---- Editorial ----
Time to end feud
The declaration by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju that centre
is committed to construction of green field airport in Itanagar gives hope that soon
a full-fledged airport will come up in the state. Minister who is in the Arunachal
to participate in the digi dhan Mela expressed optimism that work will start soon.
For the last many years the Green Field Airport Project has been in news for all
the wrong reasons. Though the airport was first planned in Karsingsa later it was
shifted to Hollongi. However since then the project is marred in controversies.
The bitter fight over site of airport has put a halt to the project.
Unfortunately no effort has been made by the political class to resolve the issue
politically. It is a bitter truth that successive state governments have played politics
over airport project and never exhibited any desire to speed up this project. Itanagar
remains the only capital in North East region not to have an airport of its own.
This is matter of deep embarrassment for everyone. People of Karsingsa and Hollongi
have been made to fight against each other due to wrong policy of the government.
It's time the citizens of both the areas realize it and resolve the issue at local
level. If the feud continues, it will greatly hamper the prospect of Green Field
Airport. Soon the central team which recently visited both the sites to finalize
the permanent site is expected to submit their report to the ministry. It is the
duty of both Hollongi and Karsingsa people to sportingly accept the report of committee
and stop becoming stumbling block. Union government has show their readiness to fund
the airport project, now it is upto us to reciprocate and extend all possible support
so that dream of having an airport of its own is finally realized.
---- Readers Forum ----
To take the bull by horn
Should the bull taming game be back to the fields of Tamil Nadu during the Pongal
season? The Apex court’s verdict was a big no. Nobody thought the situation would
turn the way it did. A small gathering of 100 people at the Marina Beach has swelled
up across the state bringing the state of affairs into a stand still mode. This is
how it happened and we need to know as to how the game Jallikattu is associated with
the culture and life of the Tamils. Can the protest be treated as a momentary hysteric
outburst of people against the verdict or should it actually be treated as genuine?
Jallikattu, also known as Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu, is held in Tamil Nadu
during the festival of Pongal. The sport which is an integral part of the festivities
is believed to have been practiced from 100 BC. The bulls are well fed and are bred
by the villagers for the event. What people speak of the other reason to lift the
ban on Jallikattu is the bulls used in the sport are native bulls and a ban on the
sport will force the farmers to stop their breeding and also invite their unfortunate
extinction. Since many of the native bull brands are on the verge of extinction,
the sport with no permanent harm inflicting on the bulls would keep the breeds alive.
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA) is the NGO which has filed petition
for the ban of the sport. Again, NGOs fighting for the freedom of animals are silent
on slaughtering. They should again come out to stamp a ban on kite festival which
slits both animals and people. Festivals are celebrated to bring happiness and unfathomable
joy among the public. They serve as a tranquilizing agent in societies which normally
fight on multiple issues. Throughout the course of civilization, people brought adequate
changes into the social customs and systems as per the demand of the time. But banning
them with no alternatives left to work on seems to be unjustifiable. Many a times,
festivals help us to preserve the secular fabric of the societies. The agitation
to lift the ban on Jallikattu is a great example for it. Going beyond the boundaries
of cast, religion and politics, the people of Tamil Nadu seem to be united for the
revival of the sport.
It seems to be foolish for the government to consider the outpouring of people to
the streets to settle down soon like any flash mob. The country was held on toes
when the agitation by flash mob in the streets for the cast reservation in Rajasthan
turned violent and the judicial system itself stood helpless to book the culprits
in millions. It is fine as long as the agitation is happening in a democratic way,
but the outburst, if taken the shape of violence would be catastrophic.
Interestingly, with no leader to take the crowd ahead, the agitation can take any
shape in coming days. When the sport which is totally in consonance with the sentiments
of the state and its culture, the Supreme Court and the government should look at
the larger picture behind and revisit their stand, by suggesting amicable changes
in the rules of the sport. Otherwise an angry mob will be more violent than an angry
bull in the game. In such a situation, who will hold it by the horn?
VKV Sher, Kimin
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