Who’s responsible for the scams in Meghalaya ? | #daitngscams | #lovescams

By Philip Marwein

A barrage of bashing and stinging reports and articles have flooded the pages of newspapers on the mal-governance, scams, corruption, omissions and commissions perpetrated by the NPP- led MDA government which have serious ramifications in the state and outside and have also reached the ears of the Union Government. Realising the adverse impact and disastrous effects of the matter, the MDA partners namely the UDP, the BJP, the HSPDP, the PDF and others have distanced themselves and tried to put the blame squarely on the NPP for all the mess (including protests on the signing of the MoU on border settlement with Assam). All these are weak attempts at deflecting blame and disown responsibility when in fact they are part and parcel; abettors and collaborators of the acts already perpetrated. If the collation partners are blameless why have they not withdrawn support to the NPP led coalition government? But no, they are unabashedly sticking to the MDA through thick and thin because there’s still time between now and the polls and the spoils are plentiful to be shared and enjoyed.
Dear NPP, UDP, BJP, HSPDP, PDF etc whom are you trying to fool and hoodwink? Is it the voters during elections in 2023? Remember, elections are just six months away! The voters are not so forgetful or foolish as you believe them to be. They can very well read between the lines what you have done and what was promised before and during elections. Among the coalition partners only the BJP openly criticized and condemned the NPP government for various scams. BJP President, Ernest Mawrie and its vice-President, Bernard Marak, the MDC of Tura have been very vocal. The UDP too was not very happy with the messy affairs within the government but it is helpless on the excuse that it wants to thwart President’s Rule. But the reasons are different and we are not fooled.
The MDA government will not collapse if the 9 UDP MLAs and 2 BJP MLAs withdraw support from it for the effective strength of the government then will be 37 MLAs (48 – 11 = 37). The BJP here is not unanimous because the two MLAs in the government are determined to support the MDA but the non-MLAs are at odds with it. The central BJP bosses stand firm by Conrad Sangma’s led NPP government because from day one it was supported by the central BJP to ensure the pan-India agenda of Congress Mukht Bharat. Even today the MDA government is cajoled and soft-peddled by the Central BJP bosses. Many here call the NPP the team B of BJP in Meghalaya in spite of the BJP’s existence here. But the top bosses in Delhi care about Conrad Sangma’s NPP more than the present BJP leaders here.
Now, let us turn to the Christian Churches here in Meghalaya. The mandated role of the Church is to serve and work for the welfare and salvation of the whole man comprising body and soul. The mandated role of the state (government) is to serve man and work for his overall welfare and ensure better quality of human life. Hence the roles of the church and of the state are similar in many ways – that is to promote human welfare. The state on the contrary is not concerned with the task of saving the human soul. In Meghalaya we have several denominational Christian Churches and nearly 70 per cent of the population are Christians. However, the Christian churches are aloof and indifferent to the iniquities, wickedness and rampant corruption, scams and injustices perpetrated by the state (government agencies). In the wake of all these ills happening in the state and society it is expected that the church should play its pro-active role (not to remain in hibernation; stay only in comfort zones) but to take issues head- on and come out openly and fiercely against corruption, scams, injustices and other evils perpetrated by anti-social groups, the Government and its establishments.
Alas! The Church has failed to speak up against corrupt practices indulged in by political parties, politicians and their cronies during elections. In fact, the church as a mighty and powerful social organisation through its leaders should spare no efforts to fight tooth and nail against these evils prevalent in society for these are the satanic works on earth. The primary duty of church leaders like the Bishops, Priests, Pastors and church elders is to empower their congregation to call out the modus operandi employed by politicians and political parties during elections like various inducements by candidates, granting favours, cash for votes, proxy voting and other unfair means to win elections.
But the Church today is scared and hesitant to speak on politics for it is made to believe by former church leaders that politics is dirty and religion and politics don’t mix. This is completely wrong. I am not sure which Christian leaders or churches advocated this line of thinking. In fact, it is Christians who should enter politics and bring Christ-like qualities into politics and cleaning it from inside; ridding it of infirmities, iniquities and wickedness. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Anyone who says that religion has nothing to do with politics does not understand what religion is.” Bishop Desmond Tutu of the Republic of South Africa speaking on this issue said, “I am puzzled about what kind of Bible people are reading when they suggest that Religion and Politics do not mix”. In fact, The Church must play its role in cleansing politics. It must combat injustices and oppression, arbitrary domination and intolerance by individuals and political parties. It must do so with integrity and wisdom as demanded by political principles. We must not forget that Christ was the greatest politician on earth and He dared to challenge the Jewish political rulers, leaders and teachers of His time namely – the Saducees, the Scribes, the Pharisees and even the Sanhedrin of the Jewish race of His time. Christ openly chastised and rebuked them and even scornfully called them , “brood of vipers.” He introduced a new brand of politics of openness, transparency, accountability, justice, peace, brotherhood, love, charity, service, forgiveness, reconciliation and promised the people of his time a new Jerusalem.
The Church in Meghalaya has an onerous task to call out corruption in all its forms and guide its adherents to do the same. However, the Church must itself be responsible, blameless and transparent in its financial transactions and other dealings in order to have the moral authority as a powerful socio-religious institution. It is the bounden duty of the Church to wage war against the deep rooted evils of corruption in the political system and Government by clear-sighted strategies. It can partly achieve this goal by reaching out to the masses through its ubiquitous units spread out in the villages where sustained and repeated exhortations, awareness campaigns, teachings and trainings are conducted for church members on how to fight and root out corruption. Special awareness programmes on the subject can also be conducted by selected persons for the whole village in collaboration with the village authorities.
The church authorities should exercise their social and religious authority to repeatedly appeal and warn politicians and government and its agencies to desist from corruption and corrupt practices here in Meghalaya in order to be an example to the rest of India.

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