Elders up in arms against dirty politics
Shillong: Fed up with dirty politics practised by politicians, village elders of Meghalaya are on a campaign trail to clean the system, led by an MLA from the State. Elders of Umlyngka locality and its adjoining villages have extended their support to the Clean Politics Campaign (CPC) of Nongkrem MLA Ardent M Basaiawmoit.
The village elders including Rangbah Shnongs, Seng Kynthei and local NGO leaders attended a meeting at the Umlyngka community hall on Friday.
Speaking at the meeting, Ardent highlighted the importance of a clean political system in the State, especially in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills. He said the Khasis have, since time immemorial, supported democracy.
“The people have always been held in high regard, even in the times of the Syiems or King,” he reminded the gathering. Syiems, Sordars and Rangbah Shnongs are titular heads with no actual control over land and property, he said.
In time, Ardent added modern corrupt politics crept in, opening the floodgates for corrupt politicians and a corrupt political system. Reportedly, several sitting legislators won in the 2008 elections by ‘virtue of money power’. “This is a very disturbing trend,” Ardent observed.
He informed CPC has made people aware of their rights and what they should expect from their respective representatives legislators. It has been observed many MLAs do not have voices in the Assemblym which is a great loss for the people, if their MLAs cannot participate in Assembly debates.
“It is not enough for our MLAs to be educated, clean (not corrupt) or just being patriotic, however, MLAs should be able to raise concerns of the people in the Assembly,” he said.
Able legislators can enact different laws for the benefit of the people. Such instances include the MGNREGA for providing jobs, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for improving education, and the NHRM for better access to health services. Urging the people to join CPC, Ardent said village elders have a big role in making it a success. “In the coming elections, the people should identify real leaders and not corrupt people to be elected to the Assembly.” Several important bills were primarily rejected or failed to garner support since MLAs are either ignorant or fail to understand the outcome of such bills.
Elders of Pynursla also expressed their support to for the Compulsory Registration of Marriage Bill in the State, as practiced in other parts of the country.
Source: The Shillong Times