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In Letter & Spirit

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘I would love to hear my songs on AIR’, published in the April 7 edition. Leomon Warbah is indeed a forgotten name in today’s time. I remember listening to her songs as a child. It is disheartening to know that the veteran singer does not possess any recording of her song. I am not a regular listener of radio so I will not be able to say whether AIR Shillong plays Warbah’s songs. AIR has the collection of all the old songs and it can take the initiative to compile them and find ways to take them to a greater audience. It should also play the old melodies often so that the young generation is also aware of the journey of Khasi music. In this age of technology, retrieving and preserving these old songs will not be a daunting task but someone has to take the initiative.
I had read the first article on yesteryear artistes, ‘Forgotten Melodies’. It is laudable that the author chose such an emotional topic. Also, for the second article, the authors took the pain to search for the veteran singers and I really appreciate that.

Thanking you
SM Sunn

To Sunday Shillong,

There is a need for serious introspection about bullfights associated with traditional jallikattu celebration. In 21st century, a modern nation like India cannot just overlook the serious threat to both human and animal lives in the name of tradition, faith and culture. It is questionable how many participants have real professional training and proper experience in handling bulls which could always run into unpredictable accidents leading to serious injuries and deaths. It is important for us to appreciate the strength and wild nature of an animal and maintain a healthy relationship within the broader context of social customs, religious faiths and traditions. The lives lost in the process and the trauma suffered by the unfortunate animals during traditional bullfights are unacceptable and unnecessary with respect to rising global animal rights and prevention of cruelty towards animals. People need to seriously think about the consequences and dangers associated with bullfights. Strong national as well as international protests need to be raised to completely outlaw this uncivilised and inhuman social practice from India. It is time also to protest the unacceptable practice of donating elephants and maintaining pachyderm populations in temples in the name of religion and social practice. The deplorable conditions of this majestic wildlife cannot be sacrificed at the altar of faith, tradition and socio-religious practices.

Thanking you
Saikat Kumar Basu

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘So says the… Voter’, published on April 7. The article aptly pointed out that no political leader took up real issues before the Lok Sabha election and played on rhetoric. This is a nationwide trend and not unique to Meghalaya. Nowhere leaders are speaking about real issues like rising cases of rape and drug addiction and the need for making sex education mandatory in schools. No one is focusing on bringing about a holistic change in the education system of the country that will prove to be productive in the long run. None of the leaders took up the problems plaguing the agricultural sector in the country. Only last year, there was a nationwide farmers’ protest in demand for a special parliamentary session to discuss the agrarian crisis. Migration from rural to urban areas has led to a huge population boom in cities where space is becoming scarce by the day. But neither the ruling party nor the opposition has spoken about any concrete plan to tackle the urban space crisis, the pressure on economy and the need to create reverse migration by developing infrastructure, health and education sectors in villages.
There are many issues which the campaigners and the candidates could have issued. The list is so big that they could have up picked any set of issues, done research on them and come up with road map. Instead, they continued to engage in mudslinging and personal attacks, trolls and fake news. It is sad that as voters we listen to their rhetoric and are compelled to go and vote these unworthy parties and their candidates to power.

Thanking you
Gavin Kharshandy

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