By Louis Pyngrope
The title of this article is self-explanatory. The emphasis is on electing educated MPs, which is the need of the hour. Our constituents still need to be reminded of this. Every voter in the state must be focused on electing educated and engaged MPs for the next government. It is very difficult to assess who, among the current deputies, should be re-elected. According to my assessment, based on their performance, none of the 60 deputies deserves to be re-elected. To be fair, let’s elect new educated faces so that we can have the most suitable people to run the government as the masses expect. If we fail to elect the right people in 2023, it would be suicidal for us because then we would be the least governed state in the history of Indian democracy.
It is very important for us to remember that over the past 50 years, none of our state governments have ever made education and health a top priority in the list of governance priorities. As a result, we are now lagging behind in both sectors compared to other states in India. In fact, Meghalaya is ranked at the bottom of the list of high performing states in these two sectors. I am very sorry to say that it is the same ideology of underdeveloped countries all over the world. Now is the time for us to wake up and free ourselves from these dangers. Once we can get out of this state of mind, other spheres of activity will be on the right track and a better future awaits us. Thus, the candidates and political parties to be elected must be weighed against these criteria. The elected political party must have education and health as priorities in its electoral manifestos and the candidates must have at the same time a good level of education and a good quality of statesman.
This General Assembly election is an opportunity for us to elect good representatives to the Legislative Assembly. If we don’t, we, the voters, will all be responsible for bringing our state to ruin without learning to transform the mistakes made over the past 50 years that have brought our state to this unacceptable existing condition. We have no education policy, health policy, mining policy, sports, environment, energy production and distribution, etc., so far. So how can we expect our state to perform better in all the areas mentioned above?
With the current government, we see many flaws, the most important are the rise of unemployment to the extreme, so much so that we see no hope of returning to a situation that we had in 2018 just before the formation of this government. . We cannot remain silent spectators of the actions of the current coalition government. I believe we have learned enough to never make the same mistake of creating a situation requiring elected officials to elect a similar government in 2023.
Again, with the caliber of MPs elected, we understand how our government deceived us to come up with the so called solution to our border issues with Assam which was so contrary to the wishes of the affected people living in the border areas . Our government, instead of coming to a correct decision taking into account the opinion of people living in the disputed border areas, has instead made its own decision on the long pending border dispute between Meghalaya and Assam, which has led to the current state of dissatisfaction of the affected people in the affected border areas.
Again, to remind us all, any wrong decision we make in electing MPs to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in 2023 will make us regret it forever, because this government has not brought about any transformation that could have benefited our society. Another very simple law that could have been enacted by our government is a blanket ban on plastic items, as they have caused so much pollution to our land and water bodies. The government is afraid to act as meat vendors complain that there are no substitutes for plastic bags to transport meat purchased from vendors. The government must be outspoken and take direct action to ban plastic without any hesitation because we are not supposed to have such short memories to forget the methods used in the recent past just before the acceptance of plastic bags, to transport meat bought from the market.
This government has utterly failed to bring justice to the bereaved family of the late Cherishterfield Thangkhiew by delaying the release of the official report to the bereaved family. It is only in this government that teachers’ organizations have been restless spending days and nights in the parking lot near the Supplementary Secretariat in the hope of getting a solution to their long pending demands regarding their salaries. . In the eyes of the law, it is more justified for these SSA teachers to fight for the payment of their salaries since they have been appointed to teach young children at the elementary level which is the basic right of every Indian child. This non-payment of salaries occurs because there is no education policy that could limit the number of categories of teachers from elementary level to higher and technical level. There are countless mistakes made by this MDA government, the failures mentioned above being just a few.
If we are serious about making changes in our state, it is high time we set up think tanks and got heavily involved in canvassing for this upcoming election. This is the only method to get rid of the existing useless politicians and make them learn the lessons the voters have taught them. They must understand that such mistakes must not be repeated every time they return to politics in the near future.
This is the right time to recruit young and fit politicians to save the image of our state. Our new politicians will hopefully also be the leaders and statesmen we can count on to bring back the fame and prestige we enjoyed in the past.
We understand the criminalization of politics today. Money plays a crucial role in politics where votes can be bought from voters. We must end corruption by convincing our people not to accept money for the election of legislators or to succumb to the feeling that once the money is accepted it is mandatory that it be translated into votes. . Let us all commit to electing real legislators so that we can have the governance we deserve. We must ensure that there is no room for mistakes by electing good legislators with one political party, having a clear mandate on education and health reforms and policies leading to their developments in our State. This political party must have the above in its manifesto to obtain an absolute majority and form the next government.
(The author is a retired associate professor, Lady Keane College)