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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?