Skip to main content

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

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

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Drèze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Kashmir kayoed, bhakts 'jubilant': Much like crowds when Hitler purged Jews, Catholics

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
August 12, 2019 was the great festival of Eid al-Adha (incidentally, for Jews, Christians and Muslims – the sacrifice of Abraham is a very significant one); for the people of Kashmir however, this year Eid was a sad day indeed, what with the lockdown and communications blockade!

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Modi's Kashmir move meant to 'solidify' Hindu majoritarianism, 'demonize' Muslims

By Battini Rao*
The parliament of India on August 6 put its stamp of approval on bills abrogating article 370 and downgrading the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to two union territories. When the representatives of the people of India were deciding the fate of the state, the people of J&K were forced into collective house arrests.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.