Festivals amid pandemic
Due to the rising cases of the second wave of COVID-19 in Assam, the State government has taken a decision to restrict festivals like Holi, Bihu, Easter and Eid this year too. The step taken by the government is very wise insofar as the safety of citizens is concerned. But on the contrary, there are people who earn their bread and butter from these festivals. Here I would like to mention about the artistes who perform in Bihu events. They look forward for this particular period to earn their livelihood for the whole year. Now if the authority decides to ban or restrict the celebration of Bihu year after year, it will be very difficult for the cultural workers to run their families. We see election campaigning and other activities are going on in full swing ignoring COVID protocol. Then why is restriction on the celebration of festivals?
It will be kind if the government pays heed to the issue, either by setting up strict COVID protocols inside the pandals or by giving COVID vaccines to everyone beforehand. If the events are fully cancelled, the artistes should be given remuneration or some kind of financial support to run their lives. So, through your esteemed daily, I want to draw the kind attention of the government to the issue.
Election on CAA
The first phase of the Assam Assembly election is over. This phase is crucial for the NDA as Upper Assam is the stronghold of both the BJP and the AGP. Before the second phase of the poll, I want to highlight some of my observations with the election campaign. Firstly, the two regional parties – Raijor Dol and AJP who were born promising the repeal the CAA – failed to get united. The power-hungry nature of the leaders of both the parties has been reflected. Secondly, the Mahajoot failed to publish their common minimum programme (CMP) as a result the significance of the other parties has been lost. Thirdly, the BJP which is rooting for the CAA kept the issue under the carpet before the election. The Opposition failed to capitalize on the silence of the BJP on this issue. Even the Congress is not clear on their stance over the CAA. While leaders from the Brahmaputra valley oppose the CAA, those from the Barak valley support the Act. Fourthly, development has never been an election issue. Personal attacks have become more prominent.
Holi & stray animals
Holi marks the arrival of spring. During merriment some people throw colours on pet and stray animals. Stray dogs and cats are the ones most exposed to 'gulaal' and water balloons. While we all can easily wash the coloor off after the celebration, these animals cannot.
The powders that are used during the festival are made with synthetic which contain toxic metals or dyes that can cause skin allergies, rashes or even blindness in people and animals. Animals can easily inhale the powder, which can cause nasal irritation and respiratory allergies or infections. Animals that ingest it can suffer from stomach ailments or other illnesses, and that may lead to their death.
We need to educate our families, friends and neighbours about the harmful effects of colours on dogs. If they come in contact with colours, we need to thoroughly wash their furs with water and mild dog shampoo till the colour goes off. If the situation gets worse, they should be immediately taken to veterinary doctors.
'Bhagat Singh, a forgotten hero'
This letter is in reference to a letter published in your esteemed daily in the 'letters to The Editor' column on 24th March with the above mentioned caption written by D. Bhutia. In that letter D. Bhutia alleged that Swahid Bhagat Singh's death anniversary, which is on 23 March, was completely ignored by the media as well as the government. The death anniversary of Swahid Bhagat Singh is marked as Martyrs Day throughout the country. Like previous years this year too Swahid Bhagat Singh's contribution towards the independence movement was recalled and fondly remembered on that auspicious day. For kind information to D. Bhutia, The Sentinel published a photo of Swahid Bhagat Singh on 24th March on page number 7.
Nuisance of stray dogs
Through this column of your esteemed daily, I would like to draw the attention of the civic bodies of the State on the increasing number of stray dogs, causing nuisance in almost all cities and towns. The number of stray dogs has risen alarmingly, leading to various problems. Stray dogs often get involved in fierce fighting and pose serious threats to the safety of residents such as children playing on the streets of parks. I think stray dogs should be vaccinated and kept in shelter homes. And it can be done by the government and NGOs.
Farming & industry
Both the Centre and farmers' unions should work out a modus vivendi by keeping the farm laws in abeyance and bringing in reforms. Sustainable growth of agriculture hinges on improved infrastructure, besides closely-knitted linkage, development and industry. The income of farmers, in the long-run, cannot go up substantially unless non-farm activities, including rural and agro-based industries, are developed.
Chandan Kumar Nath,
The 'worst' guy
India is a secular country and the largest democracy in the world. From a panchayat member to the Prime Minister, all are elected by the general masses above 18 years of age. The tenure for every government is five years and their work is minutely observed by the Opposition parties and the subjects. The Opposition parties are bestowed with the power to bring down the government by bringing a no-confidence motion in the House, provided they have the requisite numbers. Currently, the BJP-led NDA government is ruling the nation and parties like the Congress, BSP, SP, TMC, Leftists, etc are sitting on the Opposition bench. Healthy criticism or suggestions from the Opposition parties are necessary for proper functioning of the government. India is blessed with so many Opposition parties with diverse ideologies who can contribute immensely in the nation building. But sadly enough, the Opposition parties have only one agendum – letting down the Prime Minister. For them he is the 'worst' guy. Their single-point agenda have made them forget their prime job in a democracy.
Dr. Ashim Chowdhury,
Through this column of your esteemed daily, I would like to express my concern over the skeleton bus service in the State due to the election campaign.
Due to limited number of buses plying on roads in Guwahati, bus operators have started overcrowding buses. Though city buses are allowed to carry 35 to 40 passengers at a time, yet due to scarcity of buses the bus operators are allowing more than 60 passengers. There is no social distancing which can lead to the rise in corona cases. People are even travelling without wearing masks in the overcrowded buses.
A nice interview
I had the opportunity to watch a non-political programme on YouTube by our local YouTuber Dimpu Barua where he conducted a very informal interview with Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma. The interview was very personal, nothing to do with political agenda of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma or the BJP. Some people might criticize the young YouTuber for taking the interview at this hour (election time) but such unwanted criticisms should be ignored. It should be mentioned that Dimpu Barua is an acclaimed YouTuber from Assam who have received several accolades from the public. Through your esteemed daily I want to congratulate Dimpu Barua for the nice non-political one-to-one interview with Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Chotu Nath Boro,