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The New Government


The Meghalaya Election results will be announced by ECI on March 03, 2108 and it is clear that no single party will be able to stake claim to form the government. Let us try to analyse the possible combinations as to which group will be able to form a viable government. What are the hurdles and issues that come in the way of forming a coalition group? As far as the Congress is concerned, they will use all tactics (including submission) by any means to see that no NPP and BJP combination will be able to form a government. The other way is also true that NPP and BJP will also not allow the Congress to form a Government as they also have the backing of the Centre.

Based on these two divergent views, it is interesting to see which way the regional parties will take a decision. In the first scenario, the regional parties will try to combine on their own and take the help of Independents or they will ask the Congress for outside support. The problem here will be the choice of the chief minister and the reluctance of the PDF to join the group. They will also hesitate to take support of the NPP/BJP because of the alleged Hindutva agenda. The second scenario, the Congress if it is the largest party will try to form a coalition with UDP, HSPDP, KHNAM and Independents. The third scenario, the NPP/BJP will also try to take the support of PDF. The latter however will hesitate to join the government but may agree to give only outside support. The fourth scenario is that the PDF if they cross more than ten in number will try to form the Government with the support of the Congress minus Dr. Mukul Sangma and some Independents. In such a situation the leader of the PDF will become the Chief Minister as the question of a permanent enemy does not arise any more.

Yours etc.,


Via email


Religion’s regressive tendencies


Patricia Mukhim’s article, “Of church, politics, satan and god” (ST, March 2, 2018) has highlighted the dangerous consequences of religion ~ be it Christianity, Islam or Hindutva ~ ruling over politics. She said, ~ “I stand the risk of being excommunicated for saying this but it has to be said.” We see that whenever a Socrates or a Davolkar or a Mukhim in us starts questioning regressive superstitions, those who have vested interest try to silence and kill the voice. But what should we do in a such a situation? Should we support Davolkar and our Constitution that asks us to develop scientific temper (Article 51A h)?  Unfortunately, those who have a vested interest, brainwash us into believing that modern means Satan and the past was always very good ~ Satyayug (age of truth) and the present is very bad ~ Kaliyug (age of anarchy). So, we need to cling to our past and march backwards. This makes us quite apprehensive about our evolutionary progress. We tend to believe that old is always gold and we will invite Satan if we are to accept changes to accommodate ourselves with the modern world. But when the logic of Dabholkar will penetrate deep into the hard skin of status quo defence, then the words of our Constitution get translated into action.

We know that discriminatory practices like the sati had been defended by the logic that Hindu women did it “voluntarily and respectfully”. Now, it is argued that innumerable women in the Muslim community still believe in polygamy and in the system of triple talaq. Therefore, those practices must not be dismantled for the sake of some women who are fighting against those age-old religious customs. And in defence of wearing of a sacred thread and other casteist mores, it is said those customs are as innocent practices as that of going to a temple/ mosque/ church!  There is nothing to worry about as evolutionary progress keeps on giving us Socrates in every age. Thus, we got Socrates in Raja Ram Mohan Roy to stop women from “voluntarily and respectfully” killing themselves in the name of sati; in Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to stop “honouring” widows by allowing their remarriage; in Kemal Atatürk to deny Muslim women their “right” to wear burqa and also we got Socrates in a group of Muslim women who fought against triple talaq in the Supreme Court of India.

Indeed, burqa has become a liability for Muslim women in India’s tropical weather as girls are coming out more and more to get higher education and jobs. Yet, religious pressure makes many women in the Muslim community accept this liability. On the other hand, the religious practice of wearing a sacred thread by Brahmin Hindu community gives Dalits a non-sacred identity.  Now, the biblical Satan has wrongly been used to take us backwards from this digital world to a mythological world and we have a Socrates in Mukhim to raise her voice against it. 

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,


It Takes True Courage!

First of all, I would like to congratulate Patricia Mukhim for the timely and thought-provoking article “Of Church, Politics, Satan and God” (ST March 3, 2018). Truly, one might even risk being excommunicated for writing such a bold and truthful article on the hypocrisy surrounding the church and its leaders. We, as Christians, have over the years, grown so complacent and become silent witnesses regarding the ills and evils of our own church and congregation. All of us have become very good preachers that we have completely forgotten what it means to put the teachings of Christ in our day-to-day lives and dealings with our fellow human beings whom we meet and encounter. We often speak and fear so much of the unknown that we have completely forgotten to put our faith in the God whom we, at times so enthusiastically, profess to trust. And why not! We have all been blinded to our faith by the air of materialism, and the extreme desire for wealth and power by all means possible. As the author rightly pointed out, we need to face some form of persecution to bring our feet back to the ground and history has proven time and again that it is through persecution that the true faith and spirituality of the people is built. We need to be awakened from this slumber! 
I would like to humbly request and encourage the author to keep writing on all such issues without fear or favour. And let God be our judge.     
                                                                                                                                                                                     Yours etc.                                                                                                                                                                               

  1. Dkhar                                                                                                                                                                                 


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