---- Editorial ----
The department of tourism, government of Arunachal which has roped in Bollywood superstar
John Abraham as brand ambassador will be launching TV commercials on Arunachal Tourism
featuring the actor. The ad will be telecast in few popular TV channels from January
31 onwards. This is a very good initiative on the part of tourism department. The
roping in of John Abraham is expected to pull more tourists to the state. Arunachal
has emerged as the major tourist destination in the last 10 year.
Bollywood superstars like Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Kangna Ranaut and others have
visited the state. Noted director Vishal Bharadwaj's upcoming film Rangoon has been
shoot extensively in Siang belt. In coming years more number of tourists is expected
to visit Arunachal. However, the question remains whether we have the required infrastructure
to meet the needs of the visiting tourist. Government need to give utmost importance
to improving the road infrastructure. Even though state is blessed with serene natural
beauty, the absence of proper road is huge bottleneck towards realizing true potential
of Arunachal tourism. Also the accommodation is still a huge issue. State government
will have to construct more guest houses. They will also have to explore the possibilities
of tying up with private investors to create infrastructure to accommodate the tourists.
Most importantly the tourism department should conduct massive awareness campaign
to educate people about the tourism industry. There have been instances when tourists
had to face hostility from the locales. Such situation can be embarrassing and gives
bad name to the state. But there is no denying that tourism department has made a
good beginning by roping in Bollwyood star to market the Arunachal tourism.
---- Readers Forum ----
America, Sixteen Years After 9/11
America will be attacked by Al-Qaeda again and more destructively than on 9/11. Why?
The reason being very obvious. The bipartisan governing elites willfully refuse to
recognize the severity of the Islamist threat. They are waging a feckless war that
misrepresents the enemy’s motivation, declares an absurd ban on countries that haven’t
so far waged a war in the American soil, pursues Status Quo foreign policies, ensuring
the next Islamist generation is more anti-American and numerous. Time is short. America
faces an existential threat the author Hilaire Belloc foresaw long ago. Belloc had
great respect for Islam’s vitality, mobilizing skill, latent military power, patience
and endurance. He contemplated the resurrection of Islam in the most formidable manner
and there would be a tremendous struggle between Christian culture and for what has
been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.
If U.S claims the threat as unrecognized, it would be a blatant lie as the policymakers
and academicians are well aware of it as Islamism is constantly debated and written
about. What I mean is that U.S leaders have failed to understand their enemies’ motivations.
Ignoring Sun Tzu’s advice, they have not prepared the citizens for the price they
will pay in blood, treasure and lifestyle to defeat the Islamists- if indeed there
is time to understand and prevail. An essay by the editor-at-large for Beirut’s Daily
Star Rami Khouri,is pertinent where he gets very vocal about his stand on the American
foreign policies. He exhorts, “Sensible middle class Americans get on with making
a living in challenging times, while their federal Government in Washington conducts
a fantasy foreign policy based on make-believe perceptions and imagined realities.
Washington’s policy is a mishmash of faulty analysis, historical confusions, emotional
anger, foreign policy frustrations, worldly ignorance, and political deception all
rolled into one.” These entire accusations ring quite valid since the erstwhile
President Bush ignored the impact of American, Israeli and other foreign policies
on the mindset of hundreds of millions of people in the Arab-Asian region. With Donald
Trump taking over as the 45th President, we can already see the storm approaching.
Trump is no disciplined politician: he speaks and tweets as he pleases and goes through
tectonic mood shifts; often sides with both sides of an issue, contradicting himself,
merrily. His willful political blindness makes the American foreign policy a laughing
stock around the world. Most of the 19 hijackers of the gruesome 9/11 attacks were
from Saudi Arabia. The rest from the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon. Interestingly, none
of these countries are on Trump’s visa ban list.
The Islamophobia that took hold of the public domain, especially after 9/11, has
again resurfaced after the selective Visa Ban policy and the statement made my Trump
(“We don’t want them here”) after signing the executive order that was part of an
extreme vetting plan. U.S national security is threatened by the Islamists because
of what America does in the Muslim world. In claiming the present war on terrorism
based on the foe’s hatred of freedom, U.S leaders prove themselves either unschooled
fools or liars. Indeed Osama Bin Laden had been quite helpful in detailing the U.S
policies that inspire jihad , which include the military and civilian presence on
the Arabian peninsula; its unqualified support for Israel, military presence in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, the support of the U.S for
Chinese, Russian and Indian oppression of the Muslims. The U.S is at war for what
it does. Period. And it will be, once again, brought to its knees if the President
doesn’t abandon his ludicrous propositions as foreign-policy bedrocks.
North Eastern Hill University,
Fruit of discrimination
Equality can only be translated into reality by adopting a policy of positive discrimination
in favour of the oppressed. This is the very essence of a welfare state. And this
is the reason why many countries like the United States of America provide the unemployed
with handsome allowance. Without such positive discrimination, equality will become
as ludicrous as ~ in the words of Anatole France ~ "The law, in its majestic equality,
forbids the rich as well as the poor, to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets,
and to steal bread."
Unfortunately, in our country, instead of protecting the poor with positive discrimination,
the fruit of discrimination is actually being dished out to the rich thus making
this tool a negative one. As for example, the lion's share of subsidy is enjoyed
by the creamy layer of our country. Amartya Sen had said, "Reading the papers and
hearing broadcasts, you would think that it is subsidy for the poor ~ food and employment
~ that strains India's public resources, even though more than twice as much public
funds are spent in subsidiziing the better off." In India, the money does not trickle
down from the rich but pumps up to the rich until they vomit it to some foreign banks.
Management quota reservation in educational institutions is another example of negative
Surprisingly, there is so much noise in India against caste quota reservation (a
positive discrimination in favour of the oppressed), but not that kind of uproar
can be heard against management quota reservation (an utterly negative discrimination)!
When the largest bank defaulters in India are the big business; debt-driven micro
defaulters are made to suffer up to the hilt. According to NCRB's recent report,
there was 42 per cent increase in farmer's suicides in just one year from 2014 to
2015. But many rich individuals are roaming freely even after defaulting astronomical
bank loan amount. Perhaps the present scenario would have made Anatole France to
say, ~"For the sake of majestic equality, the rich is provided with subsidy and management
quota and the poor with occasional freebies."
Sujit De, Kolkata
Stop arbitrary decisions on Arunachal Pradesh
While urging the state as well as the central government not to put Arunachal Pradesh
in peril time and again, Green Arunachal Foundation (GAF) fully agrees with the complaints
and lamentations of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) for appointment
of a regular Governor for Arunachal Pradesh
There was a time when Arunachal Pradesh used to be in gaiety in its Union Territory
days, when the state had a constitutional head of the cadre and stature of K. A.
A. Raja as its Lt Governor. People of the state enjoyed democracy to the fullest
even in the recent past years during the tenure of Gen (Rtd) J. J. Singh as the governor.
It wasn’t for nothing that the then UPA government, with consultation with the state
government, hooked in personalities like J. J. Singh and Gen (Rtd) Nirbhay Sharma
as governors who were well acquainted to the topography and the people of the state,
due particularly to their Defence (Indian Army) background.
It must be realized that for a state sharing international borders with neighbouring
countries and a huge eastern part of which is infested by insurgency must have a
constitutional head of quite a high personality.
However, things started changing for the worst after the now and then interference
of the central government in the functioning of the state. To make matters worse,
the centre started making decisions in almost every matter of the state without consultation
with or consent of the representatives as well as the people of the state.
In the first instance, the centre appointed JP Rajkhowa as the governor without proper
consultation with the elected representatives of the state. Every Arunachalee is
well aware of the jeopardy that this arbitrary decision of the centre brought about
for the state. It’s unfortunate that nobody have seemed to learn from the mistake.
As if the previous blunder was not enough, the centre shoved in one of its chosen
candidates - V Shanmuganathan, the governor of Meghalaya – giving him an additional
charge of the governor of Arunachal. Exasperatingly, nothing has been learnt till
now. After Shanmuganathan’s shameful resignation due to the ‘Young Ladies Club’ episode
of Shillong Rajbhawan, centre has appointed another governor for Arunachal Pradesh
on additional charge, this time the governor of Nagaland.
The central government should stop making arbitrary decisions about Arunachal Pradesh.
One such act of the centre had proved fatal. Last year the deputy commissioners of
Tirap, Changlang and Longding were summoned to some unknown location in the Patkai
Hills region of eastern Arunachal Pradesh for some secret discussions. It is surprising
that even the then Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Arunachal were kept
in dark about that proposed agenda, probably under the direction of the centre. Unfortunately,
the DC of Khonsa, Kamlesh Joshi died in a Chopper crash while on his way to attend
the said conference. Many unanswered questions linger around. The state government
must find answers to these unanswered questions.
The central government must be very practical with regard to making decisions about
Arunachal Pradesh. It is politically one of the most delicate states of India, sharing
international borders with Myanmar and China. And the fact that China is ready to
pounce upon the state even on the slightest pretext must not be taken lightly.
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