Skip to main content

Who is Modi to “allow” eating habits in Meghalaya? Right to Freedom, Privacy are constitutional rights

Counterview Desk
Open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Tiplang Syiem, 23 year old civil services aspirant from Shillong:
Congratulations on your second visit to my beautiful state of Meghalaya. Hope you enjoyed your time and found it easier to breathe, unlike in Delhi.
I had a fascinating conversation with someone from Delhi post your visit to my state which has compelled me to write this letter. As a Civil Service aspirant, I’m currently living in Mukherjee Nagar. Two days ago, I came back home from my classes to find my flatmate enquiring about my state. According to him, Meghalaya was a poor, illiterate state with zero infrastructure. In his words, “You have been gifted a road by Modiji.”
His words were a shocking jolt to me as I realized your power and what kind of a narrative your speech can set. Instead of portraying Meghalaya in a good light, you chose to play petty politics. Modiji, I hope you take out some time and read this letter by a very hurt but proud citizen of this country.
Invited to the state for the inauguration of a project close to our hearts, you misused the power of your office and put Meghalaya in a poor light. You had just inaugurated a 261km long 2-Laning of Shillong-Nongstoin Section of NH 106 and Nongstoin- Rongjeng Section of NH 127-B and called it an “east-west corridor” but instead chose to highlight the poor infrastructure in the state.
Since you acted as a petty campaigner for your political party, let me remind you that this Shillong-Tura project was sanctioned in 2011 under UPA Government and completed in 2017 under Dr Mukul Sangma government. Dear Prime Minister, we may not be growing at a lightning speed but we are taking baby steps towards development which shouldn’t be disregarded.
Sir, you’re doing injustice to the power vested in your office by the Constitution of India with this step-motherly treatment to the states in which BJP isn’t in power.
You also went ahead and took a dig at our Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma saying, “The chief minister of Meghalaya is a doctor but what is the situation of the state’s health sector? Why are people not getting proper healthcare?”
Sir, let me remind you about the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) which was applauded by the Union Health Ministry for being innovative and other states were also asked to replicate it. The scheme is revolutionary as it extends to all people of the state on the line of universal health insurance.
My friend Rishan Marak realized the benefit of this scheme when his father suffered a heart attack recently. At the time of distress, when one can’t think straight, he was able to get world class facilities for his father by just handing over the smart card issued to his family to the officer in-charge in the MHIS counter present in the hospital. MHIS has saved his father’s life and countless others.
Worrying about the state’s infrastructure, you announced Rs 90,000 crore for improving roads and national highways in the northeast to facilitate better connectivity. Sir, you’ve been in power in the Centre since 2014, where was this concern since last 3 years? Or is this an election gimmick? We remember same sort of ‘promises’ during elections in UP and Bihar as well. Is this part of strategy or do you think we can’t see through such tactics? Our vote isn’t up for auction like this.
You went as far as calling the Congress and Mukul Sangma Government as the government of and by the mining mafia. Perhaps you forgot that your own party has promised the coal mine owners that they would work towards lifting the ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Let’s come to the topic close to everyone’s heart, Beef Ban in India. You recently said you would “allow” people of Meghalaya to eat beef. Respected Sir, in a country where Right to Freedom and Right to Privacy is a constitutional right, who are you to “allow” us our eating habits?
And if you’re so convinced of your logic behind the Beef Ban, why isn’t it being made a Pan-India policy? Why the hypocrisy and the double standards? Or is the cow not sacred enough to play vote bank politics with?
At the end I would like to say only one thing, the North-East remembers.

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

Sweden-backed study: India won't achieve 2030 UN goals, officials can't recognise SDG

By Rajiv Shah  A Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)-sponsored study, carried out by the advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) India, seeking to analyse the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12, Responsible Consumption and Production (RCP), has regretted, it is "very unlikely" India will achieve any of the targets of SDG 12 by 2030 "unless some serious measures are taken by the government to reverse the present trend."

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Stop harassment, release Kashmir rights defender Khurram Parvez: Global NGO

By Our Representative  Ahead of his hearing on January 21, 2022, CIVICUS , a global civil society alliance with more than 10,000 members worldwide, has called upon the Government of India to “immediately and unconditionally” release human rights defender Khurram Parvez. “The judicial harassment he is facing highlights the repressive environment for activists and critics in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir”, it said in a statement.