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There is always more than what meets the eye. The best current example is the death of nearly 300 people in a plane crash on Ukraine-Russian border. The obvious finger of doubt falls on the pro-Russian rebels. They, on the other hand, politely and ceremonially handed over the flight data recorders to airlines authorities and investigators. They behaved like good guys, after facing global criticism accusing them of shooting down the Malayasian plane. Time will only tell, if they were really the good guys in this case. But it is also doubtful that Putin will endorse such a dastardly attack, which, he knows, would do nothing but boomerang on Russia. Since the mishap, the whole world has been after Russia, as someone might have wanted and made scapegoat the 300 lives. This is an old order of the world. People’s acts and motives are world apart.

Currently, Meghalaya is also witnessing activities which seem to be remote controlled from two power centres – Sangma (Mukul) and Sangma (Purno). Both the families influence a lot of activities, especially centred around Garo Hills. The latest being the shocker in Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, which hurriedly wanted to pass a Bill that certifies Garo tribal credentials of a person whose either parent is a non-Garo. The Bill, apparently, is for general cause. But, going by the trouble chief minister Mukul Sangma is facing from litigations over his ‘doubtful’ Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, there is enough room for speculation that the Bill’s primary objective is to rescue him only. The hundreds of arguments to establish that he was adopted by a tribal family (his mother was a non-tribal Muslim) under Garo customary laws would have weak a standing in the court of law. The best way out (for him) is to make it a general provision to obtain tribal status for those having one non-tribal parent. It is known that there will be thousands of ‘beneficiaries’ of the law.

On the other hand, some activities can be understood as being influenced by Purno Sangma, the former Lok Sabha Speaker and current Tura MLA. Tennydard M Marak has been waging a lone battle against the chief minister Mukul Sangma’s ST status for years together. This least known man has even hired service of country’s renowned advocates such as FR Nariman, who is now a judge in the Supreme Court. Saleng Sangma, a former minister in previous Mukul Sangma-led government, is also spending much of his energy against the chief minister, giving plenty of reasons for one to speculate his allegiance to Purno Sangma. Ultimately, the so-called public voices serve some hidden private purpose. The people should start learning how to read between the lines.

(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on July 25, 2014)

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