---- Editorial ----
It’s time for de-escalation
The report of physical confrontation between soldiers of India and China near Pangong
Lake in Ladakh region will further deteriorate the relation between two neighbours.
As per the report Chinese soldiers threw stones at ITBP jawan when latter stopped
them from entering into Indian Territory. Personnel from both the sides received
minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner
drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective
positions. Already relation between two countries is tensed due to border standoff
at Doklam, Sikkim. Both the sides are refusing to budge from their respective stand
and there are growing fears that things may get real ugly in days to come. The Indo-China
relation has worsened over the last few years due to border and trade disputes.
A trade war also seems to be looming between India and China after New Delhi imposed
anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products amidst a military standoff in Doklam area,
two Chinese state media reports said on Monday. An article in The Global Times, part
of the ruling Communist Party's publication group, urged Chinese firms to "reconsider
the risks" of investing in India and warned New Delhi to be "prepared for the possible
consequences for its ill-considered action.” Day by day the confrontation at border
and political level is escalating to a dangerous level. There is urgent need for
leaders of both the sides to intervene before situation gets out of control. A military
confrontation between two Asian heavyweights, both of whom are nuclear armed will
be catastrophic for whole world. Its time both the side tones down the rhetoric and
engage in meaningful dialogue to ease the tension.
---- Readers Forum ----
Patriotism of the nationalists
The "patriotism" being displayed by the "nationalists" revolving Independence and
Republic Day are increasing with each passing year. Let the human rights of innumerable
Indians and children get religiously trampled under marauding feet of the vested
interests; but the symbols of the nation like flags and anthems can never be unfurled
or sung the "wrong" way!
This Independence Day has witnessed a new video which has perhaps landed in the smartphones
of every users through WhatsApp.
It shows a young man wooing a lady by handing over a flower to her. As he is returning
towards his waiting friends with the lady smilingly looking at him, a little girl
emerged in the scene with a bunch of flags in hand. The girl insisted the lady to
take a flag. The lady reluctantly took it with her eyes still fixed on the smiling
man. Few moments later she discarded the flag on the roadside. Witnessing the scene,
the man became angry, walked towards the lady, snatched the flower which he himself
had handed to her few minutes earlier and landed a tight slap on her face! As he
was returning, his friends were clapping in unison in respect of him as if he has
saved a person from drowning to death by risking his own life! Oh what an example
of machismo and heroism!
Even if it is taken for granted that the lady had committed an "unpardonable" offence
by "insulting" the nation through her act of discarding the flag; still that person
held no democratic, legal or Constitutional right to indulge in any sort of physical
violence. His "patriotic" act of slapping the lady would have merited exemplary punishment
in any truly civilized nation.
Secondly, why don't the blood of our "hero" get boiled when billions of oppressed
Indians(specially child labourers) get routinely tortured, exploited and assaulted
by the vested interests? Will the "patriotic brigade"(who are coming up with such
"nationalist" video/ applauding it warmly just like the friends of our "hero" clapping
in unison following his "great" act of slapping a lady/ forwarding it to their contacts)
dare to display their guts by physically taking on the crude brute lot who are destroying
the nation through indulgence in corruption, violence, communalism, casteism and
The "nationalism" of the "patriots" have assumed such a Himalayan height that not
only violence in the name of "protecting national honour" is being encouraged barbarically,
the coward act of slapping a lady is also being "glamorised" to such a vulgar extent!
Freedom from different shackles
On this Independence day, let us pause and thank those who toiled, sweated and sacrifice
lives to win Ajadi for our nation. Let us also imagine what freedom fighters, martyrs
would have wished India to become! And let us introspect whether we have become what
they wished us to be! A free, vibrant, and developing Nation!
In our Arunachal Context, we still need freedom from different shackles. By and large,
some of these are:-
Freedom from disunity: We badly need unity. Look at the latest Census. Arunachal
registers 106 tribes. That means we have over 100 languages and dialects. We have
diverse history, traditions, customs, beliefs etc. It must be one of the toughest
jobs to usher harmony in such a diverse society. But we all are Arunachalees. Remember
Strength lies in Unity. A string of many strands is not easily broken.
Freedom from wastefulness: If we are willing to face the truth, Arunachal is a Wasteful
State! Look at the multi-crore Power projects. They are rotting. Look at the unfinished
Dam, Stadiums, roads, Arunachal is not yet shinning. For the past many years the
Union Govt has pumped money into Arunachal Pradesh. Whether it is NEC or special
Infrastructure Development capitals, or the regular support, the money was given.
But Arunachal is still dry! Are we not wasters! Let us repent!
Freedom from dependency: Arunachal is a poor State. While other States have over
50 medical colleges, Arunachal did not have even one. The lone medical college is
now being developed,though. As it is now, people of Arunachal has to overcome all
odds to get treatment mostly in neighboring states. Imagine people of Vijoynagar
Circle having to travel 300 Kms toMargherita just for a Sonography ! Sometimes, over
50 villages have only one doctor! The fish we eat, the tomato we buy, the egg we
fry, potato we pay, where do they come from? From your district?Probably not. Are
they not from places as far as Andra Pradesh? Are we self-reliant? I think not yet.
Freedom from idleness: One look across just confirms that we Arunachalees are basically
lethargic people. We have ergophobia. We are generally afraid of work. While we
look for high-salaried posts, we are not willing to work and earn from the ‘lesser
jobs’. Just to illustrate this, just take a walk to the nearest town, seek who are
‘running the business’ of the town. Who works? Who earns ? You will not see 80:20
but you will find it is actually 20:80! Let us further illustrate this. Let us say
I am a barber. I cut hair. Dye hair. I shave. I massage. I get Rs 50-100 from a person.
I work on 25 people in a day. So my average monthly income amounts to 45-50000/-
Now the question is how many of the Arunachal guys work as barber in your town? How
many of us earn as much as a barber does? Are we not idle?
Freedom from self-centeredness: We guys need to learn to do with less. We need
to desist from the temptation of living like affluent people. Basically we are not
rich! Think of your relatives in your villages. Think of how they struggle for so
many things. On average, we are not rich! But we are just mad! We want the best cars.
We want the big cars. We want to hire 5 servants! The extravaganza seen in Arunachal
cities exceeds to that of other Metropolis of India! What do you say? We buy a Scorpio
when we need only a Maruti Van. We build businesses and shops. And how many of you
have brought your relatives from villages to run those shops? How many of you have
helped start a business for the have-nots of your kith and Kin? Are we not Self-Centered?
Be your brother’s keeper starting from this day!
Our freedom fighters dreamed of freedom from all forms- political, economic, ignorance,
bigotry and hatred. Let us translate them right here where we are as best as we can.
Aphu A. Fisher,
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