It is extremely unfortunate that compulsory applicability of FASTag at Toll Plazas on National Highways is rolled out by the Central Government, inconveniencing a large number of travelers. While e-payment facilities should be encouraged, the way it has been enforced is an almost draconian. There is a price to be paid for a FASTag kit, too. The Central Government would levy 100% penalty on vehicles without FASTag. Further, many of the Toll Plazas are almost within the vicinity of the cities, towns and even villages. Applicability of FASTag was introduced in 2016, but the Government forgot issuance of FASTag at time of vehicle registration or renewal of vehicle registration, itself. The Government seems to have forgotten the weak, the elderly, the needy, and the poor in the process, as also the minimum convenience of citizens.
It is demanded that the Central Government immediately withdraws the compulsory enforcement of this draconian act, and allow payments at toll plazas by cash, etc at normal rates, without any additional charges.
RGB Road, Guwahati
The people of Assam are known for being very emotional. It's an open secret that for being over emotional we have always been betrayed by some opportunistic people who later on turn into MLAs or Ministers. The prime examples are anti-foreigners' movement and anti-CAA agitation where people got swayed away by the emotional call given by a few leaders who later on formed or joined one or the other political party. The spark of anti-foreigners' movement or the recent anti-CAA agitation engulfed the entire State but at the end nothing happened, other than costing the State dearly from every angle.
The latest yet another blackmailing campaign run by a few print and electronic media where they are repeatedly showing the plight of the ailing mother of the president of a newly formed political party on the TV screens and front page of newspapers to create a sympathy wave for him. The political leader is in detention under the NIA. Any sensible person would agree that Indian judiciary is not influenced by emotional blackmailing.
Dr. Ashim Chowdhury,
Encourage blood donations
It is commendable to note that some students of Lucknow University have launched an online blood donor group 'Mission Zindagi' to extend a helping hand to people facing a medical emergency. The students are creating an online database of students, teachers, and staff who are regular donors or are keen to donate and coordinate to make donors available to the needy. The group has created a link, 'Mission Zindagi', on the website where interested people may register themselves by providing their details and suitable time for a donation. A registered donor closest to the patient's location will be alerted to assist. Any resident who requires blood may go to Lucknow University website where contact numbers of 'Mission Zindagi' members are available. The greatest benefit of the initiative is that it would save time and help rescue lives. This seems to be a praiseworthy move towards creating awareness about blood donations in society by facilitating blood takers. The need of the hour is that we should encourage blood donations widely to save the lives of millions of people and lose the misconception.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,
The latest Supreme Court ruling against the review plea filed by one Kaniz Fatima seeking right to protest is very timely. We all saw what happened in Delhi when Shaheen Bagh protest was carried on for months by blocking the busy roads thus causing immense hardship to the public. The Supreme Court rightly pointed out that right to protest cannot be anytime and anywhere as it causes immense inconvenience to the general public. This landmark judgement is a reminder to the AASU, AJYCP and the KMSS who hit the streets at the drop of a hat. Democracy and protest go hand in hand but causing inconvenience and hardship in the name of protests is unacceptable. People of Delhi and Assam have experienced severe hardships in the recent past due to agitations.
Aparna Sarma Chowdhury,
A sinking boat
It is very natural when a boat or ship starts to sinks all the passengers onboard try to de-board for survival. At present, the very scene can be witnessed in Mamata Banerjee's TMC as the party is facing mass exodus of the prominent faces. The state is going to polls with Assam in a few months time. Mamata Banerjee is ultimately paying the price. She reached such a level in her mind that once she wished to slap the duly elected Prime Minister of the nation. She is also known for getting irritated with the name of Lord Rama. The shouting of 'Jai Shree Ram' in her territory can upset so much as if someone is shouting vulgar words. Now it is up to the electorates of West Bengal to decide as we still believe 'What Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow'.
Lanu Dutta Chowdhury,
Why scripted news?
Nowadays, news channels have taken the role of the mouthpiece of political parties instead of conveying news. Parties have been spending crores of rupees to spread their own political agenda or propaganda through the so called media. Contents in these politically-driven media are usually twisted according to the needs of their own ideology and thus help in the propagation of narcissistic politics. Parties are more interested in forming governments for their vested interests rather than serving people. One is advised to remain alert to use his or her wisdom in understanding the various complexities of politics.
Chandan Kumar Nath,
Rahul Gandhi's remarks
The recent election rally of Rahul Gandhi in Sivasagar was well attended. In his speech he criticized the ruling alliance for what he thinks that the NDA failed as government. During the election time it is obvious that each political party will criticize the other ones. A certain illogical comment passed by Rahul Gandhi in his speech made me write this piece. Mr. Gandhi said that the Central government insulted Late Tarun Gogoi as he was bestowed with Padma Bhushan with another person who has worked in the PMO. According to Rahul Gandhi, the said person (name not disclosed by Rahul Gandhi) worked for Narendra Modi in 2014 elections. So Rahul Gandhi felt honouring the duo simultaneously is an insult to Late Gogoi. Rahul Gandhi should have felt proud that a senior leader from his party was honoured by the rival party for his contribution to public life. Rahul Gandhi is one of the reasons why the Congress has become a sinking ship.
Where is the secular brigade?
On February 12, a youth named Rinku Sarma was killed by four youths in the Mangalpuri area of Delhi. The four killers were from the second largest religious community of India. The victim is a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and was actively involved in collecting donations for the Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya. As per information gathered by the police, Rinku Sarma was under the radar of some jehadi groups operating around the NCR Delhi but the four assailants who were involved in the gruesome murder were not directly associated with the jehadi forces but were inspired by the jehadi group's ideology. The main reason for the killing is that he was involved with the construction of the Ram Mandir. Had this been the vice versa the so-called secular brigade of the country would have shouted on top of their voices alleging 'Murder of Democracy', 'India is intolerant', 'Secularism in danger', etc. Now the entire secular brigade of the country including the pioneer of secularism in India, the Congress has maintained silence.