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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.

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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.

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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

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

 

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.

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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

LETTERS | Dear Mr PM, don’t fool us with your sugar-coated words!

LETTERS

By Lambok Thangkhiew | Jan 16, 2019: 

Editor,

This is an open letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government in the wake of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, a letter which contains questions which need to be answered and concerns which require immediate attention for the safety and security of the people of the Northeast.

Will A. L. Hek’s son be convicted or released?

By MAYBORN LYNGDOH R | April 09, 2018

To,

The Editor

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

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.

READ | Meghalaya: Mercedes driven by Health Minister’s son hits motorbike killing a cop, injuring another

 

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