---- Editorial ----
It’s advantage China for now
As India struggles to upgrade infrastructure in the border areas, China on Monday
opened a new airport terminal at Nyingchi Mainling Airport, which is located close
to Arunachal Pradesh. It is the second largest airport in Tibet region and will be
able to handle 750,000 passengers and 3,000 tonnes of cargo annually by 2020. Chinese
have also vastly improved the road infrastructure in the area that borders Arunachal
Pradesh. The situation is just opposite on the other side of the border.
Till now Arunachal does not have a single airport and road infrastructures are in
pathetic condition. The much hyped Trans Arunachal Highway (TAH) project is yet to
pick pace. Majority of projects under TAH are pending for various reasons. State
as well as central governments has bitterly failed to push this ambitious project.
The proposed Green Field Airport at Hollongi is caught up in the bureaucratic hurdle
and nobody knows what will be the fate of this project. Government of India does
not seem serious about developing Arunachal. Though they constantly harp about Arunachal
being integral part of India, their action do not show the same enthusiasm. It's
time government of India take urgent steps to improve infrastructure before it's
too late. India cannot afford to allow Chinese to have advantage because of superior
---- Readers Forum ----
A citizenship in crisis
The obvious explanation for the unpopularity of Muslims in contemporary American
society centers on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But where does the
explanation lie for the recent shooting of the 32 year old Indian engineer Srinivas
Kuchibhotla in Kansas City last month? Should we be giving knee jerk reaction and
concede that now since the Indian-Americans are fighting elections and being elected
to office in the US and becoming a voice of the people in the country’s politics
that some misguided souls of the US community are getting paranoid of late? Irrespective
of their cultural assimilation and adaption in the US , Indians are still considered
a group that falls outside of the cultural mainstream and the personality and value
orientations typically associated with the US, hence the reiterative slogan “go back
to your own country”. Hate crimes are not a novelty in this part of the world known
for its global superpower. With the increasing violence on citizens of Indian-origin
in the US, it seems prejudice has extended its tentacles towards anybody who looks
different than them. Such religious and racial backlash represents a challenge to
values such as equality and liberty that are central to American ethos.
Social identity theory stresses that we are less likely to trust or tolerate people
who seem different from ourselves, and our religious beliefs and practices, cultural
orientations and ethnicities have long made us different in key ways from the Judeo-Christian
mainstream. Americans thus tend to connect the alien-looking people to other cultural,
racial and ethnic minority- groups such as gays and lesbians, welfare recipients,
illegal immigrants, and African Americans – that often are viewed as out groups falling
outside of the mainstream of American society. Such parochial resentment is more
aggravated towards Muslims in particular. In sync with the latest developments in
the hate crime in US, calling the Indians now as ‘band of others’ won’t be inappropriate.
Negative attitudes about cultural out groups may exist in a society but such prejudice
can also be done away with, if not completely eradicated. Prejudice against racial
and religious groups tend to fade as citizens in the societal mainstream come into
contact with members of these groups and become more familiar with them. Extensive
contact with outgroup members reduces uncertainty about and stereotyping of the out
group, increases cultural sensitivity toward it and ultimately lessens prejudice
and negative effect.
Over the last century, several groups that were once viewed with considerable derision
have moved more or less into the American mainstream. From the mid-nineteenth century
through the 1930s, Catholic and Jewish immigrants were widely viewed as ‘so much
slag in the melting point’ by the Protestant majority. The Know-Nothing Party in
the 1850s sought to restrict the voting rights of Catholics, while other associations
sought to end immigration from ethnic and religious minorities because they were
seen as genetically inferior. However, as white Protestants had more contact with
and grew more familiar with these minority religious groups, Catholics and Jews eventually
‘became white’ and were accepted by mainstream society. The same may not yet be true
of African Americans, but as whites have grown more familiar with black people— through
personal contacts and the increasingly prominent role of blacks in American public
life—their feelings have grown more positive.
Thus racial attitudes might not change their course so easily but there is always
light at the end of the tunnel. Americans rate Muslims only slightly less favourably
now than they rated Latinos in the 1970s and 1980s and Asian-Americans in the 1970s.
The key issue is whether Americans will come to see their Indian counterparts as
part of the American melting pot or continue to vilify and vent anger towards them
as Indians are now making their inroads successfully in this diasporic land and living
the proverbial Great American dream.
North Eastern Hill University Shillong
Disgruntled elders seem to be constantly complaining about the hectic life styles
of parents who find it challenging to balance work-life and fail to provide quality
time to their children. Where once children were imbibed with moral stories from
the Aesop and the Ramayana- Mahabharata ensuring that the right ethics and Indian
culture was being absorbed by their next generation, now we hardly find children
reading any books – story or otherwise. Well that does not mean that they are ignorant
or not intelligent. On the contrary the easy access to Internet surfing has made
them all the more aware and knowledgeable as compared to their parents. The youth
of today is intelligent, smart, confident and a go getter.
Working parents compensate the time which they should ideally devote to their children
by providing them with the latest of gadgets. Pocket money concept is now reaching
a slot ranging from Rs. 3000 to 10,000 per month. Birthday parties and clubs and
overnight outings is fast becoming a trend with the youngsters. Freedom has now got
a completely different meaning all together. Parents who cannot afford to buy the
latest mobile phones demanded by their kids are being scorned and ridiculed. This
pressurizes them to work more harder and spend more time at work resulting in increasing
the gap between their children. The bond between a child and his parents is lost
in this rat race. Youngsters are now spending more time conversing with virtual friends
on the net sharing their personal lives more openly than any average person would
shrink from even imagining it. Friends requests are being accepted randomly with
the urge to have more friends in their list than any of their other friends without
even checking if the request is authentic and worth accepting. This is fast becoming
an addiction and we see them hooked on to their mobile chats at all possible odd
hours even while they are walking! Now that would certainly prove to be fatal if
you chat walking down a crowded road full of mad traffic. Mothers make futile attempts
in persuading their children to get off the laptops and get back to their homework.
This again is a one sided conversation as their children have forgotten to have a
real conversation and only believe in typing it out on the chat messenger. Sharing
their problems with a perpetual stranger is more comfortable to them then talking
it out with their parents. So where is all this leading to? Is India accepting the
wrong trend under the name of growth and progress.
The increased and demanding standard of living forces both mother and father to take
up jobs. To ensure that their children are provided with the best of everything be
it education or life style. But in the end they need to do a quick check – are their
children really growing up as they want them to? Are they being provided with what
they need or being dumped with excess of everything which they cannot handle? Are
the children seeking emotional support and making a Role model of people that they
see around them. They need to be guided and harnessed to tap in their bountiful of
energy. Their intellect and acumen requires a focus and an objective to build the
new age India of tomorrow.
Nutur Techi, Nirjuli
Artificial lines of religion
It should be learned that deep classification and division of human beings as Hindu,
Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and others based on artificial
lines of religion is a superficial identity, and human shall need to move farther
from superficiality towards absoluteness to attain collective harmony of living on
Earth and reach God.
The ultimate identity of human being is a member of humankind as well a sacred entity
of God's Creation.
Because such artificial classification and divisions of humanity is against the order
of Creation and rule of God, continuous divisions, fighting, killings and sufferings
happens in the World.
It is emergent that leaders of various religions around the World get together, do
certain brainstorming and evolve a unified faith to save humankind from persistently
destructive activities, bring unification along the line of ultimate truth and achieve
blissful living on Earth.
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