A friend who is a professor in the University and a co-speaker at the brainstorming session on ILP organized by the Political department of the North Eastern Hills University, while criticizing the Chief Minister for spending much of his time in Delhi to convince the central government for more fund to the state than Shillong when the state was burning; said that it has only reminded him of the nursery rhymes that his daughter was reading. The professor came up with his own rendition of the old rhymes which goes like this “Chief Minister saap, Chief Minister Saap, where have you been? I’ve been to Delhi to meet the Queen. Chief Minister Saap, Chief Minister Saap what did you there? I went to beg for 3000 crore but nothing come by. Why did the Chief Minister choose to rush to Delhi than trying to solve the burning issue in the state? Why is it so important to meet the personnel of the finance ministry than to address the issue at hand when every day the state is losing crores of money due to bandh and road blocks called by the NGO? Is this a good economic sense? Isn’t this a classic case of penny wise pound foolish?
Of late there is a tendency among the chief minister to outdo each other in trying to bring more funds from the Central government to the state exchequer. This subtle competition among the Chief Minister to try and prove that they are better Chief Minister than their predecessor by bringing more money for the state is but a competition for a wrong goal because it is a case of missing the boat for a ship. There should be a healthy competition among the Chief Minister to bring peace, progress and development in the state, not just bringing money from the centre. But now it look like the Chief Minister who can bring more money to the state from the central government’s kitty is considered to be a good leader.
The question is; is the role of the Chief Minister of the state merely to bring more funds to the state from the Finance Commission? May we ask when will this begging bowl syndrome end? As a citizen of the state we are sorry that even after 40 years of its existence the state still depends on the financial support from the central government. Are we not ashamed of being perpetual beggars from the central government?
A large part of our revenue went down the drain because we failed to check the leakage in revenue collection in the transport check gate or even in the Land Custom and many loopholes. Is there any effort to stop these leakages of resources? This column has exposed the leakage of revenue especially in the Dawki-Tamabil land custom where till now overloaded trucks exported coal and limestone from this port to Bangladesh. The state can save crores of rupees if this is check, but the government chooses to turn its nelson’s eye to what is going on.
We need a chief minister who can make the best use of his time and energy in making Meghalaya a state which can sustain itself without any outside support. The state needs a leader who can take this state to a new height, a state which can stand on its own feet. Meghalaya need to strive to be a state which can at least be in the middle rank of the development list in the country and most importantly a state that we can all be proud of.
The way how the Chief Minister tackle the ILP issue left much to be desired, in fact the chief minister’s problem solving style has only helped make the list of people who dislike him longer. Not that he is in the competition to be the most liked person in the state, but Chief Minister’s handling or mishandling of the entire ILP issue will certainly back fire on the Congress especially in the ensuing MP elections. One thing that is obvious is the fact that the Congress has already lost a large chunk of young voters; this will be a huge problem for the party. The chief minister’s mishandling of ILP has alienated it from the young people and the party will find it difficult or maybe even impossible to woe the young crowd to its fold again.
The only hope for the Congress is if the regional parties failed to come with a consensus candidate for the Shillong parliamentary seat in the next MP election. If the regional parties can unite and come up with a consensus candidate who can unite all the regional parties’ voters; then the Congress will find it difficult or may be even impossible to fight a united regional force.
Taking leave from my professor friend’s book, I realize that if the regional partied unite then it will a repetition of another nursery rhyme which we loved to sing when we were kids and the same nursery rhyme are still being taught to our children now. Talking about nursery rhymes; I sometimes wonder why can’t they teach our kids new rhymes. But I now realized that these rhymes that kids still love sing, like all the holy books remain relevant to every generations we only need to bring it to the present context to understand its message. So I came up with my own version of another nursery rhyme which is relevant to context and the same goes like this: “CM (say CEM) and Cong went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, CM fell down and broke his crown and Cong came tumbling after.” The Chief Minister mishandling of the issue will certainly cost the Congress party dearly and the first casualty will be the Shillong parliamentary seat. The seat or rather any seat will be very important for the Congress in the next general election because it looks like it is going to be a tough fight for the party in the entire nation.
If Congress falls then Dr. Mukul Sangma will also fall, there is no power in the world that can save him from the axe to remove him from the chief minister hot seat. And it is true; if the Congress loses the Shillong parliamentary seat it is nothing but the failure of the government to handle the ILP issue. Precious lives were lost to the ILP issue and the government cannot simply wash its hands on any of the unfortunate incidents because as the saying goes it takes two to tango. The state is equally responsible for all that has happened during the last 3 months, it has failed in its duty to protect life and properties both private and government. And we are in a situation that people does not feel safe or secure to live in their own state anymore, is this not the failure of the state?
Perhaps by now we can at least agree that the timeless nursery rhymes are not mere rhymes that we love to sing by rote but they do have some profound meaning to pass on and that is why we keep on singing these little rhymes through every generation. We started with a nursery rhyme so it is very apt that we also end this write up with another nursery rhyme. And here in my own rendition of another nursery rhyme which I think is relevant to the situation that we are in and it goes like this… “Chief Minister Saap; Chief Minister Saap; sat on the wall. Chief Minister saap; Chief Minister saap; had a great fall. All the queen’s horses and all the queen’s men could not put Chief Minister Saap together again.” That will be a sad day not only for Dr. Mukul Sangma but for all the people who admire him. We don’t want this to happen to our Chief Minister, we still hope that Dr. Mukul Sangma; the young dynamic Chief minister that we have; will be able to complete his term and see that all his mission and programs were successfully implemented.