SHILLONG: Can the journey be as glorious as the struggle to attain statehood for Meghalaya? That is the question and the answer of which is open to interpretation. It is a journey worth introspecting.
Meghalaya has come a long way as a full-fledged state. 45 years is not a matter of joke and if proper governance and management were the top priorities of every government, the state would have crossed many a developmental milestone.
But unfortunately, that is not the case. The truth of the matter is that Meghalaya still needs to achieve much more, people need to let go of their pride, politicians need to think for the common good of all, schemes need to be implemented on time, corruption needs to be tracked, militancy needs to be curbed, to enable it to be at par with the other states in India.
There is however, one valuable thing that the state possesses and that is its ‘’legacy’’. Statehood was attained without a drop of blood and this is what marks the significance of Jan 21 celebration.
While introspecting into the matter, TNT-The Northeast Today have compiled a set of list of events which have either contributed to the welfare of the state or dragged the state to a new low.
Let’s first take a long at some of the achievements made towards the state in these 45 years
## Academic and education sector: The state has been able to produce many bright and eminent personalities, who have through their sheer hardwork, managed to climb the ladder of success. Take Prof David Syiemlieh for example, his determination to uplift the educational standard has served as an inspiration to all. There are some lapses in this sector as well. Like the saying goes, there is always two side of a coin; similarly every sector has experienced some positive as well as negative changes.
## Skill development sector: The platforms and avenues may vary but the end result always point towards a good number of skilled and talented youths the state houses. Be it in artistic world or music world, Meghalaya has indeed produced many skilful and talented people. Take the venture of Soulmate and Shillong Chamber Choir for example. Their endeavour to expose the identity of the state and its people to the world is highly appreciative.
## Silver screen: During the past few years, the state has witnessed the birth of many young and promising actors and directors. To name a few, Pradip Kurbah, Andrea Tariang, Baia Marbaniang, Gino Thankhiew, Nicholas Kharkongor and many others.
## Sports sector: The adrenaline rush for football, which is a popular sporting activity of the people of Meghalaya, has driven many young talented footballers further in this field, pushing the state to a whole new level. The rise to fame of local lad Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the football world is one of the reasons to talk about. Then there is the formation of football clubs which serves are platforms for young players to display their skills and talents. Kuddos!
## Tourism Sector: When one talks about tourism in the state, they automatically picture Mawlynnong in their mind. Mawlynnong which is known to be the cleanest village in Asia has indeed instilled a sense of pride in the mind of the people. A big THANKS goes to the villagers who understood the importance of cleanliness and ran with it. This village has attracted many tourists not only from the country but from all over the world. There are of course other tourists’ destinations which deserve the equal applause like the Sacred Grove at Mawphlang, the aggressive and unprediction river bodies in the state, the nationally famed park in Garo Hills and many others.
Like the above mentioned sectors, there are also other sectors which have equally contributed immensely for the growth and development of the state like new and widen roads, good number of hospitals and schools in the urban areas and many others (achievements limited only to urban areas).
List of failures and what the state has lost in these 45 years
## Societal transformations: Matrilineal is no longer an apt word to tag alongside Meghalaya because as is the case at present, it seems respect for the women folks is a thing of the past as evident from an increasing case of crime committed against women and children.
## Degradation of moral and social values: The state has lost it all. Corruption, favouritism and red tapism seems to be the order of the day. Merits doesn’t count when it comes to applying for a job either government, semi government or even private. Dishonesty has seep into every field of work and it is a disgrace to the ancestors who lived according to the saying “Kamai ia ka Hok” or “Earn your living honestly”.
## Infrastructure: This sector has seen many ups and down. But worst of all is the fact that Meghalaya is a one-sided developing state. While the capital city of Shillong is slowing transforming into a concrete jungle, rural Meghalaya is however abandoned sans proper roads, electricity, proper health facilities, education and the likes. Over 345 villages in the state still reels under darkness which only shows how developed our rural villages are. No wonder why Shillong is experiencing population explosion; migration from rural to urban areas is the befitting answer.
## Politics: There is a saying that politics is a dirty game but the fact of the matter is that politics is supposed to a highly respected and progressive term as it involves formation and advancement of policies for the benefit of the people. But it is power-hungry and corrupt individuals who have damaged this term beyond repair. Why are there constant dramas in the political landscape of Meghalaya? Power, of course! A dangerous yet effective tool during elections.
## Environment degradation: It is a sad and unfortunate thing for Meghalaya to witness the dead of river bodies, forests and the environment. RIP Lukha River in Jaintia Hills, RIP Umkhrah River in Shillong, RIP coal-rich valleys of Jaintia Hills. Insensitivity shown towards the environment will soon rob the state of its uniqueness and natural resources. And no time, the whole of Meghalaya will be tagged as a Wet Desert. (Wet because the state is home to the place which record the highest rainfall in the world).
45 years was quite a long journey for Meghalaya. The state has witnessed many positive as well as negative changes. 45 years from now, let’s hope against hope that our state will get over its petty issues and crisis and focus on important matters like environment, especially in this age when the world is faced with the problem of global warming.
Image Credit: Internet
By Ibankyntiew Mawrie