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An open letter to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma

To,
The Editor
Dear Sir/Ma’am,

In view of the recent proposal made by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mr. Conrad Sangma to External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj to moot the Work Permit of Bangladeshi Nationals in our State and country, I wish to send our beloved Chief Minister a message through this open letter via your medium.


To,
The New Chief Minister of Meghalaya,
Mr. Conrad Sangma.

Respected Sir,

Subject – Work Permit for Bangladeshi Nationals.

With reference to the subject cited above, I would like to enlighten you that the state is already “SUFFERING” from the stigma of “UNEMPLOYMENT” and here you are mooting the “Work Permit” for the Bangladeshis in our state and country.

Let me warm your Excellency with a simple question:

What is the value of a Master’s Degree in Meghalaya?

A student holding a Master’s degree in any subject holds a Master’s Degree no greater than that of a graduate and sometimes the degree is of lesser value than that of a Class XII pass.

The patriarch predecessors of the Government in Meghalaya has devalued a Master’s degree. A Master’s degree is only good on paper and pleasing to the ears.

Allow me to explain –
Approximately, 90% of the Government posts in our state that are available to apply for; the minimum qualifications required starts with class VIII pass and the highest being Bachelor’s (any stream).

For instance:
Police department – In the last three years of my observation, the vacant posts are for either Constables or Sub-inspectors. (Qualifications required – Class XII pass and Bachelor’s)

Teaching – B.A. (B.ed) and B.A. (D.El.Ed.) are the only qualified catch for the Deficit and SSA pay scale.

Ad-hoc does accept a Master’s Degree, but the problem with that, is that most schools are looking to employ more teachers with a Master’s degree tagged with B.ed with a hope of being provincialised, and colleges will not take in without Master’s tagged with NET (National Eligibility Test).

Government offices – Most offices are very adamant based on qualifications; which is fair. A Master’s Degree holder is not allowed to apply for the post of a peon or driver because they are deemed “OVER QUALIFIED”.

With that being said, the minimal scale pay of a Peon is Rs 17,800 to be exact. If a Master’s Degree holder is willing to work as a peon with his or her qualifications, I do not find it difficult for the employers to employ them.

Note: It is also obvious that we will not want to work as a peon with our degree. It’s a mockery to our Degree. But why are we willing to do so should also be another question to be discussed.

Private enterprises – Private enterprises are such life savers. They employ the cream – the very qualified and efficient from the lot at the cheapest rate.

IS IT OUR FAULT THAT WE ARE MASTER’S GRADUATES?

Does having a Master’s degree mean that one is qualified to be subjected to exploitation of qualification?

Very often, I find my Master’s comrades landing an officiating job in some school or college at Rs 200 and Rs 300 per day. In some cases it’s lesser than that, whereas a daily labourer – let’s take a coolie for example, now values at Rs 450 or Rs 500 per day.

P.S. There are minimal or no posts for Masters’ except some that arrives like Halley’s Comet once in every three to four years.

Flawed system – When you have unqualified Ministers dictating office, recommended rich brats flooding the government posts and relatives and friends of these excuse of a human being, holding responsible public posts, it is only expected to witness what we witness.

As of 30th June 2016 statistics, 39,472 unemployed youths have registered with the Employment Exchange in the various districts. It is pretty certain that the number of the unregistered is also alarmingly high.

Where will our youths go?!

Pardon me for being a keen observer, but I am critical that there are a good number of Bangladeshis that are already working with big contractors. These Contractors fish cheap Bangladeshi labour and employ them at cheaper rates. As a result, most of our own citizens are left jobless. These then go on to get themselves a Pan-card and an Epic to become full-fledged citizens of India. How? That is a universal truth that every citizen of Meghalaya is aware of. I do not deem it important to comment.

These are then used as vote banks. These needed a home, a job and a right of an Indian citizen. They are given all the above, allegiance is something they must pay to someone.

The growing number of voters in every constituency is something that must be monitored very meticulously.

Where will our labourers go? How will development come? From where will we progress?

We are already populated with illegal immigrants who are now proud citizens of India, and your grace’s short-sightedness is only going to drain the life out of this beautiful state of Meghalaya of which we call ‘Home’.

As a citizen of Meghalaya, I hope you address to the need and angst of the citizens of your country and more so of the people of the state of Meghalaya first which is “THE NEED OF THE HOUR”. Discussions on International issues can be discussed once the problems of unemployment of our people are met at.

Thank you,
With utmost sincerity,
(Citizen of Meghalaya, India)
Mayborn Lyngdoh R.


The writer can be reached at calebdelshe@gmail.com

You can also contribute articles and opinions for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

8 surrendered GNLA cadres- a sheer case of misguided youth! Where are we heading?

Date: March 14, 2018

Respected Editor,

I would like to draw your attention to the employment issues that the youth are facing in Northeast India.With the development taking its toll in Shillong, the employment sectors have seemed to lose its way.

Many of the youth are not being able to come up with opportunities due to which they have chosen to travel abroad or are sometimes forced to opt for illegal ways to earn livelihood.

READ | WATCH | 8 GNLA Cadres officially surrender before Meghalaya Home Minister in Shillong

Let us take the example of the 8 GNLA cadres who surrendered recently in Shillong. The question to be asked here is that if these young people really wanted to become militants and fight for their rights, they would have continued their fight even after the death of Sohan D Shira. But the very fact that they surrendered proves that they chose the path of insurgency due to lack of viable opportunity to earn a dignified living. Isn’t there enough source of employment where they can earn their livelihood? The answer is No

WATCH |

Can this also be the reason causing increase in crimes prevailing not only within the state but also in numerous parts of the country? Few days back I came across news where few youth were arrested in a smuggling case in Guwahati. Such kind of incidents are rising with each passing day. In future it may become a serious issue and it is better to tackle this problem as our first priority. As it said “Prevention is better than cure”.

Yours Faithfully,

Preetty Chambugong Marak


You can also contribute articles and opinions for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

I am a Meghalaya SSA teacher and this is my sorry plight!

Date: August 14,2018

To 

The Editor

TNT- The Northeast Today

 

Respected Sir/Madam,

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”.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya | Agriculture non-bonded graduates also in murky waters over job recruitment

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.

ALSO READ | OPINION | Education in Meghalaya is a growing business – Part 1 by Mayborn Lyngdoh R

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.

An aggrieved teacher hoping against hopes 

Featured image courtesy: All Meghalaya SSA School Teachers’ Association – Ribhoi District Unit


You can also contribute articles, opinions and letters to the editor for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

We welcome your comments at web@thenortheasttoday.com

 

An aggrieved Shillongite’s rant on sky high petrol prices

 

Date: September 30, 2018 

To

Editor

TNT – The Northeast Today

 

India’s sky high petrol prices | ‘I might as well take a taxi… but for how long?’

Petrol and diesel prices across the country have been on the rise since April and continued rising on Friday with rates hitting new highs as oil marketing companies (OMCs) increased their costs.

ALSO WATCH |Toby from Shillong sure knows how to drive!

Petrol prices touched Rs 81.63 per litre in New Delhi, Rs 89.01 per litre in Mumbai and 81.05 in our dear Shillong city as on September 15, 2018.

I drive to work from Rynjah to Nongthymmai every day. It is not a very long drive and yet, I feel a burning hole in my pocket as I visit the petrol pump more frequently than I used to. Of course, I run errands for my job and my family too, but it has never sent me to a never-ending spiral of ‘I’m going to take a cab tomorrow instead’ everyday.

Meghalaya: ‘UDP committed biggest blunder by promoting Conrad Sangma as CM’- says proscribed HNLC

And even if I were to take these cabs, how long until they begin charging us a lot higher? The issue of the difficulties of even getting one is something different altogether. It is only a matter of time until the taxi fares in the city will rise and the drivers cannot be blamed for it.

Most establishments have shied away from the problem. The Delhi High Court said that daily change in fuel prices was an “economic policy decision” of the central government. The central government on the other hand, urged the states to take action.

Meghalaya: Man gets hit in the head with sword in neighbourhood clash

Some state governments have decided to take measures to curb the problem. The Rajasthan government had, on Sunday, announced a 4 per cent cut in the state VAT on petrol and diesel. The government of Andhra Pradesh has also announced a similar reduction by Rs. 2 per litre.

Now, I am by no means an expert and I only write as a concerned driver and citizen, but despite the fact that the trimming of excise duty and VAT will strip away government revenue for a while, I firmly believe that it will be worth it in the long run.

Yours truly,

A concerned citizen


You can also contribute articles, opinions and letters to the editor for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

We welcome your comments at web@thenortheasttoday.com

What ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ should learn from Sikkim Govt’s stand on women!

 

Date: September 25, 2018

To 

The Editor

Shillong News

 

Respected Editor Sir/Madam,

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.

READ | Meghalaya | Khasi woman marrying outside tribe to be stripped of ST status, benefits

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 shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com & shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

For latest news, stories, videos and features from Northeast India visit: https://www.thenortheasttoday.com

Meghalaya | Agriculture non-bonded graduates also in murky waters over job recruitment

Date: August 7, 2018

Respected Editor,

With reference to the letter to the editor dated July 22, 2018 titled Meghalaya: Agriculture students left in murky waters over job recruitment,it is disheartening to acknowledge that instead of uniting and fighting against the sovereign authority of nepotism and corruption in the system of recruitment in Agriculture as a Unified body of Agricultural students, the Meghalaya Agricultural Students and Graduates Association (MASGA) are showing that till date the British tactic of “divide and rule” still works.

FOR LATEST OPINIONS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CLICK HERE

The MASGA has been successful in dividing the whole agricultural student union. They have continuously shown in various news articles that they alone have a greater right than other agricultural students in getting employment in the State Agricultural Department. Therefore, it can be understood that we the so-called “non-bonded agricultural students” are not entitled to the same rights, according to them.

We the non- MASGA students have studied the same courses alongside with them in similar prestigious universities across India and have also faced similar hardships as them. Is it not an injustice if we are not given the same opportunities as them in securing employment? We do not want any reservation or consideration because we are the ‘other’ students. We do not demand others to lose equal rights for employment. We just want a fair and transparent system of recruitment where every student is equal and not judged of only one examination, that is their Class XII board exam results.

The minimum qualification for working as an Agricultural Development Officer or Horticultural Development officer has always been a bachelors degree. But we fail to understand how the MASGA students take into consideration that their Class XII board exam result as the only important factor for them to be more deserving of recruitment. We know that there have not been any recruitment in the department for the last ten years and all the students are suffering equally. Many seniors are on the brim of being over aged to qualify for those recruitment. Therefore, we feel betrayed that MASGA, this small union of bonded students are trying hard to secure a lifeboat and leave others drowning. We believed that there was always a bond amongst the fraternity of students belonging to agriculture, but it can be seen that it is obsolete in today’s time where a few peoples’ selfish desires are greater than the good of the whole fraternity.

We the non-bonded students will also be raising our voices for our rights to employment, emphasizing on the fact that every agricultural student and not only MASGA should have the same rights and opportunities for recruitment in the State Department of Agriculture of our great Meghalaya.

Yours faithfully,

Non-bonded Agricultural Graduates of Meghalaya


You can also contribute articles, opinions and letters to the editor for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

We welcome your comments at web@thenortheasttoday.com

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