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Rivalry at our cost

Editor,

Apropos the article “Shylla to meet Tynsong over Wahkaji road” (ST Oct 10, 2018), as son of the soil, hailing from one of those most neglected villages of that area, it’s with deepest angst and anguish that I pen down these few lines. I would like to question the State Government and the KHADC as to why their inability to agree on an issue should be at the cost of the common people? Why this blame game? Why can’t they sit across the table and resolve their differences?

For me these differences are just scapegoats to cover up their failure to carry out their public responsibility. The Nongstoin-Wahkaji road was sanctioned many years ago. If there are differences should they take so long to resolve? This is sheer callousness, impractical, a time wasting strategy and insensitivity to the plight of the poor, ignorant and voiceless. How long will Mr. Shylla and the Government play this dirty old game? How long will this step-motherly treatment go on? Or is it because it is none of their constituencies?

While I appreciate the CM for contributing his salary for a school in Shohphria and the speaker Dr. Donkupar Roy with some MLAs who visited Ranikor I am surprised as to why  they can’t also visit other most dilapidated roads of West and South West Khasi Hills? I plead with the CM and other MLAs to visit also the Nongstoin-Maweit road, the Nongstoin – Kynroh road, the Nongstoin-Rambrai road to name a few. Now that the Nongstoin MLA is from the ruling party we have high hopes in you Sir. But our hope is turning bitter. Enough is enough. May I ask the CM to personally drive on the Nongstoin-Wahkaji road and see that the area which has contributed so much to the State economy gets its due.

Yours etc.,,

Gervasius Nongkseh

West Khasi Hills

Inconvenienced for how much longer

Editor,

With the recent inauguration of the 100th functional airport at Pakyong , Sikkim which was earlier a landlocked State it has now become connected by air to the rest of the country. Earlier residents of Sikkim had to travel all the way to Bagdogra to catch a flight, but now all thanks to the cutting edge technology and brilliant engineering, Sikkim a much more hilly place than Shillong has received a fully functional airport. The irony of the situation is that the runway of Pakyong airport was made on a hill which was cut flat, using geotechnical ‘cut and fill’ and slope stabilisation techniques, whereas Shillong Airport’s runway is made on the plains of Umroi . The tourism sector of Sikkim will get further boost especially with the international flights starting soon. On the other hand we have Shillong airport, built in the 1960s – over 50 years ago which remains as it is with the exception of the new terminal building. The new terminal is one of the most beautiful airports in the North East but then again what’s the point of having a book with a fancy cover with blank pages. Tons of money has been poured into the development of the airport over the years but none have paid off. For decades the residents of Meghalaya have depended on Guwahati airport which includes a tiresome 3 hour journey; harassment and nuisance at the airport premises. The question is for how many more years are we going to depend on Guwahati? On an average day the number of passengers from across Meghalaya is between 200-300 not to forget innumerable tourists who flock to the state in search of scenic beauty. Everyday patients, students ,businesspersons have to travel 118 Km in order to catch a flight, despite having an airport just 30 Km away from the city. I thank the honourable High Court of Meghalaya for taking steps to ensure the airport is functional, but I urge the Government to connect Shillong with other major cities once its operational, as many students are studying in the Southern and Northern part of the country and not just Kolkata. Also several patients undergo treatment in these regions. Finally, I would like to point out the constant harassment of Meghalaya residents by the Assam drivers on arrival at the Guwahati airport. The touts start grabbing your bags the moment you leave the building. I urge the appropriate authority to take stern action against this harassment and bullying. We should not let them take advantage of our predicament. I sincerely hope that Shillong Airport will be functional soon and that the people of the state will be able to take off from Umroi soon.

 Yours etc., 
  Avishaan Sarkar,

Via email

Modesty outraged

Editor,

Former Miss India and Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta alleged sexual harassment against Nana Patekar on the sets of a 2008 film ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’. She also claimed that after the incident when she left the sets, Patekar involved the workers of political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to threaten her and who mobbed her and smashed the window panes of her car while she along with her mother was inside the car.

Now several notable personalities from Bollywood have come in support of Tanushree Dutta. By lodging an FIR with the Oshiwara Mumbai police station of late, Ms Dutta has also answered and silenced the voice of the film director Rakesh Sarang who questioned why Tanushree was “shouting” and not going to the police. Raza Murad, who was not on the spot, dismissed Tanushree’s trauma as an over-reaction. At the same time it is ridiculous that he certified Nana as a sweet-talker when Patekar had already touched Tanushree inappropriately while shooting on the sets? Birds of a feather flock together. This is a case of desperate, deliberate and chauvinistic male oppression on women-folk.

Samee Siddiqui, producer of the film, admitted that he was not there on the sets and didn’t know what had exactly happened and then how could he tell the truth? Such comment tantamount to an attempt to  hide “truth” and give publicity to falsehood. Siddiqui’s purported lewd comment that ‘she was menstruating is a heinous humiliation to global Womanhood/Motherhood. Doesn’t Samee also have a family with a mother, sister, wife and daughter? If good sense prevail Samee Siddiqui should tender due apology for his slanderous remark.It is expected that the National Commission for Women would enquire into the incident and render justice to the afflicted Tanushree and expose the accused. After all victims suffer a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma as a result of any sexual harassment..

However it is reassuring that on the current issue Maneka Gandhi , Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, said a lot of steps have been taken to empower women to speak up, and she is happy that the #MeToo campaign has begun in the country. As reported by ANI she has also said that complaints can now be registered even 10 to 15 years after the incident. But she has expressed hope and, of course, cautioned that “it won’t go out of control, in the sense that we target people who’ve offended us in some way”.

Yours etc.,

Samares Bandyopadhyay,

Advocate, Kolkata High Court

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