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

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…