The city of Shillong never lagged behind when it comes to technological advancement but the sad part of it is its ‘momentary nature’. The government aimed at taking this hilly region to whole new levels with the introduction of automated traffic posts but after the sanction and allocation of huge funds, the project never saw the light of the day. Posts were installed but were dysfunctional from the word go…leaving hopes being crushed like grapes! This became one of the most humiliating ventures of the Meghalaya Government.
The famed yellow posts to beautify the city remains a topic of endless ‘cigarette and tea gossips’ and much has been written and complained. With authorities drifting from this ‘greatly successful’ venture, the ‘timid’ population is left with ‘promises of a lifetime.’ It is nothing different from villages that are not electrified. The ‘bolt’ of electricity comes years after the installation of poles. We surely are in the path of progress.
The current state of affairs will ensure that Shillong never becomes a destination for the shooting of a sequel to Madhur Bhandarkar’s acclaimed Bollywood movie Traffic Signal. But who cares, Shillong can be the backdrop of a perfect spoof to the movie!
My journey as an SSA teacher in Meghalaya has been quite a dilemma . But I love my job as I love my family. Imparting knowledge and receiving the same amount of knowledge I have been doing and I consider myself to be still on a learning quest. As I enter my class, I don’t see myself as a teacher but I see myself as a father figure to gain and give moral values to my children.
So often, I have heard people say that teaching is an easy task, anyone can be a teacher if applied for a teacher in school or any institution and earn easily. Is that really easy as it seems from the outside? Well I can’t change someone’s point of view about certain profession. I would rather say that each and every profession has its own “Modus-Operandi”.
Let me put it my way, the profession which I have chosen is more ‘baby-sitting’, where I spend hours with thousands of children. My responsibility and priority increases manifold when I sit with them and when I have to make each and every one of them understand and learn. Like every finger in our hand is not the same, similarly every student’s way of understanding and grabbing things differs. But my duty is to make the children educated rather than just literate.
Apart from being teacher I am also a father, a husband, a son and a friend and also the only sole earner in my family. How am I doing? What is my part in my family? Are the questions which arises as month passes by. Earlier, before election I was told by a candidate that he would tackle SSA-teachers’ pending Salaries” and in a hope that at least he cares, I, and many like me voted for him and he fortunate or unfortunately won the elections.
As months pass by, the situation remains the same, I am still empty-pocket, the only thing remaining with me is the debt from my relatives, neighbour and my friends. Day seems restless and night seems undending but do I have any other choice? Not being able to pay for my daughter’s school fees, not being able to fill the empty vessels and jars. Sometimes it pushes my limits, slits my passion and my career but do I have a choice?
With humble request to the state government: Respected Sir/Madam, please understand that before being a teacher I am a human being so please kindly consider my request and let each teacher like me live in peace with enough and timely income to feed me and my family.
“The thrill of Speed overcomes the fear of Failure”
The passion for speed,the love for cars and the thrill they seek in driving is what brought the duo together as a team to conquer new heights in one of the extreme sports in the world.The duo have left no stone unturned ever since as they with their mean machines are taking motorsport to a new level.The dynamic duo are none other than Phoebe Dale Nongrum & Baljit Singh Tedwal from Shillong.
In an exclusive interview with TNT-The Northeasttoday,the duo will tell us about their journey as partners and many more…
TNT: Give us a brief Bio about the two of you?
Baljit Singh Tedwal: I started out my Journey in Motorsport with Motocross in the year 1998. I have competed in 17 Motor Cross and won 13 podium. Then I started getting into Autocross later and won a few race and side by side I have competed in a few National Rallies and brought home 3 Wins for the Northeast … The passion that I had never stopped but grew more and more each day. As of now I am concentrating more on upcoming National Rallies..
Phoebe Dale Nongrum: I grew up having the Passion for speed, the love for cars and bikes. As I was growing up I would have these small drag Race, but as there was no platform for a woman in the Racing track in Shillong, I left town to pursue my studies and had been away for over a decade. But it is when I had returned back whereby some friends of mine had organized a local autocross event and asked me to give it a try.Without hesitation I said yes and ever since my journey in this extreme sport has continued.
Land and property rights in certain states of Northeast India have invited several critiques in as far as the rules and regulations laid down on the basis of customary laws are concerned with respect to the indigenous population of each state.
Recently the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) in Meghalaya was embroiled in controversy in the month of July this year after it gave its approval on a social custom bill that would strip a Khasi woman of her ST status and all privileges associated with it if she marries a non-Khasi.
Interestingly, the KHADC bill came just a month after the LR&DM Dept Govt of Sikkim in June this year released a notification laying down the guidelines on property ownership for Sikkimese women married to a non-Sikkimese, making her eligible to inheriting her parent’s property.
In what had come as a major relief in terms of property rights to the Sikkimese women who have/had married non-Sikkimese men, LR&DM Dept Govt of Sikkim in the month of June released a notification laying down the guidelines on property ownership for Sikkimese women married to a non-Sikkimese.
ALSO WATCH | KHASI LINEAGE BILL 2018: Protecting Customs or a mere Political Stunt?
The notification read–, “It is hereby directed that, notwithstanding para 23 of Sikkim Registration of Documents Rules 1930, any document regarding transfer of property which has been presented for registration by a Sikkimese women married to non-Sikkimese, may ordinarily be registered and the ownership of the property on her demise shall be governed as per the existing rules and regulations prevailing in the state.”
While on one hand, the KHADC Bill invited resentment from various sections of women in Meghalaya pertaining to the discriminatory nature of the Bill, the order by LR&DM Dept, Sikkim was hailed by married Sikkimese women who were demanding their right to parent’s property, thus making them eligible for the same.
This stark contrast presented above depicts an irony- one that may have been ignored for far too long but which came into the limelight (or should we say, made itself very prominent) in so called ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ only recently, where the youngest daughter of the Khasi family becomes the custodian of the family property (But note that ‘custodian’ here does not imply inheritance of the same).
As per the KHADC proposed Bill, the Khasi woman would be stripped off her ST status and even the aspect of ‘custodianship’ of ancestral property if she happens to marry a non-Khasi person. But let us note here that in any way, she is never inheriting ancestral property but only gaining custody over it.
So, my point here is that- Were all the hailing slogans for ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ only a facade to veil the patriarchal mindset? Where there is an attempt to even dictate a Khasi woman about the person she should/should not marry thereby putting her ST status as well as other benefits at stake, does it portray the staunch mindset of many people who believe women should be at the beck and call of a man?
I think the Sikkim’s Government’s stand on land and property rights and most importantly, on women ought to serve as an example to ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ and the bodies laying down customary guidelines! Is anybody listening in Meghalaya??
NAME WITH HELD ON REQUEST
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
For latest news, stories, videos and features from Northeast India visit: https://www.thenortheasttoday.com
Following a recent incident of a Meghalaya MLA’s son being involved in a tragic road accident that led to the death of a cop associated with Shillong Jail while critically injuring another constable of Meghalaya police, a question that has been lurking in people’s mind is that, “Will the minster’s son ever be convicted or will he be out on bail for he happens to be the son of Meghalaya Health Minister, AL Hek.
He might seemingly strike a cord with the youth across India but it does not just end there because the old are not far behind. And for someone who has had a special connection with the Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Meghalaya on February 21 was something that could not be missed at any cost!
The lively lady in her nineties eagerly awaited the arrival of the man who is now the face of the oldest national political party but the irony is that he himself is not too old. Rahul Gandhi may personally not have a very strong connection with Peggy Martin but the lady shares a three generation bond with his family!
From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi, Peggy who was a former nurse has met them all.
It may be mentioned that Rahul was in Shillong today to take part in the campaign in poll bound Meghalaya which is scheduled to vote on February 27. And when he learnt about Peggy, he could not help but ask to specially meet her on his visit. In an adorable gesture, he also reportedly enquired about her favourite pastries so he could give them to her. After all, how could he not uphold the three generation bond between the Gandhis and Peggy!
Talking about Peggy Martin, an Anglo-Indian, she initially worked as a nurse in Delhi whereby she met Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 when the first Prime Minister of Independent India addressed nurses following the Sino-Indian war. It was learnt that she later took up an assignment with the Tripura Royal Family which perfectly explains the strong bond shared between her and the royal scion Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman.
Nine years later in 1971, she met Indira Gandhi, the period before Tripura became a state. This happened when Peggy accompanied the then queen of Tripura Bibhu Kumari Devi, wife of Kirit Bikram Manikya for the meeting.
And again after 18 years in 1989, the royal couple of Tripura met Rajiv Gandhi along with Peggy as an essential member of the family. And then again, after 28 years in 2017, she has met the Gandhi scion with the Royal Tripura Scion ofcourse!
The lady in her nineties is the life of Tripura Castle situated in Cleve Colony, Shillong. Though aged and fragile, her chatter echoes through the walls of the castle which otherwise held a silent inhibition a few months ago when she was taken seriously ill in 2017. Nursed back to health by Pradyot, Peggy holds him dear to heart and is busy preparing fish curry for him while we sit in the castle learning about her life.
The scene could almost be captured forever in the eyes of those present to witness the unison of the Grand Old Party leader and the Grand Old Party Supporter.
Sometimes, it’s not just about politics – often it is also about a connection, one that pulls certain strings and strikes a cord between certain people that help them fulfill aspirations, however small they may seem, that brings a smile on the faces of many. As Meghalaya goes to polls on Tuesday, whichever party may win or lose, at least one small wish has been fulfilled
Smiling with sparkling eyes, Peggy gracefully leaves the room to check on her fish curry, closing the door behind her!