News

Border dispute with Assam: All-party entity in the offing

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 10:15

SHILLONG: The State government has decided to constitute an entity of all political parties of the state to engage in consultations with the Assam Government over the vexed inter-state boundary dispute.
The decision to this effect was taken at an all-party meeting convened by the State government on Wednesday.
The proposed entity will have representatives from all political parties in the state and Independent legislators, which have no party affiliation, the government sources said adding that it will write to all the political parties shortly to send the names of their representatives.
The new entity is likely to be made functional   before the Independence Day.
“We have decided to form an entity of all political parties, which will engage with the counterpart saying that since we have been able to evolve a mechanism (which is with the involvement of all political parties), Assam should also do the same,” the government sources said after the meeting.
Earlier in the meeting, a presentation was made on the documents which the Meghalaya Government has already submitted to Assam   Government to stake its claim over the disputed areas.
The State Government also  urged all the members present in the meeting to offer suggestions as to whether the State should go for legal intervention or political engagement or dialogue with Assam and to think of interim mechanism until they could come up with ultimate resolution.

Categories: News

Move to push through Garo Customary Law

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 10:15

CM’s ST Status case hearing in SC on July 31

TURA: The three-day session of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), which began in Tura on Wednesday, has been marred in controversy with the Opposition NPP and its allies alleging that the ruling Congress is making ‘covert’ attempts at pushing through the Garo Customary Codification Laws ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on the Schedule Tribe status of the Chief Minister.
The ST status issue concerning the Chief Minister and his brother Zenith Sangma is coming up for hearing before the apex court on July 31.
Social activist Tennydard Marak and two Garo bodies have petitioned the Supreme Court questioning the tribal status of the Chief Minister, his brother and sister Tripti Sangma on the grounds that their late mother was not a Garo tribal.
The opposition NPP is alleging that the Alphonse A Sangma-led Executive Committee of the GHADC plans to introduce the codification laws at the 11th hour to favour Chief Minister ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.
The opposition parties and Garo NGOs allege that the codification of the Garo Customary Laws has  glaring mistakes when it comes to distinguishing between a Garo and a non-Garo.
Last year, an attempt to introduce the customary law Bill was allegedly met with outright rejection by opposition MDCs and Garo pressure groups who questioned the move to recognise a person born out of wedlock between a Garo father and a non-Garo mother as a tribal since in matrilineal Meghalaya children take the lineage from the mother’s side.
Garo historian and former NEHU Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Milton S Sangma headed the committee which prepared the codification laws.
NPP MDC, Boston Marak has alleged that the Congress executive committee in the GHADC plans to introduce the codification law sometime during the last two days of the Council’s session.
“The house agenda which has already been prepared does not mention the proposed move but there is a strong possibility such an attempt will be made if the Chairman, Purno K Sangma of the Congress, and CEM Alphonse A Sangma agree,” said Boston Marak of the NPP.
Meanwhile, the Joint Opposition Alliance (JOA) comprising of all opposition
parties of Garo Hills and pressure groups including the GNC, NPP, UDP, BJP, GHSMC, GSU (interim), AYWO and AAYF have strongly opposed the alleged move to dilute the Garo Customary laws in the name of codification.
“The clauses or sentences under the chapter ‘clan system’ where it accepts the status of an offspring born out of a Garo mother and a non Garo father as Garo and that of a non Garo man marrying a Garo woman as Garo etc goes against the custom, practices and usages of a Garo Community. These clauses or sentences have to be rectified before the general public, stakeholders through organising awareness cum consultation programmes or through some other programmes,” Augustine Marak, the Member Secretary of the JOA said.

Categories: News

Mob lynches two kidnappers in Garo Hills

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 10:13

TURA: Two men accused of being a part of a kidnapping gang have been lynched by angry mob in Manikganj village, near Damas, North Garo Hills district on Tuesday.
Ex-serviceman Premchand Rabha (53) was abducted by four armed criminals and subsequently rescued by police from Susra Hills (NGH) on Tuesday while the miscreants managed to escape. A mob chased four suspects from near the village the same day.
They got hold of two young men, Akin Marak and Sangwan Sangma, and bludgeoned them to death while two other accomplices managed to escape.
On arrival of the police the mob vanished and the bodies of the two victims were found in a nearby field.
The deceased were earlier involved in petty crimes and had recently been caught attempting to steal cattle. Cadavers were sent to CHC Resubelpara for PM inquiry and Investigation is underway.

Categories: News

Govt yet to agree to extension demand

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 10:12

Hunger strike by Gram Sevikas continues on Day 18

SHILLONG: The State Government is yet to respond to the demand of the Association of Qualified Candidates for the post of Gram Sevika even as their indefinite hunger strike entered the 18th day on Wednesday.
The parents of the qualified candidates have expressed anger over the adamant attitude of the State Government in responding to the demand for extension of the validity of the merit list.
“We are really disappointed since we had educated our children with the hope that they would get a respectable job. But now we feel that the government, who should look after the interests of the educated youth, is turning a blind eye to their plight,” one of parents told newsmen on Wednesday.
He added that this was an indication that the government is encouraging backdoor appointment since the people who have passed the interview have to sit for hunger strike to fight for their rights.
“This attitude on the part of the Government will have a negative impact on the minds of the youth. The youth will lose hope to continue with their studies since they will understand that without back up from political bosses it will be difficult for them to get jobs in the Government sector,” one of the parents said, while making it clear that the State Government will have to take the responsibility if anything   happens to their children.
Meanwhile, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Wednesday urged Community and Rural Development Minister Prestone Tynsong to speed up the appointment of the qualified candidates.
“As per information available with us, there are three posts of Gram Sevikas which are vacant in the Community and Rural Development Block office in East Khasi Hills. We have been informed that two candidates were appointed under compassionate ground in 2010. It is illegal to appoint any one under compassionate ground since the Government has done with this system since 2008,” HYC said in a memorandum submitted to Tynsong on Wednesday.

Categories: News

Meghalaya to observe Dr Kalam’s death anniversary every year

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:35

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, July 29: An emotionally charged Meghalaya will observe the death anniversary of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam every year to keep alive his  inspiring ideas and dreams even as students declared that they will take forwards the ‘People’s President and Missile Man’ vision of making India a great nation.
Tributes flowed for Dr Kalam during a public meeting held at U Soso Tham auditorium here on Wednesday to pay tribute to the benevolent soul and the government also declared that the state will observe his death anniversary every year.
Meghalaya has been trying to come to terms with the death of the visionary Dr Kalam and the students’ community in the state seems to be more saddened by his demise as some of them openly cried.

Categories: News

JOA threatens mass protest against passing Garo Customary Law bill

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:34

Staff Reporter
TURA, July 29: The Joint Opposition Alliance (JOA) comprising of all opposition parties of Garo Hills and NGOs, including the GNC, NPP, UDP, BJP, GHSMC, GSU (interim) AYWO and AAYF has strongly opposed the dilution of Garo Customary laws in what they have alleged is being done in the name of codification. Further, the JOA has threatened to agitate if the Bill is passed in the coming two days in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) in its current session.
According to the JOA, the Codification of Garo Customary Laws, Bill 2009 covered the chapters of the family, clan system, marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, a.king lands and nokmaship, moral laws, criminal and non-criminal laws, religious laws and social prohibition or taboo. The bill was drafted by the committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Milton Sangma.

Categories: News

Abandoned baby girl rescued from an auto

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:34

Staff Reporter
TURA, July 29: A healthy baby girl was found abandoned in an auto-rickshaw in Tura after her cries alerted the owner of the vehicle who quickly came down to check and found the baby seeking warmth after being abandoned. The owner of the vehicle immediately called the police who then took the child under their care.
Meanwhile, a lot of people have expressed their desire to adopt the baby given the circumstances she was found in. Some even visited the Maternity and Child Hospital to check up on the girl and seek ways to adopt the baby girl.

Categories: News

Bidi company evades taxes amounting to crores

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:33

Staff Reporter
TURA, July 29: The Achik Indigenous Justice Initiative Forum (AIJIF), made a sensational revelation on Wednesday on how one Bidi company has been taking the state to the cleaners to an estimated Rs 36 crores over the past five years. The revelation comes after the AIJIF worked on a field survey of the entire Garo Hills region on the amount of taxes paid by one bidi company in particular – Pradip Bidi.
The bidi factory is based in Bongaigaon in Assam and has been sending their products all over the Garo Hills region. The cousin of the cigarette, Pradip Bidi is widely popular amongst the rank and file within Garo Hills.

Categories: News

IS planning to attack India: Report

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:33

WASHINGTON, July 29 (IANS): Terror outfit IS is preparing to attack India to provoke a confrontation with the US, the US media reported on Wednesday citing an internal recruitment document of the group.
The document also seeks to unite the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into a single army of terror, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
The document, passed to the American Media Institute by a Pakistani citizen connected to the Taliban, reveals the scale of the ambition of IS, including targeting India.
“Accept the fact that this caliphate will survive and prosper until it takes over the entire world and beheads every last person that rebels against Allah,” the document read.

Categories: News

HDR flags off first ever MRPTS

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:32

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, July 29: Meghalaya Transport Minister, HDR Lyngdoh flagged off the Meghalaya Rural Public Transport Services (MRPTS) at Baghmara on Wednesday making it the first ever Rural Transport Service Scheme in the state.
While speaking during the flagging off ceremony, Lyngdoh said, “This Meghalaya Rural Public Transport Services Scheme is the first of its kind not only in the district but also in the state.” He also informed that the scheme had been conceptualized in the year 2012 but the vehicles have actually been purchased in the year 2013 with an aim to facilitate easy transport to the rural areas and to bring people living in the remote areas closer to their respective District Headquarters. He also informed that at present the number of vehicles provided may be less but it will be increased in future depending on the successful operation of the scheme.

Categories: News

Entity of political parties to solve inter-state border dispute

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2015-07-30 04:31

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, July 29: In an attempt to carry forward the intent of the state government to find a solution to the long-pending, ever-alluding Assam-Meghalaya boundary issue, a decision to create ‘an entity’ comprising the representatives of all political parties was arrived at during the meeting held here at the Yojna Bhavan Auditorium on Wednesday afternoon.
An depth presentation on issues and approach relating to inter-state boundary with Assam  was made by Principal Secretary, Revenue & Disaster Management, P. K. Srivastava before the meeting. The presentation was corroborated with a number of notifications to justify Meghalaya’s claim.

Categories: News

Modi ignores Parliament for Poll Battles By S. Sethuraman

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:30

What is going right with the Modi Government, and what has gone wrong with its rule now into the second year? It took only one year not only to frustrate voter expectations but also raise apprehensions of its divisive approaches worsening the state of polity overall, reflected in some social upheavals, saffronisation of educational and cultural institutions, and an authoritarian style of governance for all to see.
This is not to belittle a slew of ‘yojanas’, potentially beneficial to the people, like financial inclusion, and catch-phrases like ‘Make in India’ still in embryonic stages. But major reforms are still hanging in the air.
The Prime Minister, most widely travelled in the early months of his term, can claim some achievements, especially putting India at the front, among nations to be reckoned with, and as a potential investment destination which at some time can also turn into a global centre for innovation and skills.
But these need strong back-up policies, before other developing countries, even advanced nations, can look to India for inspiration and meaningful cooperation. While Mr Modi has successfully re-established India’s good image broadly in South Asia, he may still be on a learning curve on evolving better relationships with the less than friendly neighbors – the traditionally hostile Pakistan and an expansionist China.
With all his charisma and the command he holds over the country, the question is whether his Government has settled down at home to the gut issues of growth and development and jobs in a conducive and more promising climate in the second year. Not germane to these basic issues, BJP Ministers have been pushing sectarian and other policies cited, which seem designed to curb not only autonomy of institutions but are also impinging on democratic rights of civil society and the media.
These are indeed distracting attention from what should be an year of economic consolidation and laying foundation for solid growth, with continuing low oil and commodity prices, slowing inflation, improving monsoon and a relatively stronger reserve position. An effective intervention by the Prime Minister could perhaps have calmed tempers in Parliament and restored focus on the reform agenda.
In a continuing stand-off, investors, domestic and foreign, are dismayed with the Modi government’s inability to live up to the hopes the PM and his government had raised about an array of reforms – land, labour, a stable tax regime, and GST coming into realm. Be it not overlooked that projections by global institutions of growth at 7.5 to7.8 per cent in fiscal 2016 and higher at 8 per cent in fiscal 2017assume implementation of the reform agenda.
Instead, Government looks like being on a weak wicket, unable to overcome the opposition wails over alleged misdeeds of his party-men holding power related to Modigate, Vyapam and the like, and the Parliament’s monsoon session disrupted to proceed with business, awash-out in the first week, when the Leader of the House Mr Narendra Modi remained a silent observer, a negation of his responsibility to an elected House.
The Prime Minister, given his contempt for the UPA and wedded to bring about a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’, may think the opposition, whatever its noise, cannot block his Government’s majoritarian policy thrusts. Even with image somewhat shaken, he prefers to play it down and has left it to his colleagues to rebut allegations of impropriety and corruption and turn the tables against the Congress.
Mr Arun Jaitley is doing this job with great vehemence, conveniently overlooking his own party’s continuous disruptions paralyzing the work of the 15th Lok Sabha. What is worse, Mr Jaitley defended in 2012 on more than one occasion that obstructionism sometimes is in the interest of democracy and would bring greater benefits to the country. He argues now that issues that agitate opposition are not such as to justify a total disruption, when other courses are open.
Meanwhile, Mr Modi has resumed doing things in which he excels, electioneering, and has launched BJP’s campaign for the Bihar poll in Oct-Nov. Magnificent special packages for development of the State are announced, more valid apparently if his party comes to power. His Government has been making a virtue of necessity by letting it appear that higher fiscal transfers under the 14th Finance Commission are a largesse by the Centre.
Bihar and UP hold are crucial for the Modi grip on power for a decade. In between the still many visits abroad on his calendar this year, the Prime Minister would also carry his party’s battle for power in states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala, due for polls by May 2016.  A pre-poll mode is already building up in Tamil Nadu with BJP working at the grassroot levels and this may get a boost with Mr Modi’s first visit to Tamil Nadu as PM on August 7 for a national convention of handloom weavers.
On the economic front, Mr. Jaitley, busy defending some of his colleagues in Parliament, has unfinished tasks to re-establish credibility with foreign investors. He may score on fiscal deficit target with spending cuts but his concern to end “tax terrorism” is not over, with several MNCs slapped with tax dues (MAT), an area his two budgets could not bring about clarity. Now, the outcome is awaited with the A P Shah Committee report on the applicability of MAT to foreign firms.
A major controversy, avoidable for Mr Jaitley, has also been ignited with the Finance Ministry’s notification of draft Indian Financial Code (IFC) designed to abridge RBI’s responsibility in framing and implementation of monetary policy. It envisages a Government majority in the proposed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and takes away veto power of RBI head.
This runs counter to the February 2014 Government-RBI agreement on monetary policy framework which fixed RBI’s responsibility to contain inflation within the 6 per cent in CPI by January 2016, and 4 per cent over medium-term. With four Government nominees in the seven-member MPC, the RBI head cannot even have an effective casting vote, as RBI would have only two representatives besides the Governor..
Also, the draft comes out at a time of ongoing pressures on RBI for a rate cut in its next policy review on August 4. Government’s Chief Economic Adviser Mr Arvind Subramanian and Niti Ayog Vice-Chairman Mr Arvind Panagariya have both called for rate cuts. Governor Rajan has in stages brought down repo rate to 7.25 per cent by June and the banking system is yet to fully transmit these reductions.
Whatever the official clarifications for damage control, the draft IFC, vetted by FM, is widely seen as an attempt to undermine even the limited autonomy the central bank has in the sphere of monetary policy. Government, more concerned with growth than prices, would have a major say in monetary policy formulation. (IPA Service)

Categories: News

Letter to the Editor

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:26

Rejoicing on mourning day
Editor,
It was a sudden and unexpected death for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. There was shock and disbelief when the editor of this newspaper broke the news on Facebook that the former President collapsed while giving a lecture at the IIM Shillong on 27th July. Initially there was some confusion but finally the official confirmation came that Dr Kalam succumbed to cardiac unrest. The mortal remain of the 83 year old was embalmed before it was taken to Delhi.
Dr Kalam was probably the most popular person in India. The print, electronic and social media are flooded with stories, memories and tributes to this legend, icon, role model, scholar, philosopher, scientist, secularist, writer, inspirer, dreamer, visionary, lover of children, noble soul, teacher and above all a great human being. He was known as the missile man. Others describe him as the All India Man. He was against caste and religion. He died on duty. He worked till his last breath.
The Central government has declared a 7-day mourning as a mark of respect for this multifaceted personality. The Modi Government did not declare a holiday. However, here in Meghalaya the first thing we thought of when we heard of his death is a holiday. It appears that government employees pressured the government to declare 28th July a holiday. Newspaper offices were kept busy with calls enquiring whether holiday has been declared or not. The government readily obliges. It ordered that government offices, financial establishments, educational institutions et al should remain closed, thereby negating the very aspiration of the late Dr Kalam who said very clearly that his death should not be marked as a holiday but as a day when people should work doubly hard. What an irony indeed!
Yours etc.,
Albert Thyrniang,
Via email

Opposing for the sake of opposition!
Editor,
In every democratic country, opposition parties play an important role in holding the Government accountable. This is called responsible opposition. Now it has become a common phenomenon for legislators/parliamentarians of democratic India to engage in unparliamentary activities to disrupt the proceedings of the House without any justifiable reasons. It is an accepted norm that every member of the legislature has the right to express his views and concerns on any matter on the floor of the House. Parliament is a place where the issues and problems of the nations are discussed, deliberated upon and solutions evolved. It pains me as a concerned citizen of the country to see how the first week of the ongoing monsoon session of  Parliament is a wash-out because of the arrogance and irresponsible opposition led by the Congress Party where not a single issue is being discussed. Many important bills were to have been discussed which are vital for the country. While I understand the concerns raised by the Opposition especially regarding the VYAPAM scam, disrupting parliament is not the solution. Shouting on the floor of the house without any merit is barbaric! While the ruling BJP Govt. has called for a debate on issues of concern, and external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj has agreed to reply to any questions or allegation raised against her in the Lalit Modi issue, the opposition refuses to listen. They want to play the politics of disruption,  thereby depriving the people of the country of healthy parliamentary debates. Even Congressman Shashi Tharoor has expressed displeasure over this delaying tactics of his own party. This is not how democracy should be.
Opposition does not mean to oppose everything that the Government does. If what the government does is in the larger interests of the people then the opposition should accept that. Parliamentarians should realize that wasting the precious time of parliament is retarding the growth and development of our country. Besides, huge sums from the country’s exchequer are wasted because of the shenanigans of the opposition parties. My simple call for the opposition parties is to please be reasonable. Use parliament to debate and not to shame the people India. The nation has a lot of expectations from the parliamentarians they have elected. Stalling the proceedings of parliament is a regressive step. This does not mean I’m endorsing the NDA Govt but as a citizen I am pained by what’s happening in parliament. I hope the present logjam in the ongoing monsoon session would end at the earliest in the best interests of the country.
Yours etc.,
Kynjaimon Amse
Address: Umkiang
East Jaintia Hills

Categories: News

Shillong made famous

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:24

Who would have thought that the most loved and respected former President APJ Abdul Kalam would breathe his last in these hills that he has learnt to admire and compare to a polluted Delhi. Dr Kalam chose to travel by road instead of taking the helicopter from Guwahati to Upper Shillong, a mere twenty minute ride. Perhaps the former President is one who believes that the journey is more beautiful than just reaching a destination. Destiny has its own uncanny motives and humans can hardly understand it. The city of Shillong became the centre of attention not because of anything spectacular but because a noble son of this great country, a scientist par excellence and a “peoples’ President,” whose life in Rashtrapati Bhavan was shorn of all the pomp and grandeur that affect most mortals and alienates them from the very people they profess to serve, took his last breath here.
Dr Kalam remained unaffected by the trappings of power and grandeur that was his by right as the President of the world’s largest democracy. His easy manner and ability to come down to the level of young people and to interact with them regularly without the airs of one who is a repository of wisdom is what has endeared him to them. Across this country it is young people who feel his loss the most. He lived a humble life seeking truth and knowledge and died a death that many would envy – while in the discharge of his duties and in the presence of young scholars who he would be sharing his thoughts with on how to reduce pollution to make the planet more livable.
In life, Dr Kalam was a no-nonsense person whose single-minded objective was to serve the nation by serving its people. In death, he went without any fuss. His heart gave way and he just breathed his last in this city which has been his gracious host on many occasions. Shillong wears a pall of gloom and salutes this giant among men who chose to give up his spirit amidst these refreshing hills and dales. If there is one lesson that Dr Kalam has for the people of Shillong then it should be that the citizens get their act together and restore the beauty and health of this city by planting trees, conserving forests, managing garbage scientifically and cleaning up the water bodies. That would be the fittest tribute to this towering personality!

Categories: News

Plainspeak By Paramjit Bakhshi

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:23

A minor incident took place on a recent road trip to Leh. Approaching Srinagar a vehicle overtook us and stopped. All the four doors opened, four young men stepped out and headed menacingly towards our car which happened to have a Delhi registration number. Apparently my co-driver, a lady, had unwittingly prevented them, from overtaking us a little earlier. When they saw a lady at the wheel, they were flabbergasted, and didn’t know what to say. Her quick apology also helped diffuse the situation. Yet the incident itself, reminded me of the anti outsider feeling, that one often encounters here in the North East.
Staying in this part of the country, one invariably gets an overdose of anti- Indian sentiment. Indians and the rest of India are looked down upon, and most people have admiration for the West. India is seen as a dirty poor country and Indians, generally as people far inferior to the westerners. A great many people also share the feeling, that if the British had stayed and ruled over us longer, we would have been more prosperous and more civilized. How far this is from the truth was brought home to me by the lectures of S Gurumurthy (Chartered Accountant, Writer, Consultant and Speaker) on Youtube and the book, “India Unbound” by Gurcharan Das (former CEO of Procter and Gamble).
One was surprised to learn that notable western economic historians, such as Belgian Paul Bairoch and Angus Maddison, who reviewed the economic history of the world, for the last two thousand years came to the conclusion that, western prosperity is not, (as has been taught to us), due to their better utilisation of science and technology, but mainly stemmed from their exploitation and colonisation of, the Third world.
Angus Maddison in his study (World Economy – Millenia Perspective-OECD), found that for almost sixteen hundred years, India had the largest share of the world GDP. From the year 1 AD when India accounted for 32% of the world GDP, right up to 1500 AD where it had a 24% share of the world GDP, Indian economy was healthier than any western economy. For fifteen centuries it was even better than that of China, which overtook India only for a hundred years, after which India regained its top position, again for another hundred years. To know how badly colonisation affected us, it is worthwhile noting how post colonisation, the wealth of the western world rose and ours declined. According to Bairoch in 1750 India’s share of the world GDP was 25%, while that of UK was 1.8% and that of USA was 0.1%. So both these supposedly great western nations together accounted for less than 2% of the world GDP. Under colonisation India’s share went on a downward spiral coming down to 17% in 1830, to 8% in 1880 and to a mere 1.7% in 1900. By this time the combined GDP of both these nations rose to 41%. Britain very successfully destroyed Indian industry and thrived by diverting Indian raw material to its own industry ultimately selling its finished goods back to its colonies. American businesses depend both on offshoring and foreign markets and their cry for globalisation is essentially selfish rather than altruistic. More than anything, globalisation enables western companies to make a middleman’s profit by using cheap third world resources, manufacturing cheaply in the third world and then selling globally at  marked up prices.
In fact the western world in the short span of two hundred years has propagated the myth that economic progress is the sole preserve of the western civilisation. In 1970 when Japan began its spectacular rise it came as a major shock to them. The thinking of the world had been coloured by Max Webber who in 1920 had written a book “Sociology of Economics” which propounded that only the Protestant culture was suitable for the market economy and that Buddhist and Hindu societies could never thrive in such a scenario. Yet it is the western consumption model which is failing today. A survey of the American economy,  between 1976 and 2000, revealed that while the US GDP during this period increased 14 times, its public debt rose 39 times,  and its external debt a whopping 137 times. In contrast Goldman Sachs (Global Economic Paper 187, 2010) predicts that India will achieve a domestic savings rate of 40% by 2016, which we will sustain for the next decade, and that we are likely to meet our requirement of 1.7 trillion dollars, for infrastructure development without foreign aid. In fact the global trade winds have been blowing in the opposite direction for quite some time with Chinese and Indian companies following the Japanese in acquiring western businesses. India is not heading for some miraculous rag to riches story but was a rich country for centuries except when western colonial might robbed its riches and its confidence. Not surprisingly it is the western oriented Indian brought up on selective western intellectual fare who doubts the strength of India. The uneducated Indian meanwhile unaffectedly carries on with business as usual and the real entrepreneurship spirit of such Indians can be seen if one cares to visit Ludhiana, Tripur, Jalandher, Surat, Namakkal or Sivakasi or just see the Mumbai dabbawallahs in action.
Yet economics is not the only area where the western propaganda has coloured our reality. A civilisation which thrived on slavery and destruction of native civilisations from that of the Red Indians, to the native Hawaiians, the Samoans, the Maoris and the Africans is surprisingly seen as the worldwide guardian of human rights. Shashi Tharoor’s brilliant eight minute speech at the recent Oxford Union Debate, highlights some of the damage that the Raj did to India. Some of the points raised by him include the death of about 20 million Indians due to British induced famines with four million dying in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 alone. In this year itself, even as the famine set in, 70,000 tonnes of rice were taken out from India between January and July for use as war reserves. Churchill’s response to this famine is well documented and his comments include, “the starvation of anyhow underfed Bengali (was) less serious than sturdy Greeks” and “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?”. It is ironic that during this war 2.5 million Indians fought for England, countless amount of food, livestock and other material went for war effort, from this poor country, and out of the 3 billion pounds of the British war debt, 1.25 billion pounds was owed to India, but never paid. The British were ruthless in looking after their interests but many credit them with the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in India but as Shashi Tharoor points out ‘it is a bit rich to oppress, enslave, torture, and maim people for 200 years and then celebrate the fact that they are democratic at the end of it.”
Yes India is today still poor and dirty but a lot of our ills are the result of colonial exploitation. The fact is that we are coming out of it and the fact is that prior to colonisation we were visited by people from all over the world including travellers from Europe, Greece and China who sang paeans to this great land. It is thus equally rich that most of the anti Indian sentiment should exist in states that are the most heavily dependent on the toils of the poor and dirty Indian whose skin has darkened slaving under the hot Indian sun. Most of these states have salubrious climes, are rich in resources and if anything is holding them back it is the corruption and exploitation by their own brethren who have been running local governments for five decades or more. Our attitude which worships a fair skin and not a fair attitude needs a rethink. The poor dark skinned Indian has been more than fair to share his little income with less developed compatriots who unfortunately have been busy squandering this recklessly and cursing him for their own mistakes.
P. S: As I conclude this article news has just come in that Shri APJ Abdul Kalam has just passed away in our city. To us he exemplified the ideal Indian- humble, self effacing, quiet and capable, intelligent, neither too modern nor too traditional, but secular and open. We may have honoured him by making him the President but he brought honour and dignity to the post as no one else did. No greater tribute can be paid to him than by encouraging our young minds to be ignited by his spirit.
The writer can be contacted at bakhshi03@rediffmail.com

Categories: News

KSU moves Union Finance Minister on ADC fund allocation

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:20

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The delegation of Forum of Council under Sixth Scheduled (FOCUSS) led by its chairman Pynshngaiñ N Syiem met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission on fund allocations to the Autonomous District Councils.
“We have apprised the Union Finance Minister on the recommendation of the panel of 14th Finance Commission to make fund allocation to ADCs from the consolidated funds in accordance with Article 275 (1) of the Constitution,” Syiem who is also the CEM of the KHADC informed over telephone from New Delhi after meeting Jaitley on Tuesday evening.
He also informed that they have also briefed Jaitley over zero allocation of funds to the ADCs from the 14th Finance Commission.
“With the 14th Finance Commission deciding to leave us out from its funding pattern, we have briefed him (Jaitley) that the ADCs are in a state of dilemma considering its constitutional obligation and responsibilities towards raising the level of administration within the ADC itself,” FOCUSS chairman said.
He also informed that Jaitley questioned the funding by State Government.
“We have told him that ADCs are receiving very less funds from State Government. The ADCs are depending on Central funds for its administration and governance,” Syiem informed.
When asked if the Union Finance Minister made an assurance to provide funding from the consolidated funds in accordance with Article 275 (1), KHADC CEM said that there is no assurance from him in this connection.
“But we are hopeful that he will take some concrete decision in the best interest of the ADCs in the North Eastern region,” he said.
The delegation led by KHADC CEM was accompanied by North Cachar Hills ADCs CEM Debojeet Thaosen, representative of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Councils (KAAC) along with other EMs of the KHADC.

Categories: News

News Capsule

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:17

Debate competition
Laban Bengalee Boys Higher Secondary School has informed that the inter school/college debate competition scheduled for July 28 has been shifted to July 30. However, the Science seminar on July 29 will go ahead as scheduled.
Prayer meet
To pay tribute to the great soul of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and to pray for his eternal peace, the ERD foundation has arranged an “All Religion Prayer Meeting” on July 29 at 5 pm in the campus of Veterinary College, Khanapara.
Science seminar
Department of Chemistry, Shillong College, in collaboration with IQAC, Shillong College and Seven Huts Socio-Educational Association, Shillong is organizing a UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on “Exploring Recent Advances in Chemistry in Service for Mankind” on July 30 and 31at Shillong College. It will be inaugurated by Vice Chancellor, University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya, Dr. P. G. Rao at 9.30 am on July 30 at the College Conference Hall.
School extension inaugurated
St. Paul’s School Building Extension at Williamnagar was inaugurated on Monday by Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills, Cyril V.D.Diengdoh.  Bishop Rt. Rev. Andrew R. Marak, Bishop of Tura Diocese, M. Karmakar, Joint Director, DSEL, the Nokmas, headmen, parents, students and teachers among others were present during the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Diengdoh stressed on the need of will-power and dedication among students to achieve excellence.

Categories: News

KSU moves Union Finance Minister on ADC fund allocation

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:16

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The delegation of Forum of Council under Sixth Scheduled (FOCUSS) led by its chairman Pynshngaiñ N Syiem met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission on fund allocations to the Autonomous District Councils.
“We have apprised the Union Finance Minister on the recommendation of the panel of 14th Finance Commission to make fund allocation to ADCs from the consolidated funds in accordance with Article 275 (1) of the Constitution,” Syiem who is also the CEM of the KHADC informed over telephone from New Delhi after meeting Jaitley on Tuesday evening.
He also informed that they have also briefed Jaitley over zero allocation of funds to the ADCs from the 14th Finance Commission.
“With the 14th Finance Commission deciding to leave us out from its funding pattern, we have briefed him (Jaitley) that the ADCs are in a state of dilemma considering its constitutional obligation and responsibilities towards raising the level of administration within the ADC itself,” FOCUSS chairman said.
He also informed that Jaitley questioned the funding by State Government.
“We have told him that ADCs are receiving very less funds from State Government. The ADCs are depending on Central funds for its administration and governance,” Syiem informed.
When asked if the Union Finance Minister made an assurance to provide funding from the consolidated funds in accordance with Article 275 (1), KHADC CEM said that there is no assurance from him in this connection.
“But we are hopeful that he will take some concrete decision in the best interest of the ADCs in the North Eastern region,” he said.
The delegation led by KHADC CEM was accompanied by North Cachar Hills ADCs CEM Debojeet Thaosen, representative of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Councils (KAAC) along with other EMs of the KHADC.

Categories: News

Umiam christening issue

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:14

From Our Correspondent

NONGPOH: Vexed by the adamant attitude of District Administration over the issue of christening of Umiam as Barapani by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the Khasi Student Union, North Khasi Hills District Unit on Tuesday took stern action by erasing the tag of Barapani and writing Umiam in different display boards from Umling to Umiam.
Notably, the KSU on June 11 submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District regarding the matter seeking her intervention and demanding action against NHAI but to no avail.
Speaking to The Shillong Times here on Tuesday evening, KSU, NKHD, secretary Lambok Rymbai said that the organization was compelled to take matter into its own hands.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the KSU, NKHD led by its president Ferdynald K Kharkamni and vice president Vincent Makri handed over the memorandum to Deputy Commissioner highlighting the situation of Nongpoh Town which is badly affected with flash flood, the delay in completing the four-lane project and failure of implementing agency of the project to construct proper drainage system and reallocation of hume pipes.
Through the memo, the KSU had demanded that, the NHAI should enhance and widen all hume pipes, wider and deeper drains and canals in and around Nongpoh area to ensure smooth flow of water bodies especially during heavy downpour and also those owners of the affected houses and agricultural land should be well compensated.
The memo also stated that NHAI has erected a Toll Plaza at  Paham-mawlein 20 mile (Contd on P- 7)

Categories: News

Mawkhlam Nongpyndeng gets new Myntri

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-07-29 14:13

From Our Correspondent  NONGSTOIN: The Mawkhlam Nongpyndeng Dorbar Shnong on Tuesday elected Balentin Sohlang as the new minister (Myntri) of Mawkhlam Nongpyndeng. The Election was held on Tuesday outside the Mawkhlam Nongpyndeng Dorbar hall.  The Myntri election was presided over by the Deputy Chief (Syiem Khynnah) of Hima Nongstoin who is also the polling officer. Three candidates contested in the elections- Teiningstone Byrsat, Balentin Sohlang and Jylliew Singh Dkhar. The election was open only for male adults that attained the age of 18 and who were permanent residents of the village and whose names have been recognized by the Syiem and the Durbar Shnong.  Out of 959 total votes, Balentin Sohshang secured 606 votes, Teiningstone Byrsat bagged the second securing 304 votes and Jylliew Singh Dkhar got only 49 votes.  The newly elected Myntri of Mawkhlam Nongpyndeng addressing the villagers after the election results vowed to take necessary action on all matters pertaining to the interest of (Contd on P- 7)

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