Mudslinging in politics is not something new but has been going on for years. Politicians focus more on the wrongdoings and mistakes of others, demeaning the policies of their opponents, but turn a blind eye to their own wrongs. Recently, there were reports of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Vincent H Pala accusing the UDP of being corrupt as he recalled incidents of the alleged rice scam in the Social Welfare department and the illegalities in the Home department, both run by ministers belonging to the UDP, and the collapse of the new assembly building dome – under charge of the assembly Speaker who also is from the UDP.
However, if critically examined, whatever has been spoken by the MPCC president cannot be entirely wrong. The departments that are being taken care of by the ministers of the UDP are actually under-performing. Take, for instance, the Education department. This is one of the most crucial department, but unfortunately, the state of it is in a mess. The PGI report released in June last year was a clear indication of how our performance is in the education sector, pointing to the degrading education system of Meghalaya; such an embarrassment on being termed as the worst performer in India. Our education system is in a shambles, but nothing is being done to improve the conditions; teachers were out on the streets demanding for their rights, but their cries fell on deaf ears. The Home department too has sadly seen no changes as illegal coal trade is still very rampant and there can be no denial of that. The unfortunate collapse of the dome that was an integral part of the under-construction assembly building also makes us question the competency and responsibility of the assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh, who is in charge. If inspection was being carried out on a regular basis and everything was examined critically, we could have avoided the incident from taking place.
Another shocking revelation that came up was the Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla releasing a statement that there can unfortunately be no hike in the salary of mid-day meal cooks as there are no funds available. This is just another sad state of the plight faced by these people who give their all to ensure that the meals are prepared on time. How much more are we all going to suffer?
How much more of the mudslinging is still left will be interesting and critical for us to analyse. It would also be important for us to critically examine the functioning of the party/parties who claim themselves as ‘regional parties’, how much have they contributed to the growth of the state and how much are they gaining from it for themselves. As citizens and voters, it is crucial for us to examine every little detail and aspect without falling astray.
Shillong – 793022