Developed By: iNFOTYKE
The boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam has once again reared its ugly head barely a month after Meghalaya celebrated its 47th statehood day. For countless number of times, government after government have tried to solve this elusive muddle. It was perhaps only during the tenure of Late E K Mawlong as Chief Minister that an earnest effort was put in by him and PK Mahanta, former Chief Minister of Assam to reach a settlement. In the year 2000, the duo almost reached a viable solution to amicably solve the issue but the political winds swayed against the stalwarts too viciously to see them through to the end. Thereafter, like-minded and unlike-minded parties who’ve formed governments in the states have come and gone, yet the problem still persists due to lack of political will. While browsing the website of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I found this relevant heart-rending speech in the proceedings section:
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the information of the House that there had been one incident in the border area of Khasi Hills District and those areas happen also to be at present in my Constituency. The Assam Police from the Karbi-Anglong District came to two villages of Jatalong and Sabuda and arrested three of our people. After the arrest, our people were harassed and beaten up and were taken to Jail for about a week or more. We were busy trying to look for them and ultimately we found out that they were detained in the Nowgong Jail. With the help of the District Council authorities and other sources, we were able to bring them back. The people living in those villages, about 5 or 6 villages, which are in the border areas, are facing lots of hardship and difficulties and they are constantly living in their homes with fear of being harassed or arrested by the people from Assam and only in the last few days I have also received one resolution from the Village Durbar of those villages whereby it says that the people of Assam have threatened our people staying in those villages. They say that the lands that used to be cultivated many years together might also be taken and given to those people who are recognising the Assam authorities. Now during this election, the villages of Ummat Umlaper, Sabuda and Jatalong in my constituency have been considered or taken to be part and parcel of the Khasi Hills District. But the Assam Government particularly the villages of Karbi-Anglong District are trying to claim those villages and they are also harassing our people at present. So, if we are not going to do anything from our end it seems that our people will not be able to stay in those villages and a time might come when these border people might be asked to vacate those lands…I do hope that this boundary dispute would immediately be taken up and finally solved, so that there will be peace in the border areas and that our people also will be able to live and work in peace without any interference from the other side of the boundary.”
The above speech was given by Late E K Mawlong, Former Chief Minister of Meghalaya, in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on 23rd March, 1978, when he was elected to the house for the first time. After 41 years, the same speech can be delivered by any of the present legislators and it’ll still be relevant.
F B Lyngdoh
Central Agricultural University
Putting things in perspective
Apropos the letter ‘Laitumkhrah’s fall from grace’ by Phillip Marwein dated 21 Feb 2019; I would like thank the writer for his concern which has prompted me to write further. Firstly, an eminent writer of his stature should realise that the matter pertaining to hawkers in the streets & footpath of Laitumkhrah or any other area in Shillong is sub-judice at this juncture. I’m sure the Laitumkhrah Dorbar Shnong Pyllun is aware of its status and definitely the Dorbar officials must have taken steps to address the issue in their rightful capacity. And secondly, may I enlighten the writer that Laitumkhrah area is also administered by the Shillong Municipal Board to take care of sanitation, drinking water, street lightings etc. for which we as residents pay tax and not to the Dorbar Shnong as such. Therefore on this point I would disagree with the writer that the Dorbar is to be held responsible for the failure of the administration in keeping the public safe during the night for no street lights. Since there is an elected public representative in the area who surely stands aware of all the problems faced by the people including the writer, I hope that the issue is addressed at the earliest.
Indeed the Kashmiri remark of the Governor of Meghalaya has gone viral and it is very difficult now to do anything to stop it. The only thing left for him is to apologise and mend his words hereinafter. Being the head of state he should have measured his words carefully before tweeting. The best thing for him is not to tweet unnecessarily and to live by example. It is not the post that exults him but he should exult the post he holds. Governors are supposed to be men and women of stature with a proven track record of credibility. They should be the real chosen ones who exude confidence and trust and should be role models in every way. Hence, the government of India should give a lot of thought before choosing governors and they should not be failed and retired politicians, retired army men or bureaucrats or the chosen men and women from some other cadres.
Inappropriate timing for load shedding
Thousands of our children are preparing for their X and XII Board exams that are to take place in the next few days. However it is so unfortunate that the timing for load-shedding chosen by MePDCL is from 11 p.m to 12 a.m everyday. One feels that the timing is inappropriate as many students would still be studying at that time. First of all one fails to understand as to why the load-shedding at this time when our children cannot afford to be disturbed in their studies. Secondly, if at all it is required why not choose a timing that will not inconvenience the students. Perhaps a timing between 3-4 am when even the students are most likely to be sleeping to gain strength and energy would be more humane.
One hopes that the concerned authorities would reconsider their load-shedding timings for the sake of our future generations.