Assam flood and National Media!
The devastating flood that occurred in 22 districts in Assam in the last part of June, 2012 affected lakhs of people, rendering them homeless while damaging hectares of cropland. More than 60% of the river island Majuli, famous for Vaishnava culture in the World also got submerged and various Satras were inundated. Further the Kaziranga National Wildlife Sanctuary known for one horned Rhinoceros in the world has also been inundated. Almost 90% area of Kaziranga National Park was under water causing great difficulties to various wild animals including the one horned Rhinoceros and most of the animals either died or got washed away by the flood waters. But it is really unfortunate that the devastating flood of Assam did not receive any coverage on national media including national television channels both government and private . But when there is flood in other states like U.P., Bihar and Bengal etc., the national print and electronic media create a hue and cry and focuss the flood of these states to a great extent even though such flood is less than that of Assam. Our question to the national media is - why this type of discrimation in case of Assam? We request the national media particularly the electronic media to focus the flood of Assam through their channels and also arrange discussions by inviting national experts on flood of Assam so that rest of the country can visualize and realise the importance of the devastating flood. However, the news in respect to the aerial survey of flood by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA’s Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on 2nd July’2012, it was highlighted as a routine media coverage by the national media.
Further, it is very unfortunate on the part of the Members of Parliament from North Eastern States particularly from Assam who miserably failed to pressurise the central government to assess the gravity of the recent flood in Assam. We request the Members of Parliament from this region, irrespective of their party affiliation to exert pressure on the central government both in parliament and outside the parliament to provide special packages for flood relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims of Assam.
Pradip Kakati, 1, Nabagraha Path, Guwahati-781003
Capitalist anti-public proposal to reduce import-duty on cars
It refers to the news-item about the Union government working on a drastic cut on import duty on imported cars imported only by the most- affluent section of the society for whom luxury cars are more of a status symbol rather than a necessity. The decision will also suit our politicians who in general have amassed enormous wealth by taking politics as their private business and profession for minting money.
Instead of burdening people with regular doses of tax-increase which automatically is there with rise in prices of commodities, the Union government should devise a policy whereby items afforded only by rich may be taxed maximum because such people are not affected even marginally by tax-increase. As such instead of reducing import-duty on cars, it should be rather increased to 50-percent. Even differential slabs of excise-duty on cars manufactured indigenously should be on the basis of ex-factory price rather than on the basis of the length of the cars. Petrol cars with lower ex-factory price may be taxed at 20-percent excise-duty, while cars with higher ex-factory price may be imposed with 50-percent excise duty while excise-duty should be imposed on diesel cars to discourage use of lower-priced diesel for cars. This system force car-manufacturers to compete in giving maximum comforts in smaller-cars segment. The system will automatically induce social equity where high-priced cars will not be purchased at least by higher middle-income group in society.
Madhu Agrawal, 1775 Kucha Lattushah, Delhi-110006
It is my great opportunity to offer my thanks to Pratibha Brahma for her letter in your esteemed daily on 25th July 2012 under the caption “Sinister Gameplan in the ongoing clashes” which is well detailed and to the point of present circumstances. Continuation of unabated infiltration from Bangladesh has been a menace to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, but those who are at the helm of power either at New Delhi or at Dispur have shamelessly failed to push them out, rather are encouraging their illegal existence for preserving their vote bank. Our beloved Chief Minister did not think twice and took an instant decision to stop completion of the National Register of Citizens just on the plea of an unruly and vandalized agitation sponsored by the so-called minority at Barpeta. The upgradation of the NRC has been pending for the last two years due to lack of courage of our popular Government just for fear of eroding the vote bank.
The Government of Assam remains passive about clearing the encroached land of Satras and forests including encroached land of the Kaziranga National Park by the illegal Bangladeshis, in spite of incessant demands from indigenous masses, because cries of the indigenous people are less important than that of the ‘vote Bank’. The ‘vote Bank’ as well as poverty are curses for democracy and so long these factors continue, democracy will not flourish.
Paresh Sarma, Rukminigaon, Guwahati