This is the second year that total lockdown is imposed in the State and hence it is as dark as it was in 2020 for the poor and daily wage earners, if not darker. It is well known that the income of an estimated 2 lakh labourers in the informal economy in the state of Meghalaya has fallen by leaps and bounds since 2019. Most poor families in Meghalaya have had to bear the brunt of the underprivileged treatment that was shown to them by the political class and influential civil society organisations much before the pandemic hit them last year. The violent protests that took place in 2019 with the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) led by various civil society NGOs to the Ichamati incident last year in February where curfew was imposed by the authorities for days, is evidence enough that there was little or no thought given on how the working class of the state will survive with no basic income.
The pandemic has so vividly and so woefully brought to light the complete absence of humanity and moral conscience by the present Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Prestone Tynsong. His abhorrent mindset towards the labour class of the society where he is the minister in-charge is sad and can be described as rumblings of a sick mind where he has complete disregard for anyone or any issue.
Worse is the statement of the Deputy Chief Minister where he said that ‘people should resort to having rice with vegetables.’ This is downright heartless and insensitive, especially for many families that are finding it extremely difficult to survive in these trying times. Prestone’s remarks reminded me of the ‘complete policy failure’ of the then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who deliberately ordered the diversion of food supplies from starving Indian civilians to well-supplied British soldiers and to top up European stockpiles which led to the Bengal Famine in 1943 where an estimated 3 million people died of starvation.
It is unbecoming of a senior politician who is an aspiring Chief Minister to be spewing such unscrupulous and juvenile statements in a public press conference. His incessant sermon to the public on every issue is irritating and void of any logic. Sometimes I wonder why we elect brainless and loudmouth individuals like Tynsong whose only interest is to gobble up the resources of the state for his benefit even amid such a dangerous pandemic that is claiming the lives of 20 people daily.
The plight of lakhs of labourers and their families doesn’t seem to affect him; instead, he openly chooses to indulge in corrupt practices through his Labour Department where lakhs of beneficiaries did not receive the amount of Rs 2100 per week promised by the State Government for three weeks in 2020. As a Labour Minister, he seems to hardly care to inquire how these families are eating and surviving during these difficult times, but is only interested in his own efforts to build a robust empire (real estate) for himself through ill-gotten means. If you are reading this Mr Deputy Chief Minister, we’ve heard enough of you. Please gracefully tender your resignation.
Shillong – 16
Aristotle once said, “State exists for the sake of the good life; it exists to promote moral objectives, justice and the COMMON GOOD.” It’s embarrassing to see Government representatives busy having arguments and making outrageous statements instead of thinking of the common welfare of the State. From the CAA agitation to the ILP issue and now the Covid 19 crisis, the people of Meghalaya have suffered much. There is substantial loss of jobs and incomes as the huge majority are working in the unorganized sector in urban and rural areas. Many are still dependent on their daily wages and live a hand to mouth existence. From the farmers to those involved in the tourism sector, the issue is grave. An illustrative point is that places like Sohra which are totally dependent on tourism are out on a limb because of this crisis. The impact has been shattering especially for those who had availed loans to start the business of home-stays and guest houses. It is high time that Government comes up with a well-considered policy to assist this large chunk of people who have lost their livelihoods with minimum or basic income for a particular period.
Except for government employees everyone in the private and non-formal sector is affected by this pandemic. From hotel owners to their workers – all are suffering income loss. The cost of living has risen exponentially so a mere cash delivery of Rs 1000-2000 per week is not enough. Power should not be misused. It should be used solely for the advantage of the people.
NEHU MA Political
Goodwill gesture from Assam CM
It is indeed a great gesture on the part of the new Chief Minister of Assam to supply Oxygen to Meghalaya. Himanta Biswa Sarma has always set himself apart from other leaders. He had proved what one can do during the first phase of Covid lockdown last year. He himself had come forward to get things together to contain the Covid fatality. No matter what other political parties might have said about Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma’s presence during the recent swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister in Guwahati, the people of Meghalaya can be optimistic now. It will certainly go a long way as far as strengthening the friendly ties between Assam and Meghalaya is concerned. Don’t we have vexed border issues left unresolved for several decades? The frequent skirmishes and bloodshed have brought untold sufferings to people living in the border areas. I believe such problems would not have happened if the neighboring Chief Ministers were having a friendly relationship. It is always advantageous if the neighboring heads of states have a close personal rapport. Hope now the cordial warmth of Sangma and Sharma will break down all the walls of belligerence.
Allopathy a stupid science – Ramdev
Yoga televangelist Baba Ramdev has now grown into a business tycoon but has never been a science student nor even a quack-doctor or a charlatan! He had better concentrate on his area of counselling on yoga and develop his Ayurvedic medicine enterprise.
It is not enough for the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to term Ramdev’s statement which rubbishes that allopathy is a “stupid science” as ‘most unfortunate.’ This is a mere eye-wash. Ramdev further claims that medicines such as remdesivir, favi-flu, and other drugs approved by the DCGI have failed to treat Covid-19. This is an insult to modern medical science. A serious aspersion has been cast by Ramdev on medical science and medical professionals of India, thereby humiliating the scientists and Doctor-community who have been rendering their valuable services in this pandemic.
Hundreds of doctors and healthcare workers are braving the pandemic as frontline warriors. Many while in the process of treating Covid patients had to sacrifice their lives. Now they are robbed of that dignity and are tainted by the aspersions cast on them by Ramdev!
The Indian Medical Association and the entire medical fraternity have demanded that the Government should prosecute Ramdev after a video purportedly showed him dubbing allopathy a “stupid science” that had killed “lakhs of people” and was ineffective against Covid had gone viral. Ramdev has no business at all to meddle with medical science and comment irresponsibly in an idiosyncratic manner!
The Indian Medical Association may also consider filing a PIL in the Supreme Court of India for prosecution of Ramdev under Section 499 (Defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant Acts and rule of law of the country!
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