---- Editorial ----
Resolve issue concerning Mumbai Arunachal bhawan
The Mumbai Arunachal bhawan is once again in news for all the wrong reasons. US Roofs
company which owns the building where bhawan lies is reportedly dismantling portion
of bhawan causing much trouble to cancer patients and students. Every year hundreds
of cancer patient heads to Tata memorial cancer hospital, Mumbai for treatment. Being
the financial capital of India, Mumbai is an expense city. Therefore it is Arunachal
bhawan where cancer patient prefers to stay as it is comparatively cheaper and also
gives secure feeling to the visitors. But over the year the Arunachal bhawan is slowly
disappearing from the scene. Government of Arunachal entered into a 60 years lease
agreement with the Navi Mumbai based developer, US Roofs Ltd, for development of
land which was gifted to them by Maharasthra government for construction of Arunachal
The Company was supposed to construct the bhawan and emporium for govt of Arunachal,
while the remaining space was to be used by them for commercial purpose. However
the company has reportedly provided just small space for bhawan and has taken away
major chunk of space. Also Arunachal Students Union Mumbai (ASUM) has alleged company
of encroaching into the floor which was constructed for establishment of bhawan.
First of all state government made huge mistake by agreeing to lease land to private
developer and allowing them free access. Government should re-look into the agreement
and find legal means to protect interest of Arunachal. There is urgent need to post
deputy resident commissioner at Mumbai to deal with this pressing issue. Before company
do more damage to Arunachal bhawan, state government should intervene at the earliest.
---- Readers Forum ----
India’s rise in world Badminton
Cricket is the most watched sport in India but the rise of Indian badminton has delighted
India that there is much more left than to cricket. The stupendous success of Indian
shuttlers from Srikanth Kidambi to Sai Praneeth, P Kashyap, Saina Nehwal and PV
Sindhu on the global stage have brought attention to the world badminton. They have
won from individual championship to Olympic, Asian, SAF Games and other world championship.
But those success stories have not just come easily. Their parents have sacrificed
a lot owing to insufficient government support. Saina’s father once quoted “It took
me my whole life to make what she makes in a year”. Now it’s a good sign that Badminton
Association of India has recently announced cash reward for winners. The inspiring
story of the man behind India’s rise in the world is Pulella Gopichand who has singlehandedly
changed the sport of badminton in our country. The all England champion has not just
retired but opened two academies in Hyderabad for grooming young talent. For him
playing national anthem at global badminton event is a big thing. There cannot be
a bigger motivation than that.
Open Letter to Governor of Arunachal Pradesh
Green Arunachal Foundation (GAF) regrets to express its displeasure over the (mal)functioning
of the Raj Bhavan of late. In context of the above expressed subject, GAF would like
to apprise Your Excellency’s high office of the following discrepancies on the part
of Raj Bhavan that have been witnessed during the last couple of months:
It is hoped, and supposed, to get free and easy excess to get an audience with the
Governor of the state who is the constitutional head of the state in addition to
being the representative of the president of India. Lamentably, it is not so. Regretfully,
there wasn’t any correspondence from Raj Bhavan even after GAF implored twice to
get an audience with His Excellency, the Governor. It is surprising that whereas
GAF has been able to get appointment even with the Hon’ble President of India, its
members could not obtain permission to meet the Governor of the state.
GAF also earnestly beseech Raj Bhavan to initiate steps for the implementation of
the Lokayukta Act. As everyone is well aware, the Lokayukta is an instrument that
has been designed to safeguard the nation and its people by checking corrupt practices.
This potent Act covers even the political classes, including members of the Council
of Ministers, within its purview.
GAF reminds His Excellency’s high office that the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
passed the Lokayukta Act in its Fifth Session way back in March 2014. However, it’s
startling that even after a gap of over two years, the Act is yet to be constituted
and executed by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Thus, the state is failing in its constitutional duty by not constituting the Lokkayukta
Act. Hence, there is an urgent need and scope for early intervention of Your Excellency.
Another matter that GAF wants to ponder upon is that Raj Bhavan seems to be rendering
a mute spectator with regard to the developmental activities of Arunachal Pradesh.
It is expected of the Governor of a state to discuss with members of the legislative
assembly and advise the house for early and proper implementation of all the developmental
activities. Therefore, Raj Bhavan is implored upon to exercise its power and intervene
into the functioning of the Members of Legislative Assembly and the Council of Ministers
of the state as a neutral body/agent (of the President of India) as is laid down
in the Constitution. GAF expects the office of the governor to be a neutral one and
appeals not to incline towards or favour any particular political party, individual
or group of individuals while exercising his power/duty. It is expected of the governor
to guide and advice the capital administration especially the Chief Secretary’s office
to look into the traffic problems and conditions of roads and bridges of Capital
complex. The governor is also expected to travel by roadways between Itanagar and
Banderdewa, rather than using only the helicopter chartered to his office, so that
the problems faced by the people might be realized.
Yet another matter that concerns the state and its people is the manner in which
the official bungalow of the Chief Minister of the state is being presently utilized.
It is in everyone’s knowledge that the Chief Minister’s official bungalow rendered
without its rightful occupant after former Chief Minister Mr. Kalikho Pul committed
suicide in it. The said bungalow has been converted into a guest house/circuit house.
Now what is to be considered is the fact that till date – even after the passage
of about four months - not a single guest/tourist has checked in due to rumours doing
round that the bungalow is a haunted one. As such the fact remains that the state
coffers cough out money for its maintenance, whereas there is zero (possibility)
of earning or return.
GAF further requests the governor to allot an official bungalow to the present Chief
Minister and direct him to shift from his private residence at the earliest – preferably
to a state guest house or to the Banquette Hall. He would be more accessible to the
people if he resides in a government accommodation, rather than his private residence.
Taking into account the above facts, Your Excellency is pleaded to look into the
matters and do the needful to correct those at the earliest.
A letter from Dibang Valley
We are sharing some grievances of Dibang Valley District which are highlighted below
for wide circulation.
The Health Centre of Punli: The Health Centre of Punli was totally demolished on
10th April’ 2017 by a villager and during demonization, one 5 year old boy was badly
The matter was informed verbally to the Circle Officer, Anini and District Medical
Officer, Anini but the authorities did not take any action against the culprit nor
have they re-build the Health Centre for the villagers.
Govt. quarters are occupied and demolished: In Anini many govt. quarters are occupied
and demolished by the people who later construct their own houses on the govt. plots.
Hence, the authorities must take legal action.
Heads of Department are always out of station: In Dibang Valley District, all the
HODs are out of station always except very few.
They only visit Anini during March ending and after that they are out of station.
The villagers from interior places come to meet the HODs but they are always out
of station and the problems of the villagers are unsolved. Every year, the scenario
is same and no action has been taken by the administration.
Choosing the right career path
All forms of higher education are important and necessary for our youths to make
them suitable for the job markets. However, based on our South Asian culture, over
population and very limited job opportunities; vocational education, training and
experience often does not land a potential young individual in the specific skill
based job market in which he/she is specifically trained. This is quite unfortunate
and is an important factor behind the lack of popularity for vocational training
and education and related degrees and diplomas. A regular academic degree helps an
individual to switch from one job opportunity to another based on his/her needs;
but a vocational or skill based training degree does not make an individual suitable
for many jobs outside his discipline or faculty thereby limiting job opportunity.
When the opening for jobs will be equal in both regular and vocational educational
programs, the demand for both streams will be equal for youths seeking employment.
Hence it is advisable for students to seek the career path based on solid facts and
figures, real life practicalities and one’s personal abilities, natural skills and
interests. It is not advisable to jump into any stream if someone else is doing that.
One has to take decision based on his/her individual circumstances, specific opportunities
identified and long term goals.
Saikat Kumar Basu,
Mahatma Gandhi wanted a dalit woman as India's first President but his suggestion
was turned down. But can a Dalit's symbolic representation at the top of our administration
really change anything?
For an answer, we must refer to Malik Miah's article, "What Obama's victory means
about race and class". He wrote, "Obama's victory, more than symbolic, represents
a change in attitudes. But the symbolism in and of itself is powerful, because of
the country's racist history. It is that symbolism that every African - American
understands, including many of those on the right."
GST is just another avatar of indirect tax
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) can indeed streamline our indirect tax collection.
But what India needs now is not a GST regime which is just another avatar of indirect
tax but a direct tax regime that has helped many countries to get a developed economy.
Poorest of the poor persons are to cough up substantial and same amount of indirect
tax as their creamy counterparts when they are to buy anything from salt to slippers
and from food to medicine. While direct taxes depend on the taxpayer's ability to
pay, indirect taxes being blind to the economic status of the taxpayers, hit the
poor the hardest. Given huge income disparity among Indians, India should rely more
on direct taxes which is just for all.
Our indirect tax regime is also one of the factors of rising inequality among Indians.
According to the New World Wealth report, our country is ranked seventh in the list
of top wealthiest countries in the world but on a per capita basis, the average Indian
is quite poor. This is a clear case of lopsided growth of our national body that
can turn out to be malignant if not immediately taken care of. While the richest
10 per cent of our population has 76.3 per cent of nation's wealth, the poorest half
is reeling with a meagre 4.1 per cent.
So, a direct tax regime, with more than 60 per cent of the total tax revenue coming
from direct tax, along with GST taking care of indirect tax and earning less than
40 per cent of the total tax turnover, is needed.
Sujit De, Kolkata
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