels of an SUV outside their school. We have to be very cautious now about our callous society which is intoxicated by the antics of reel and real hit and run macho brigades.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,

Kolkata

 

Generation Lost!

Editor,

Having lived in New Delhi for the past five years now, I have often wondered on terribly hot days or biting cold nights, how it would feel to come back to Shillong. I, and many others like me have spent eighteen years amidst the pine forests and clouds that always threaten rain, knowing fully well that we had to leave one day. Now that I look back we were taught resilience just because, “No one will cater to your whims and fancies once you leave”. The idea was  fascinating at some point of time, I admit. It would have been a shame if I had to stay back at home after my Class 12 Board Exams.

But what if I want to come back? Will I get a job befitting my education or is it always going to be a compromise between home and a career? Why can I not dream of spending my life amongst friends (many of whom have become absentee Shillongites much like me mind you!). All this can be pinned down to a variety of reasons, the lack of a private sector being one of them. Many of us go out of the state to acquire skills that the institutions there do not necessarily provide. We eventually realize, however, that there is no place to use these skills either. Most major development work is delegated to either international companies or major Indian ones that bring in their own expertise. Roadwork is a classic example of this. Thus the guy who has earned a civil engineering degree has no prospects at a job back home. Our parent’s generation had easily got government jobs, a sector that has reached saturation point by, now not to mention the high level of corruption in appointments. Chances of us acquiring such jobs had become improbable a long time ago.

The problem perhaps lies at the policy level too. Meghalaya has no proper youth policy yet and this results in it losing its well educated youth to MNCs. Skill enhancement is the talk of the town but where is the employment? Also, how is Meghalaya planning to use its highly trained professionals if all major decisions are being taken by outside parties?  We in turn lose the option to resettle. For many, Shillong is not even a retirement plan anymore as the youth has started to get disillusioned about the town’s future.

Some of us are more than willing to come back given suitable conditions but the crucial question still remains- Will my Shillong call me back?

Yours etc.,

Pratyasha Ghosh,

Via email

 

EVM malfunction!

Editor,

Once gain the EVMs are in the news for the wrong reasons. This time round many EVMs of Meghalaya have refused to function in many polling booths causing disruption in smooth polling in many places of Meghalaya. While in many polling booths the time had to be extended for long hours till replacement/setting right the machines. In others, voters had to wait for long hours till the functional machines arrived. In some other booths voters were asked to return to the booths to recast their votes when the machines had gone out of order while in the process of voting. What will happen if the EVMs become non-functional in remote rural areas where there is no scope for immediate replacement or repair? What is happening to the EVMs? What is wrong with the Election Department? Why can’t  it supply functioning EVMs? In some other place a repoll was ordered for non-function of the machines. This is awful and not acceptable. I appeal to the CEO and the Election Machinery that next time around they should ensure that these kind of disruptions should not happen. Please do not put voters in extreme inconvenience and the election process in disruptive mode. Let all the EVMs be in perfect conditions. We also appeal to the presiding /polling officers to carefully give a trial run to the EVMs to know whether they can be depended upon or not before taking them to the booths for voting. 

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

Shillong-2.

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