SHILLONG: Why such discrimination? To follow a leader just because everyone is following didn’t seem like a good idea for Dlian Jana but is she entitled to half hearted support for backing out of the group.
After a long struggle to make both ends meet, the sense of gratitude and belongingness towards the government seems to have lost its way for Dlian Jana, who is a resident of Dira village under Sohiong Constituency.
The right to vote or the right to follow the crowd!!! Jana had indeed exercised her franchise but this right had cost her dearly because, like every genuine citizen, she had chosen to follow her heart and not the crowd.
Her decision back fired on her much later after the elections. Unfortunately, the candidate she had elected during the 2013 Assembly Election never made it to the top and knowing quite well that Jana was not amongst the followers of the victorious candidate, the latter made sure that she faces the brunt of her decision.
Suppressed and denied of her rights to certain benefits, Jana is a victim of moral degradation and stigmatisation. Like Jana, this indeed is the plight of many poor, ignorant, and illiterate villagers who are being suppressed just because they are not in the good books of the local MLA.
It was learnt that being one of the beneficiaries of State and Centrally sponsored schemes, Jana was denied full support like the SRWP scheme for low cost housing where she did not received her full benefits
According to her she was given only Rs 5000 out of the 30,000 which was mentioned in the Order of the Block Development Officer of the Mawphlang Block, in Dec 2012, for the low cost House.
The scheme was for the year 2012- 2013. It was only with hard work as daily labourers and with the help of priests, that she was able to complete her small house of two rooms.
If one goes by the plight she is in at present, one would definitely that her decision to vote for a losing candidate was a bad idea. But hypothetically, one would argue that her decision was hers alone and it deserves the much needed respect.
She had voted for the UDP candidate who lost the 2013 Assembly Elections to a congress candidate. So when her daughter had sought the signature of the local MLA, he instead sent her to the Headman of Dira.
According to Jana, this is what the Headman told her when she had gone to meet him ‘The MLA put his trust only on those who support him and I hope you understand’.
Disappointed with the way things are, Jana was however, contented with the amount of Rs 5000 that she received from the scheme.
Poverty is something every politicians and political parties claim that they are fighting for but are they really playing their part in ensuring that every citizen gets their share or is it just a political statement to woo voters.
Belonging to a backward family, Jana could put up only the blocks for the walls with the money that she got. They have no TV or furniture except 2 beds. They are also living from hand to mouth and eat only boiled vegetables which they gather from the fields.
According to the CSWO, this needy family is in dire need yet it seems that the local representative lends his ear only to those who support him and this is unconstitutional and a corrupt practice.
The CSWO has demanded that the Government should see that Dlian Jana is immediately given the rest of the Rs 25,000 balance due to her, and the authorities should help this family with no delay, and such cases where the signature of the local MLA is required should be addressed as there are MLAs who are being very biased towards the electorate.
By Ibankyntiew Mawrie
(The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today)