The recent election result was – a shocker to many , a relief to some , and happiness to the rest . What we need to understand however is the need to work together for a better state leaving the differences aside. With the new government formed , we the people of Meghalaya hope to see positive changes in the near future . Perhaps because of being geographically isolated from the rest of the country, we still haven’t realized how much we are lagging behind. We have not taken up serious developmental work that still needs so much of work to be put into. We need to find an opportunity to help bring a realization to most of people the true potential of this area. The youth mostly wants and surely need opportunities to help contribute and bring about the changes we want to see .
Also, infrastructural development is critical for the economic development of our state. It has a domino effect on the other sectors of the economy as well as it helps improve productivity by removing infrastructural bottlenecks. There should be a rural citizen centric growth and therefore rural connectivity should be improved .
It’s time that government gives a push for improving infrastructure in the right direction so as to have a positive impact on the socio-economic life of our people .
Keeping in mind, ‘Good governance,’ we look forward to a better future for our state. Looking forward to a ‘non-stagnant’ Meghalaya .
Manisha Baruah Pala
Lets act in faith; not fear
Apropos the article “Of Church, Politics, Satan and God,” by Patricia Mukhim (ST, 2 March 2018), I was happy to see the rejoinder by Rev. Nathan B. Diengdoh (ST, 5 March, 2018), which I believe broadly represents the church’s response to such a strong article. It is not church policy or practice to officially respond to every criticism in a public forum; so when a well-respected pastor actually does respond, even in his individual capacity, he speaks for a large section of the church in Meghalaya.
The article by Kong Patricia identifies certain flaws and inconsistencies in the institutional church, especially in this 2018 election season, as evidence of Christians falling short of the standards and message of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I cannot disagree on this point. Rev. Diengdoh himself clearly admits there are “many flaws and they must be addressed and corrected.” But the larger point that he makes is that when a majoritarian ideology intimidates and pressurizes other smaller ideologies and groups with uniformity and submission, the smaller ideologies and groups have every right to resist.
Many times the church’s resistance has been appropriate, proportionate and therefore effective. Sometimes however, this resistance has been ill-advised, disproportionate and therefore counter-productive. Hence the allegations of the church’s covert alliance with another national ideology, a supposed friendly ideology, to the point of forsaking critical and electoral distance from the practitioners of this supposed friendly ideology.
If so, why has this happened? To my mind, the main reason for such over-reaction is fear: fear of being overwhelmed by the majority, fear of being coerced into uniformity, fear of losing one’s identity. Just browse the contents and the tone of the social media messages circulating around and you’ll sense the underlying fear and even panic. But biblically speaking, when you act in fear, you are no longer acting in faith. When you prioritize alliance with various ideologies over dependence upon God, it signifies faith weakened by circumstances.
There is actually both a pre-election fear as well as a post-election fear. The irrational fear of the number of the beast, 666, to the extent of forfeiting voting rights altogether, has been discussed in Albert Thyrniang’s article, Apocalyptic Prophecy in South West Khasi Hills (ST, 5 March, 2018). The post-election fear concerns the composition of and influences upon the new government. But as pointedly mentioned in the above article, the first century Christians faced far greater problems and full scale persecution. Yet on the whole they responded not in fear but in faith: faith in the sovereignty of God; faith that it is God who guides and controls history; faith that God will limit the severity and period of testing; faith that God’s providence ensures ultimate good out of every circumstance.
This letter is not a rejoinder to Kong Patricia’s article but is more of a reflection on the articles and letters pertaining to church and politics over these past few days. In essence, this letter entreats us not to succumb to fear but calls for renewed faith in the sovereignty of God. I do agree with the point that A. Dkhar makes in his letter (ST, 5 March, 2018): “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.”
Rev. Lyndan Syiem,
Nurturing a pampered generation
Apropos the letter “Danger zone,” by Niladree Bhattacharjee (ST Mar 8, 2018), I would like to mention that the menace posed by erratic parking and irresponsible driving anywhere and everywhere coupled with inadequate traffic control is creating complete chaos and mayhem in almost all parts of the city. It seems that the rich vehicle owners have forgotten any sort of civic sense and even lost their conscience. It is worth mentioning that the poor and the lower middle class are at their receiving end. They are finding it extremely difficult to cope in the vicious atmosphere created by the rich and the affluent everywhere. It has been observed that these people do not bother for the safety concerns of the poor pedestrians. Most of these rich people are forgetting that what they are doing today will boomerang on themselves one day. I have been seeing for quite a long time the vehicle owners dropping their wards just in front of the school gate and then after the school is over, pick them up from almost the same point. It is a different thing that there is no traffic management arranged by the school authorities. So let me come back to the point: What are the rich guardians doing? In their zeal to provide maximum possible comfort to their kids, are actually doing harm by allowing them to grow up in a natural way. For those children there is no walking, no play, no social interaction and only TV, digital game, junk food and vehicles. I really feel sorry for most of today’s children coming from the affluent families! What sort of future citizens are the affluent creating? What will these citizens do for their motherland? Forget about the motherland. Can one expect them to be able to independently take care of themselves when they grow up? May God save all.
Partha Sarathy Gupta,