Saturday, September 8, 2012

Road to Lachung expected to open on Saturday

MANGAN, 07 Sept: The traffic to Lachung, which was blocked here at Khedum a few kilometers short of Lachung, is expected to resume, weather permitting, from Saturday onwards. Although the road had been opened for traffic yesterday following completion of the new road formation, fresh slides disrupted traffic again.
The road to Lachung has been blocked since 06 August when around 150 metres of the road formation was washed out by landslides caused by incessant rain.  The BRO and Army had since been engaged in restoration works.
This slide had also damaged the power supply line to Lachung and many vehicles have been stranded at Lachung. The only option for commuters was transshipment from right above the slide which took an hour.
It may be mentioned here that the traffic to Lachung was also blocked for two months last year after the 18 September earthquake when a huge slide washed away around 200 meters of road formation just about 50 meters ahead of this slide.
Meanwhile, the people of Lachung had placed a demand petition to the Chief Secretary during his visit to North Sikkim last month for an alternate route from the right bank of the river to bypass this slide.

SUTWA welcomes 30% hike in HRDD budget

GANGTOK, 07 Sept: The Sikkim United Teachers Welfare Association has welcomed the Chief Minister’s announcement on 05 September i.e Teacher’s Day of a 30% increase in budget allocation to the HRDD next year.
Expressing gratitude to the CM, the association has stated that training eligible educated youth for various national level competitive examinations also announced by the CM “is a tremendous leap forward taken by our CM for the upliftment of the educated youth of the State and to create our own manpower in various fields in the state itself”, as per a SUTWA release.
The release also mentions that the CM has stated that those transferred teachers who have genuine problems will be sent back to their original place of posting and the school uniforms, which were earlier being distributed by contractors, will be provided by the school itself from the next session onwards.
The association has also extended its whole-hearted cooperation in inculcating human and moral values amongst students in the state, as advocated by the CM.

‘Still Waters: LEGACY’ debuts with headlining act in Bhutan

GANGTOK, 07 Sept: ‘Still Waters: LEGACY’, a new band put together by Ananth Pradhan, former vocalist of Still Waters, debuted as the headlining act at the ‘Tour of the Dragon’ mega cycling event’s grand finale concert on 01 September organised  by the Bhutan Olympics Committee.
Having parted ways with Still Waters a couple of months back due to some issues regarding the band’s further musical direction and management, Ananth was determined and quick to form a band of his own which he aptly named ‘Still Waters: LEGACY’ owing to the fact that he was the person to name his former band Still Waters in the first place, informs a press release.
The band performed at Bhutan’s Clock-Tower open air theatre in Thimpu along with Bhutanese rock and pop artists to a 2000 strong crowd.  They also performed on the eve of the 31 August as well as on 01 September at ‘Mojo Park’, a Rock n’ Roll club/pub of Bhutan. The gig marked the first anniversary of the club as well.
Their playlist consisted of originals like “Happy Go Lucky”, “Live A Little” and “Rock 2 The Rescue” along with some classic crowd-pleasers like Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy), Evenflow (Pearl Jam), Sweet Home Alabama, Come Together etc.
The band now plans to hit the studios and record some new originals within the next few days, the release mentions.
The band’s line-up during their Bhutan tour had Ananth Pradhan [Lead Vocals/ Guitars], Basu Ghatraaj [Lead Guitars/ Vocals], Raaz Kshettri [Bass/ Vocals], Milan Rumba [Drums] and former Nightmares member, Lakpa Tamang [Rhythm Guitars/ Vocals].

Ram Lepcha’s demise ‘great loss to Lepcha community’: Renjyong Mutanchi Rong Tarjum

GANGTOK, 07 Sept: Renjyong Mutanchi Rong Tarjum [Sikkim Lepcha Association] held a condolence meeting on the demise of former Minister Late Ram Lepcha at Kurmom Building, Development Area, Gangtok yesterday.
As per a press release, the meeting observed two-minute silence while members of the association on behalf of the Lepcha community of Sikkim expressed their heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family. The members expressed that late Ram Lepcha was an asset to the Lepcha community as a whole, his demise is a great loss to the community and the vacuum created due to his demise cannot be compensated, it is really an irreparable loss to the community, the release states.
Late Ram Lepcha was born to late Jerman Lepcha and late Thungkit Lepcha in the year 1942 at Turung basti, South Sikkim. He started his career as a Block Officer under Forest Department during the Chogyal’s period. He also served as a hotel manager in a hotel based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The release adds that in 1979, he became the MLA from the then Pathing constituency [the present Nathang Machong constituency] and became Minister In-charge for LSG. He served as a Deputy Speaker in Sikkim Legislative Assembly from the year 1985. Late Lepcha also took charge as Minister for Land Revenue Department from 1989. Similarly, he also served as Minister in-charge for Finance Department in 1994.
It is to be mentioned here that in consideration of his love and concern towards the overall development of the Lepcha community, he took part in affairs of the Lepcha Association and became president of Renjyong Mutanchi Rong Tarjum in 1982.
The Late Ram Lepcha was a soft spoken person, a simple hardworking man. He breathed his last on the fateful evening of 05 September 2012 at his residence at Marchak after suffering from prolonged illness. He was 70 years old. His funeral will take place on 09 September at Rumtek, East Sikkim, the release adds.

Govt seeks innovative slogan for Intl Flower Show

GANGTOK, 07 Sept [IPR]: The Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim invites entries for innovative caption / slogan for the publicity of Sikkim International Flower Show of not more then four words.
The winning entry will be awarded a cash prize of Rs.5000. The caption may be sent to or
Last date of entry is 29 September, 2012.


We, the public of Parkha along with the public of 21 Gnathang Machong constituency express our heartfelt condolences on the demise of former Deputy Speaker and Minister Ram Lepcha.
As during his tenure our constituency (20 Pathing constituency) saw a lot of development in every field.
Further, with his cool, calm and composed nature he taught us the value of simplicity. As a politician he was very successful and guided our constituency every now and then.
Therefore, we, the youth, Cheli and all the public of 21Gnathang Machong would miss him and his contribution will be remembered forever. We extend our deep condolence to the bereaved family and we pray that his soul remains in eternal peace.
Kamal Gurung, Parkha, 21Gnathang Machong Constituency

Friday, September 7, 2012

Collaborative effort gets earthquake damaged Ideal Nursery School back on its feet in Mangan

MANGAN, 06 Sept:  The District Collector (North), TW Khangsarpa, inaugurated the two-room school building of Ideal Nursery School in Mangan on 05 September.  The school building which was destroyed in last year’s earthquake was rebuilt with the help of a local NGO.
Ideal Nursery School is the oldest private school in North Sikkim and has been educating children from Mangan for the last thirty years.  In the seventies, local people felt the need to have a private nursery school where they could send their children to get a firm foundation in education.
Local people and government officials posted here collected money and provided free labour for building the school rooms.  Late Chewang Negi and Late Dr. Agnihotri were some of the prime movers behind this experiment.  Since its inception in 1982, the school has been run on a self sustaining basis by SM Tenzing.
The school structure was damaged beyond repair by last year’s earthquake.  The then DC, TN Kazi, promised a two-room bamboo prefab structure for housing the school children.  The platform for the structure as per sizes given by the fabricators was prepared and made ready during the winters.  Due to various reasons, despite repeated letters to the Government agencies involved, the prefab units were not sent.  So when a Gangtok-based NGO, Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS), approached the DC for choosing a school to provide post earthquake rehabilitation, Mr. Kazi immediately brought them over to Ideal Nursery School.  ECOSS is headed by PD Rai, Lok Sabha MP for Sikkim.
In a meeting between the School Management, ECOSS and Pan IIT engineers in May, various options were put forward including geodesic domes, bamboo structure and ekra frame.  Pan IIT is a group of IIT engineers who provide free consultancy and advice to disaster stricken areas.  They had visited Sikkim after the earthquake.
Ekra frame GCI roofing was finally chosen due to familiarity of construction method, lightness of the structure and reasonable cost.  The construction was started in June 2012.  To make it more earthquake proof the following innovations have been made in consultations with Pan IIT engineers.  A plinth band runs all round the base of the ekra frame.  Corner bracings have been provided to strengthen the ekra frame.  Wooden gusset frames and steel clamps have been added to make the truss and the truss frame connections stronger.
Similarly, in consultation with Pan IIT, Building as a Learning Aid (Bala) elements have been introduced to make the building more child-friendly.  Bala elements include symmetrical drawing on entrance door, ground level blackboards, grid boards and dot boards, engraved lettering for children to touch and learn, labelling of classrooms etc.
Future plans for Bala elements include painting more games on floors and verandahs, numbering of stairs, educational security grills including mock counters for buying & selling, protractors below doors, etc.  Another Gangtok-based NGO has promised the school a few computers which should be put in place within this academic session.
Regarding help for reconstruction, the school has to primarily thank ECOSS and Matrix Clothing for providing Rs 3 lakh for the two-roomed structure.  The money was used for constructing the two rooms and for building a small office and toilet and repairing and repainting the old room.
The Mangan Nagar Panchayat, through Zongmu Bhutia has also helped by providing Rs 25, 000 as ex gratia payment which was used in dismantling the old structure and making a platform for a new structure.
Area MLA, Tshering Wangdi provided 60 pre-painted GCI sheets through the RMDD housing scheme. Other NGOs and individuals have provided tents, water purifiers, buckets, etc. for helping the school tide over its last eight months under tents.

An evening with the Yeti, Chi and music

LISTEN TO THIS, HIC! Acoustic Traditional's Salil Mukhia Kwoica narrates a Lepcha folktale about the Yeti in the 'drunken style' accompanied by Sonam Chopyel on the tungbuk at Mayfair Resorts on 31 August

GANGTOK, 06 Sept: Acoustic Traditional unveiled its drunken style of storytelling at the ‘One Tribe’ concert at Mayfair on 31 August. In a rare moment of shamanic music and oral storytelling, a unique journey was embarked upon, something that will perhaps in future find a lasting tie with indigenous oral traditions in and around the region. For the moment, the word is out and the world is keen on knowing what this style could possibly mean.
“Acoustic Traditional has been telling stories for over a decade now and throughout our journey, we have never stopped ourselves from being influenced by community-based storytellers. They are remarkable storytellers and we have constantly reinvented ourselves over the years taking inspiration from them. One important area in our work is that of documenting the oral traditions maintained by our shamans such as Bongthings, Fedongmas, Jhankris, Poibas, etc., and somewhere we have been compelled to bring their traditions and ways of storytelling forward. These are vanishing traditions. All our shamans use some form of ‘chi’ or the other in their rituals and this is not unusual”, says AT founder and storyteller Salil Mukhia Kwoica.
The ‘chi’ [ fermented millet beer], he says prepares them for a spiritual journey and the drunken style of storytelling borrows from this tradition and uses their system of mapping (shamanic) to tell stories or build narrations. It isolates the storyteller from his set of distractions and enables him to go where he usually cannot.
This seems to have worked, as Salil explains, “The first musical verse played by Sonam Chopyel on his flute took me very far and I suddenly realised that I was telling a story I heard from Mr. Netuk Lepcha in Dzongu when initially I had something else in mind!”
On the whole, the style touches upon two things: stories being sacred and use of ‘chi’ as a spiritual offering to our deities to help enable us to tell and interpret the stories, he further informs.
Session organiser Abhishek Pradhan adds, “We could not get the traditional ‘chi’ [millet beer] so we had to do with beer. I have been organising sessions for some time now and Salil did not sound the same as before. He had been drinking a week before to see if he could remain in his senses while narrating. We now look forward to taking this style before others in our National Storytelling Tour.”
With musicians and bands from across Gangtok and Darjeeling (Michelle Pradhan, Neha Pradhan, Adams Apple, Debashish and international Baul singers Satyananda and Hori Das), the concert proved to be more than what it had intended to be, share members of AT.  Impromptu performances, last minute changes and support from unexpected corners brought the whole endeavour together turning it into something more than what had been planned.
For Sonam Chopyel who accompanied Salil through the storytelling session with a Lepcha guitar [tungbuk] and flute, it was an experience which offered him a different perspective on the music he had been playing till now. Interestingly, Chopyel would not have been part of the show if it wasn’t for his uncle who could not make it to Gangtok from Dzongu for the concert.
A teacher at a government school here, Chopyel says “It was something that I did not expect. I felt being taken over through my own music and perhaps it’s because there was this element of sacredness at play. I played the music that is used to invite our deities and with the storyteller on a ride of imagination, it took me far deeper in my music than before.”
From music enthusiasts to educators to intellectuals to media professional who were present at the concert, the event brought in a wide spectrum of audience. As the last story was told with notes fading off the flute, those present were lost in a trance which was broken only a while later.
“It was one of its own kind - different and unique. Acoustic Traditional contributed towards the promotion and preservation of this art form”, is what Tseten Lepcha had to say of the evening. “The overall show was great and really enlightening especially the story regarding the Yeti and I liked the drunken storytelling style by Salil. The song ‘Handy boy’ by Debashish was simply awesome with lots of bitter truth in it”, said Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha.
Acoustic Traditional has now got quite a few invitations to showcase the ‘drunken storytelling’ style, as Minket Lepcha of AT informs, “We have just received an interesting invitation from one of our supporters to do our session at an upcoming Festival at Hyderabad this October where people from around the world will be present, especially from civil society organisations”.

Post-quake town plan for Chungthang unveiled

GANGTOK, 06 Sept: A presentation regarding the post earthquake Town Planning of Chungthang was made yesterday at the conference hall of the SDM’s office complex in Chungthang, North Sikkim.
The presentation was made by Joint Chief Town Planner, Rajesh Pradhan and Assistant Architects from the Design Cell, UD and HD. The presentation involved various designs and infrastructure development wherein feedbacks and suggestions were also invited.
The meeting was attended by the SDM, BDO, SDPO, Government officials of the line departments, local panchayats and local gentry. The release mentions that the local public expressed satisfaction over the entire presentation and urged for the proposal to be implemented soon.

Golay demands promotions for all cadres of State Govt

GANGTOK, 06 Sept: Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, has demanded promotions for all other cadres of Sikkim government servants besides the State Civil Service where the State Government promoted a large number of civil servants last week.
In a press release issued today, Mr Tamang states that other cadres besides State Civil Services have not received promotions and demanded an explanation on why the non-SCS segment remains overlooked.
The MLA has also demanded the regularization of Muster Roll and Work Charge employees on the basis of seniority, stating that the government must provide equal treatment to all government employees serving under the Sikkim government.
At the same time, he has also welcomed the recent promotion of a large number [111] of State Civil Services cadre.

Transfers and promotions

GANGTOK, 06 Sept: The State Government through an official order has re-designated Senior Superintendent of Police, Thakur Thapa as Additional Secretary to the Governor from his earlier post of Joint Secretary. He had been sent on deputation by the State Government from Sikkim Police Service to Civil Service two years ago.
Similarly, Chuksung Lepcha, Deputy Director, Raj Bhavan, Gangtok on deputation has also been re-designated as Deputy Secretary to the Governor.
On the other hand, Sonam Dadul Bhutia, Additional Chief Architect, Building &Housing Department has been given officiating promotion as Chief Architect with immediate effect on the condition that the regular promotion shall be made on the recommendation of the Sikkim Public Service Commission.
The government has also promoted Harka Bir Sankar, Gyalshing Rural Project and Dorji Doma Bhutia, Urban Project, Gangtok from the post of Supervisors under Women &Child Development wing of Social Justice Empowerment &Welfare department to the post of Child Development Project Officer in the PB-2 of Rs.9300-34800 plus GP of Rs.5000 on Co-terminus basis/Co-terminus with ICDS project under ICDS scheme 90:10% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
The office order further states that the promotion is purely on Co-terminus basis/Co-terminus with the project and shall be reverted back to their respective post on termination of the project and the promotion on Co-terminus basis does not confer any right for regular promotion and seniority.
MK Rai, Joint Director (RMSA), Human Resource & Development Department has also been transferred and posted as Joint Director, Health Care, Human Service &Family Welfare Department, District Hospital, Namchi on deputation vice CM Shillal who has proceeded on retirement.

Former Legislators Federation and SDF condole demise of Ram Lepcha

GANGTOK, 06 Sept: Former Legislators Federation of Sikkim has condoled the demise of former Finance Minister, Ram Lepcha. The Federation met here at Legislative Assembly Secretariat today chaired by its president SK Pradhan.
Mr Lepcha passed away last evening at his home here at Marchak following a prolonged illness. He was 71 years old. He served Sikkim as a legislator from 1979 to 1999 and through the 30 years, served as Deputy Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Minister in-charge of Local Self Government (UD&HD) Land Revenue and Disaster Management and Finance, Revenue and Expenditure. He was with Sikkim Sangram Parishad prior to joining the Sikkim Democratic Front party in 1996.
Members of Former Legislators Federation of Sikkim paid rich tribute to the former minister and affirmed that late Mr Lepcha was a simple man dedicated to his work, states a press release issued by general secretary, Norzang Lepcha.
The meeting further termed the demise of late Mr Lepcha “an irreparable loss to the Sikkimese society and state” and added that his contribution to the state will be remembered forever.
The Sikkim Democratic Front party has also expressed its deep condolences on the demise of the former Minister. The central executive body of the Sikkim Democratic Front along with former Lok Sabha MP, Bhim Dahal has also paid tribute and expressed its condolences on his demise.

North-East: Fear of the People

India’s North-east located in the extreme north-eastern corner of the sub-continent shares international frontiers on its north, east and south with four nations- Bhutan, China (Tibet), Myanmar and Bangladesh. The North-East region of India popularly known as the seven sisters has faced a series of violent outbursts since India’s independence and in fact, is still facing it in the present decade. From the time of independence, the tribal groups of the states are living with many problems and their consciousness to preserve their identity has forced them to take up violence.
One of the recent examples from the states is the movement in Kokrajhar in Assam. The ongoing storm of violence in the state has made it difficult to live even a simple life for the people of that place. The riot took place after the killing of four people in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts [BTAD] by some irate people in a predominantly Muslim village and also affected other districts of the state. Many people blamed the state government for failing to prevent the spread of violence in the district which took many lives and forced others to live the life of refugees. People have been living in refugee camps for at least a month and facing various challenges, the challenges of food, sanitation and other facilities. They are living a pathetic life and schools have been turned into relief camps which in one sense is affecting the education of the children in the area. The worst effect of the violence has been seen by the whole nation in recent weeks, but the effect has been basically focused on the loss of life and property. The focus on the third party who is also the victim of the riot has been less emphasized, though they have been noticed but less heed has been paid to them. The Rajbanshis of Kokrajhar are also victims of the riot who have been forced to take shelter in refugee camps as well. They did not have a part to play in the riot but have still become sufferers.
Dispute for autonomy is not new in the state of Assam; it is one of the oldest problems in the state which also added to the problem of immigration. The question of immigration of people from Bangladesh which was highlighted by this riot put the question on the government on what steps they would take for people on both the sides. According to one view expressed in the national daily ‘The Hindu’, Assam’s long complicated history of settlement and demographic change continues to play a dominant part in political mobilization in the region and this mobilization is bound by tropes of identity, group differences and bureaucratic distancing of the state from the people, claiming to uphold the rights of all citizens while simultaneously encouraging an incremental approach to demands for autonomy among the Bodos and other groups who live in western Assam and this has also led to an opinion on the rights of the people in the region and also over those who have the right to call western Assam their home. In one way the riot also affected the farmers of the state. The worry which is arising among the farmers is the loss of their crops. It is harvesting time and the fear which is preventing them from returning home to harvest their crops will have a negative effect on their economic and social life also. While mentioning the effects on the people it also applies to those students who migrated outside for their studies but had to come back and are now stuck in between due to the violence took place. Thousands of people whether they are students or working came back to their original home due to the riot.
The migration of thousands of people in search of better opportunities outside their state and again migrating back to their homeland for their safety after the riot has raised many questions on the government. Whether these people have the right to live a peaceful life or not, whether they are safe outside their home, whether the government is able to manage the situation and whether these people are ready to go back to their workplace without fear even after the consolation of the government to provide them with full security are questions that remain unanswered. The riot that they faced in their own homeland shows the failure of the government to manage its people and the distrust of the people on the government forcing them to live a life of refugees in their own state. At present, people living in the camps have been requested to go back to their homes by the state with the assurance that there will not be any harm to their life but the fear is so high among them that still about 2 lakh people are living in the camps in different districts and are not ready to go back.
One important question that arises here is that whether these people will ever be able to live with the same love and feeling of brotherhood in the state after the riots?
[The writer is an M.Phil student at Sikkim University in the Department of Geography and Natural Resource Management]


As the teacher-student fraternity across the state celebrated the birth anniversary of Dr. Radhakrishnan, a great educationist and philosopher the world has rarely witnessed in the contemporary era, I am a little confused as to whether I should pen down this article or not which hints at how the education system, its delivery and above all –its quality is hindered or to be more frank, jeopardized despite all the emphasis, policy decisions, scholarship-packages-across the world by the government in Sikkim. Here I would like to indicate that until and unless, the very dedication and motives of the government teachers (most of the teachers) are clear and pious, nothing much can be expected regarding the quality of education being delivered in government schools. The government willfully or hesitantly (out of State financial implications) etc. manages to appoint the so-called ‘good’ teachers (so-called ‘good’ teachers shall be explained or questioned later on) for the government schools. However, the question is: Are these teachers really serious and sincere towards their deliveries, capabilities and above all efficient enough to competitiveness to which they sincerely usher their students to, despite the best of salaries and incentives they get.
The moot point is that the principals / teachers of the government schools claim that theirs is the best school in the State and they pretend to defend this claim somehow, more materialistically. Based on this claim, why don’t these government teachers get their own children admitted in their schools? The truth, on the contrary, as is being observed of late and which is very unfortunate is that most of these government teachers prefer to educate their own wards/children in public/private English medium schools where they appear to be conveniently assured that these schools shall provide the best of education to their wards as against the one where they practically and actually teach. This in a practical and truer sense exposes and establishes the quality of education of the government schools in Sikkim wherein the present government teachers themselves don’t rely on their own quality of teaching, its quality and deliveries. If this is not the case, I am open for an elaborate discussion over the issue with our ‘honourable and dedicated government teachers’. However, only if all the concerned ‘Govt Teachers (90 %) offer an explanation to my assertions then would I be truly in a position to wish all the Teachers including these Government Teachers a very very happy ‘Teacher’s Day’. In the absence of an explanation, it looks like the government teachers are simply turning the noble teaching profession into either a bridge-gap option or money-minting machine or medium, apart from fooling one and all in the guise of a ‘Guru’ thereby pushing the career-education future of our ‘un-elite’ children into risk and jeopardy at the whim of their insincere approaches and deliveries. There is no other reason for them educating their wards/children in public schools whilst imposing their weaknesses and lapses on the economically deprived students who are earnestly seeking education and the art of competition at Government Schools out of their ‘total and uncompromised faith on their Government teachers’.
Until and unless this trend is timely rectified by the ‘government teachers’, – delivery of quality based education, despite the best of efforts by the government is a far cry. The above submission however is in no means an attempt to question one’s fundamental or constitutional rights.
Guru Govindam!
Chewang Pintso, Gangtok

Thursday, September 6, 2012

23 teachers feted at State-level Teacher’s Day celebrations

GANGTOK, 05 Sept: To express gratitude and as a mark of respect towards the contribution of teachers in nation building, a state level Teacher’s Day celebration was organized by the Human Resource Development Department at Chintan Bhawan today. The programme began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp and offering of khadas at the portrait of Dr S. Radhakrishnan by the Chief Minister and other delegates on the dais followed by the teachers.
This year, the State Government conferred eight State Awards and 15 Commendation Certificates to teachers from across the state. The State Award carries a certificate along with Rs 1 lakh as award money and the Commendation Award which carries a certificate along with Rs 50, 000 as award money.
The awardees were Namdul Zangpo Bhutia, HM, Longboo Primary School, North; Betina Pradhan, PT Reshi SS, West; Tulman Rai, HM, Chiya Dara PS, South; Dhurva Basista, HM, Rhenock Reshi PS, East in Primary Teachers Category. In the Secondary Category the awardees were RK Mishra, GT, Biology, Singhik SS, North; Camelus Lepcha, Lepcha language teacher, Yuksom SSS, West; Ongden Tshering Lepcha, PGT Lepcha, Namchi SSS, South and Hari Prakash Rawat, GT, Maths, Chujachen SSS, East.
In the same manner Commendation certificates were presented to Jay Jay Lepcha, PT, Lingthem JHS, North; Chenga Tshering, PT, Munsithang PS, North; Chenzey Temba Sherpa, PT, Pelling SSS, West; Passang Temba Sherpa, PT, Ribdi SS, West; Ugen Paljor Bhutia, PT Temi SSS, South; Sukbir Tamang, HM, Politam PS, South; Peden Bhutia, HM Chongeytar PS, East; Kalpana Pradhan, PT, Rongpo JHS, East; Hemlata Rai, GT, Arts, Lachung Sec School; Prakash Chadra Subba, GT Maths, Daramdin SS, West; Prem Lall Sharma, GT Arts, Dentam SSS, West; Bipin Chandra Rai, HM, Maniram SS, South; Daisy D Bhutia, GT Arts, Melli Bazar SS, South; DB Cintury, HM Martam JHS East and Bhanu Chettri, HM Amba JHS, East Sikkim.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said that the teachers act as the foundation for creating responsible citizens and good human beings. The day is celebrated to show the acknowledgement and recognition of the hard work put in by the teachers towards human development, he added.
“If the society is blessed with good teachers, the society is bound to be  good”, said the Chief Minister and also asked the teachers to continue to be the guiding light with more vigor and create conducive conditions for the overall development of the students. Every effort has been put in by the State Government to ensure that the children can get the best education, he informed.
Speaking on the principles of humanitarianism in every human being, the Chief Minister stated that the light of humanitarianism has to be generated from the school and college level equipped with unity in diversity, therefore he also appealed the teachers to be a guiding factor in this regard.
The Chief Minister also underlined the schemes and programmes of the state Government towards the exposure of students in the state, national and international level for preparing capable and employable human resource for which he declared that from the next financial year the budget in the Human Resource Development Sector will be enhanced by 30%.  He also asked the teachers to create a sense of responsibility and ownership amongst them and in the same manner instil the same in children.
During the function the Chief Minister also released a book titled “Golden Words and Collection of Design on RTE Act 2009 (SSA)”.
Minister for HRDD, NK Pradhan said that the teaching profession is the noblest profession that any human being can look forward to and asked the teachers to work in such a manner that it justifies their profession.  He also informed about the state government programmes where there is a provision of establishing Directorate of Primary Education from the next academic session.
“The teachers of the state have done a tremendous job as the results of last year’s Board Exams speaks for itself”, he said and added that teachers should along with education impart value based education to the children and for this one does not need books he said.
The Director HRDD, Yasodha Bhandari also read out the message of the President of India on the occasion of Teachers’ Day 2012.
The representatives of the primary teachers, graduate teachers, post graduate teachers and the state award winners also addressed the gathering.

High Court restores ownership of land wrongly recorded as govt’s

GANGTOK, 05 Sept: In what is being termed as a landmark judgment, the High Court of Sikkim on 03 September 2012 has given back a petitioner his land which had been wrongly recorded as government land without proper verification of the original land records and without inquiring about the same from the original landowners.
Dr. Doma T Bhutia, Advocate of the petitioner informs that Kumar Pradhan of Rangpo had approached the High Court of Sikkim challenging the survey order of land record of 1979-1980 prepared by the Department of Land Revenue And Disaster Management.
The petitioner had stated that two plots of land belonging to him situated at Sawney and Kumrek areas had been wrongly recorded in the name of government under the said survey conducted by the concerned department in the year 1979-80, and that this had been done in a superficial manner without proper verification from the original lands record or enquiry from the original land owners.
In the course of the hearing, the necessary rectification of the lands bearing no. 2158/P. measuring 1.07 acres have been made and accordingly Parcha Khatian has been issued to him.
With regards to another plot of land no.1100 measuring about 1.16 acres at Sawney under Central Pendam Block falling under Pakyong Sub-division, the DC East has informed that there being a dispute over its title between the petitioner and his paternal uncle, Durga Das Pradhan by a letter dated 13.8.2012 addressed to Additional Advocate General by the DC East, Mr. Kumar was asked to approach the appropriate court of law for the purpose.
The writ petition was heard by the single bench of the Sikkim High Court Justice SP Wangdi.  While disposing the petition, Justice Wangdi observed that since the land is recorded in the name of Kumar Pradhan’s grandfather Harka Bdr. Pradhan, there would be no impediment in getting the land record restored in the name of the grandfather as per the existing Parcha Khatian.
He further directed that the State Respondent may, therefore, take necessary steps for getting the land records restored in the name of Harka Bahadur Pradhan. State counsel, Karma Thinlay Namgyal, submitted that there would be no difficulty to comply with the direction and that he shall convey about it personally to the DC East, for its expeditious compliance.
It was also learnt that a huge forest land measuring 26.2313 hectares is allotted to a private company i.e. Madhya Bharati by the State Government by accepting the compensation from the private company.
The advocate informed that Kumar Pradhan is jubilant and thankful to the State government for restoring his land back to him.
Advocate Dr. Doma T. Bhutia and her juniors have welcomed the outcome of the writ petition and appreciated the positive steps shown by the State and further welcomed the observation of Justice SP Wangdi in the said petition.

NE Badminton tourney concludes

GANGTOK, 05 Sept: The 4-day Kanton North East Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship 2012 concluded today here at Paljor Stadium Indoor Gymnasium Hall. More than 160 shuttlers from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura including Sikkim took part in this championship.
In the Kuldeep Gurung Memorial Junior Boys Single, Rishav Sarma [Assam] bagged the gold medal followed by Laldinpuia [Assam] as the runner-up. Kaustav Deka [Assam] and RK Devjit Singh [Manipur] were both awarded the bronze medal.
Likewise, in Prashant Pradhan Memorial Junior Boys Doubles, Nitish Bora/Kashyap Neog [Assam] were awarded the gold medal whereas RK Devjit Singh/Yaitombai [Manipur] were the runners-up. Akshay Raito/Kalung Taki [Arunachal] and Roshan Rai/Avinash Subba [Sikkim] were awarded the bronze medal.
In Junior Girls Singles- Ashmita Chalia [Assam] bagged the gold medal while Ningshi B Hazaraika [Assam] bagged the silver medal with Deepika Kaushil [Nagaland] and Rupashree Nath [Tripura] in the third place.
In Junior Doubles-Harshita Chaliha/Bornali Konwar [Assam] won the gold medal followed by Pinki Karki/Taring Yania [Arunachal] in second place. Shailza Chettri/Bandien Rapsang [Meghalaya] and Agnes Lalalmpuii/H. Ramdinzelli [Mizoram] won the bronze medal.
In Men’s Singles- Hirak Jyoti Neog [Assam] won the gold medal and W James Singh [Manipur] bagged the silver medal. Ankur Sangpang Rai [Nagaland] and Zarzokima[Mizoram] won the bronze medal. In Women’s Singles- Kaveri Phukan [Assam] bagged gold while Bornali Konwar [Assam] was awarded the silver medal. Prathana [Nagaland] and Agnes Lalawmpuii [Mizoram] won the bronze medal.
In Mens Doubles-Anjan Buragohan/Ranjan Buragohain [Assam] won the gold medal followed by H Kishan/L. Momo [Manipur] in second place. Parshoram Joshi/Raju Joshi [Meghalaya] and Moatemjem/Tajen Kaba [Nagaland] came in third.
In Womens Doubles-Kaveri Phukan/Abandika Deka [Assam] won the gold medal whereas Prathana/Uma Tamang [Nagaland] won the silver medal. Ksh. Khelpati Devi/RK Miranda Devi [Manipur] and Hmingthianghlima/Agnes [Mizoram] bagged the bronze medal.
Chief guest on the day, Speaker KT Gyaltsen congratulated the entire team of Badminton Association of Sikkim, players and especially Minister DB Thapa for organizing the tournament. Mr Gyaltsen added that this tournament has brought a sense of brotherhood, mutual understanding and friendship among the northeastern states.
The Speaker accompanied by the distinguished guests handed over the trophies, certificates and medals to the winners.

Election Commission enlists banks in ‘Know Your Booth Level Officers’ campaign

GANGTOK, 05 Sept [IPR]: As per the directives of the Election Commission of India, a meeting was held with the representatives of all banks located in Gangtok on 04 September in connection with “Know Your Booth Level Officers” Campaign. The Revision of Electoral Rolls will be commencing from 01 October in the state of Sikkim.
A press release from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer informs that the meeting was chaired by Special Chief Electoral Officer, Sikkim, LP Pandey wherein representatives of 11 banks participated. The representatives have been requested to print posters regarding “Know your BLO” and display the posters in their respective banks’ complex and ATM centres throughout the state.
The posters contain information about the Revision of Electoral Rolls and issuance of Voters’ ID Card to the newly registered electors, claims and objections, corrections of names in the electoral rolls and detailed contact numbers of Booth Level Officers in each Polling Station, the release informs.
All the representatives of the banks were requested to sponsor an advertisement under corporate social responsibility. Accordingly, they have agreed to the proposal for printing of posters and then display in their respective areas, the release adds.
The meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Electoral Officer, CP Dhakal and other concerned officers of the Department.

Tourism Deptt carries out cleanliness drive at Tsomgo

GANGTOK, 05 Sept [IPR]: A cleanliness drive was organized at Tsomgo Lake by Tourism & Civil Aviation Department yesterday in collaboration with Police Check Post, Tsomgo Pokhari Sangrakshan Samiti (TPSS), JN Road Taxi Drivers / Owners Association, Live to Love organization, and Tour Operators, namely Classic Tours &Travels, United Tours and Travels, Phoenix Tours &Travels, Red Lotus Tours & Travels, Tsomgo Dokan Association.
The campaign was mainly conducted to create awareness among the local people as well as to ensure that the responsibility of keeping the area clean is taken seriously by every individual. Tsomgo, Nathula and Baba Mandir being the most important Tourist Destinations, it was felt that regular monitoring of cleanliness is of utmost importance.
The Department will be organizing such programmes from time to time not only in this area but all over the state.
The Department requested Tsomgo Pokhari Sangarkshan Samiti to dispose the collected garbage on a weekly basis, similarly Dokan Association of Tsomgo was also requested to help keep the area clean.
Inspection of the road along the Nathula access was also conducted with representatives of Border Roads Organization. The BRO has assured that the road condition shall be improved before the coming tourist season.

Editorial: Hate and Paranoia are Handicaps, And Infectious

Kokrajhar, then the madness in South India, then a return of the venom of the Thackeray clan, Kokrajhar again, a reminder of the Godhra carnage, Thackeray’s still in news, the targeting of Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu and now the icing with quotas in promotions... Leaders and agent provocateurs are at it again across the country and while their actions might corner them a constituency of the pessimistic, it continues to make the country unpleasant. What is worse, for all the political mileage hate mongering and blame fixing might notch up, it does not achieve anything for the target vote bank. All one is left with is more paranoia, more hate, more pessimism, more violence. The real issues remain unaddressed.
To blame someone else for everything that is lost, because that is what the lazy leaders peddle, is the argument of the ignorant, the odious opportunism of flawed mindsets. Even though external situations can influence personal experiences and shape individual futures, issues of identity, status, culture and heritage, even opportunities, raised by noxious cliques that surface every time elections come around, are more nuanced and complicated; not offering themselves easily to straightforward categorisations of victims and oppressors. These are inheritances and opportunities that are squandered away more due to ignorance and non-involvement than the projected monsters of influx or poaching by outsiders. If these are indeed issues that worry the people, then they should be seeking enhanced empowerment, not imbibing hate or marking enemies. To blame someone else for the privations, whether personal or shared, is the excuse of the weak and any ‘achievement’ secured from this plank are hand-outs, not accomplishments of the proud. The knee-jerk reaction to expressed fears is the granting of quotas and reservations. These, if our country’s experience of the past more than 60 years is any indication, enfeeble communities even more and create even more creamy layers of a handful of the privileged. These are, at best, fingers in the dyke, not reinforcements behind which genuine empowerment can be nurtured, confidence cultivated.
Most insular leaders, however, are trying to build constituencies held together by hate-inspired paranoia, projecting a future that aspires for the past. Few things can be more disrespectful of the people than these aspirations that seek to convince the people that the past was somehow better, that perfection had already been achieved and people need to return to that ‘Ram Rajya’ of the past and live there, static, without change, forever. Why this is disrespectful is because it ignores that fact that people learn from the past, grow with experience and keep improving, individually, socially and as a people. It is also offensive because it suggests that successive generations have failed in contributing anything constructive to the situation already achieved by their predecessors. These leaders would have people just be, live on, but contribute nothing; no rocking the boat here. Insularity requires that after a people have regressed, apart from living in that suspended animation, they also live in constant fear protecting the past that has become their future. Those who aspire for such lives and see nothing wrong in it can tear up this paper and cleanse away any contamination that this drivel might have caused, for the rest, here is the parting though - To suggest that the past was better is a harmless romantic escape at one level, one that could even inspire a genuine understanding and appreciation of influences that shape us and maybe even deliver pride and confidence, but becomes an offensively destructive slogan in the hands of politicians. Blame infects fear and fear breeds intolerance; these are handicaps, not virtues; and as recent developments have reminded us, also infectious...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

HC pulls up NHPC over unsatisfactory maintenance of roads under its care

GANGTOK, 04 Sept: The High Court of Sikkim has pulled up the National Hydro Electricity Power Corporation [NHPC] for unsatisfactory maintenance and progress of work on roads entrusted to them.
The High Court has directed NHPC to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken by the corporation with respect to the responsibilities allotted to them. Sections of the Singtam-Dikchu highway have been placed under NHPC’s charge for maintenance and repairs since, till recently, they were the heaviest users of this stretch of road. NHPC, the court observed, has not discharged satisfactorily enough on these works.
The observations and directions were made when the High Court was hearing the suo moto case take up in 2010 against the Secretary, Ministry of Surface Transport and others regarding the 31-A National Highway which is being maintained by the Border Roads Organisation.
On 03 September, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Permod Kohli and including Justice SP Wangdi, passed directions to all 10 respondents, including the State Public Works Department and NHPC, to file fresh affidavits on a quarterly basis updating the progress of works.
The High Court has also pulled up the Project Swastik and BRO and directed the respondents to take a decision regarding clearance of the projects, components, grant of sanction, completion of survey not later than three months adding that failure of the concerned authorities to comply with the direction shall be taken seriously.
The High Court has also directed the Central Government Standing Counsel, Karma Thinlay to serve a copy of the order to all concerned for compliance within two weeks.
The latest orders of the High Court have come in the light of the affidavit filed by BRO, Project Swastik in its quarter report with respect to the various projects undertaken by them. The High Court slammed BRO that except the works in Phase-I, which relates to improvement of trouble spots, there is not much progress regarding the other works.
“Even in most of the works, the clearance from the concerned authorities and departments is still awaited, the further progress of all the components of the works has come to a stand-still”, the High Court observed.
It further pointed out that there has been lackluster approach by the authorities at every step, at the stage of clearance of the projects by various agencies and authorities, surveys, sanction of the project, allocation of fund and issuance of NIT etc. Most of the works have not been allotted and even where some works have been approved by the authorities, further process has not taken place.
On the other hand, the court further said that the first affidavit filed by Superintendent Engineer of Road and Bridges department, Government of Sikkim regarding the work on 9th Mile, 31-A National Highway executed by State Public Works Department has already commenced.
However, the court has expressed its concerns that the work was entrusted to the PWD in March 2009 and it has taken three years to complete the process of allotment, which is not justified. The works entrusted to PWD is being executed since February 2012 and as per the terms of allotment/agreement, the work is to be completed by the end of February 2015.
The High Court has directed PWD that the work should be executed at the required pace and completed within the scheduled period since the work entrusted to the department has already commenced.

Public and committee request for early reconstruction of Tholung monastery

MANGAN, 04 Sept: Tholung Monastery in Upper Dzongu which suffered substantial damage in last year’s earthquake still awaits reconstruction and renovation work. The posts and pillars of the monastery are almost tilting and appear structurally compromised even as most of the partition walls have collapsed and severe cracks have developed in the remaining partitions. All the belongings of the monastery have been shifted to the Sheda building attached to the monastery.
Panchayat Secretary, Bey ward, Nima Lepcha, while speaking to NOW!, informed that the Ecclesiastical Department had provided an initial amount of Rs. 5 lakh as earthquake relief for Tholung monastery which was utilised in the maintenance of kitchen, footpath to Tholung and other expenses incurred while shifting the belongings of the monastery to the Sheda.
Similarly, the Zilla Member Sakyong-Pentong GPU, Topnam Lepcha who is also a committee member of Tholung Monastery, informed that recently the department had sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh for renovation of the monastery and added that the Gumpa Committee is not sure if this amount would be enough for restoration works.
He further informed that the construction of the Khamsel Lhakhang has been delayed due to the disruption of power supply to Tholung. The power supply line from Bey to Tholung was extensively damaged in the 18 Sept 2011 earthquake.
It may be mentioned here that the Tholung Monastery hosts the auspicious “Khamsel” ceremony every three years when the clothes and other belongings of Lhatsun Chenpo are put on display for devotees who come from across the world. Owing to the lack of space at the monastery, the Khamsel Lhakang was being constructed with a pavilion for this ceremony.
The public and the committee members have requested that the monastery be reconstructed with the same design and size. At present, prayers are being conducted on the ground floor of the under construction Khamsel Lhakang located behind the monastery.
Power Minister, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha who is also the area MLA Dzongu on being asked if the monastery will be reconstructed said that the decision to either renovate or reconstruct the monastery would be taken following the report of technical experts and engineers from the concerned department.
He further informed that, accessibility being a problem, the technical experts had not been able to reach the area till now but with the pathway restored work may begin soon.

Namchi resident accuses Kolkata travel agent of Rs. 2.50 crore fraud

GANGTOK, 04 Sept: A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy was registered against one Sanjeev Nagar and others at the Namchi Police Station on 03 September.
According to Sunil Jaiswal of Sikkim Organic, Upper Ghurpisey in Namchi, he wanted to purchase a house in the United States and relocate there for the purpose of educating his children there. He then got his close friend of 15 years and owner of a travel agency in Kolkata [Maiden Travels], Sanjeev Nagar to execute the purchase.
The accused Sanjeev Nagar sent details of a real estate agent in the US and bank account details to the complainant. Following this, on 14 August, the complainant transferred a sum of Rs 2.5 crore to the bank account given by the accused.
Sanjeev Nagar then allegedly disappeared and could not be contacted by the complainant. His mobile phone was also switched off. On enquiring the complainant found that the real estate agent in the US, invoice, bank details were forged and replaced by DBS Bank HL Limited, Hong Kong by creating false e-mail and bank account. The amount was transferred to DBS Bank HL Limited instead of the real estate agent.
The complainant has alleged that Sanjeev Nagar was also paid Rs. 50 lakh in advance for flight, meals and lodging expenses. Mr Jaiswal has also alleged that the accused’s nephew Aayush Kapoor who is also with Maiden Travels in Kolkata is in constant touch with the accused on his mobile but is not revealing his whereabouts.
During investigations, the police examined the complainant and seized details of bank account, transactions and e-mail correspondence, phone number, travel ticket and admission detail copies. Police are gathering more information and checking the credentials of Sanjeev Nagar, Aayush Kapoor and other details before seeking permission to go to Kolkata for investigations.
A case under section 420/ 409/ 471/ 120 B [cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, criminal breach of trust by agent, using as genuine a forged document and punishment for criminal conspiracy] of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against Sanjeev Nagar and others at the Namchi Police Station and the case is under investigation.

Road cutting debris blamed for muddy water supply

GANGTOK, 04 Sept: Officials at the PHE Department have assured that the murky and muddy water running in the taps here for the past few days is not contaminated. They also assure that the quality of water supply to Gangtok will improve in a few days.
The main reason for the muddy water is because one of the tapping sources for the alternative supply line drawn from JN Road to Selep water reservoir was bringing in huge quantities of slush that has washed into the source from the back-cutting works for a bypass road being constructed by the GREF there.
The enormous amount of debris excavated during the works was being spilled regularly off the road and into the alternate water source instead of being loaded onto trucks and disposed off in specified dumping areas. This has led to heavy rains washing all the debris into the intermediate water tapping sources along JN Road, officials inform.
In this regard, a joint inspection was carried out by officials of the PHE and the GREF at the concerned spot this Sunday after the same was pointed out by representatives of the department. It is learnt that starting yesterday, GREF has started removing the debris in trucks and dumping it elsewhere.
However, with the damage already done and still a major portion of the dumped spill from the excavations in inaccessible areas, the PHE has been forced to disconnect the water supply from this source.  
It is also informed that the PHE officials are in constant contact with BRO over the issue and the latter is cooperating with the department.
“The water quality at the main reservoir at Selep has been improving since we disconnected supply from the tapping source which was bringing in slush and debris as soon as our people recognized the reasons for the change in water quality,” stated the AE, PHE stationed at Selep Tanki.
It was also informed that water rationing is still underway in the capital mainly because of a 400 feet stretch of pipeline from the main source at Ratey-Chu to Selep being washed away because of a major landslide that has occurred at 8th Mile. The official informed that repairs are underway on a war-footing.
“The landslide is still active and the rains have not stopped. It is dangerous work, but considering the need to maintain constant water supply, our men have taken up the challenge to carry out the temporary restoration works. Some of the pipelines here are on 90 degree slopes with active slides above and rocks and trees falling constantly, it is a risky proposition for any worker,” stated the AE.
He also maintained that water supply to the many zonal water tanks in-and-around Gangtok is being done regularly and the supply from these zonal tanks to households is being carried out without any disruptions and at fixed timings. However, he stated that the duration of the water supply could fluctuate.
“I request all Gangtokians to bear with us as we are in the process of restoring the main water supply lines and also to flush out the already murky water from the main reservoir. The quality of the water will improve in a few days but the water will still be rationed till the water supply line is temporarily restored and the supply volume increases. Thus all should use water economically as we are bound by circumstances that we are working on day and night,” he expressed.    
It may be recalled that one of the two water purification filters at Selep Tanki had choked and repair work was being carried out by the PHE [reported earlier in 08 August 2012 issue of NOW! ].

National Awards for two Sikkim teachers

GANGTOK, 04 Sept [IPR]: As per information received from the Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim, two teachers of Sikkim have been selected for the National Award, 2011 under the scheme of National Award to Teachers.
The teachers are Amrit Thakuri [Head Master, Government Primary School, Posokey, Rongli, East Sikkim] and Lok Nath Koirala [Graduate Teacher (Arts), Government Junior High School, Lingee Payong, South Sikkim] under Primary School Teachers category and Secondary School Teachers category, respectively.
The President of India will hand over the awards which carries a Certificate of Merit, cash award of Rs 25,000 and a silver medal, at a special function on 05 September 2012 scheduled to be held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, to be hosted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development Department, Government of India.

Editorial: The Right Support for Quality Education

Education is reasonably universal now and more than the details of lessons learnt from textbooks, the memories that stay longer with people are of the teachers who taught them. Every person invariably has a teacher who either inspired the entire class to pursue their dreams or toed the other end of the spectrum and actively engaged in stifling imaginations, enforcing norms. Today is Teacher’s Day and an apt time to go over what role the teachers can play in preparing students for life. The pressure of examinations and competition and the tendency to prioritise rote over comprehension has handicapped the teaching fraternity into becoming problem solvers, handing out answers and solutions for students to learn instead of assisting students in finding their own answers, encouraging them to enquire more and develop faculties that question more often instead of accepting things as dished out. Because students look up to teachers, it is important for teachers to offer themselves as role models, but it would be even better if teachers could introduce their wards to personalities worth emulating and inspiring students towards excellence and onwards on the path of responsibility. Recent developments do not offer much hope on this count, as was displayed by the teachers themselves when they deployed a series of embarrassing arguments to challenge the transfer of excess teachers from ‘urban’ schools to rural locations. Arguing that this would disrupt classes in their present schools mid-session, they inexcusably ignored the fact that non-compliance would mean that students at schools they had been posted to would have to go without teachers for the entire academic session. Typically, they received the support of opposition groups which echoed the same lame excuse in chorus. Thankfully, the government stood its ground this year and the transfer orders were eventually obeyed. Teachers should also motivate and inspire students towards learning, not spoon-feeding them the syllabus till the exams and then picking up another batch to repeat the same. If one agrees that these are the qualities one seeks in teachers, the obvious question that follows is, can one be trained for such a role? And do the existing models of ‘training’ focus enough on these aspects of teaching? Only trained teachers will be able to answer these questions, but fact remains that these should not even be issues that distract from more important policy interventions. Teachers, ever since modern education was introduced, are required to be qualified. For how long have B. Ed. courses, for example, been offered? ...a very, very long time. And yet, it is only now that precious resources and attention are being invested in getting even already appointed teachers with substantial experience to acquire these degrees. If the teacher appointment process had not been blatantly usurped by enthusiastic proponents of nepotism, Sikkim would have been deliberating weightier issues by now. Appointment of deserving and qualified teachers should always have been a given, and then one could engage in more meaningful discussions on how to retain the better teachers, appoint better facilities in schools and update syllabus and teaching methods. Sikkim’s pursuit of quality education is welcome, but for it to get anywhere, the ennui that HRD Department has become will have to be shaken off first. Ironically, this is the one aspect that remains missing from all discussions on the delivery of quality education. The ideal teachers and the perfect students, will after all, need the support of at least a reasonably functional Human Resource Development Department which is as motivated to appoint better facilities in schools [by way of libraries, laboratories and even basics like electricity, toilets and running water] as it is excited by the opportunity to conduct trainings.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Three houses mangled by landslide at Shipgyer in Upper Dzongu

MANGAN, 03 Sept: Nine families have been displaced by a landslide that occurred early in the morning yesterday here at Gyer village which falls under Shipgyer GPU of Dzongu constituency under Chungthang Sub-division, North Sikkim.
The slide tore down from the Marok hill near Tingzang Khola at the village. Locals inform that around 1 AM they heard the sound of boulders and debris falling.
A wooden house belonging to Naktuk Lepcha and an Ekra houses belonging to Tencho Lepcha and Lherap Lepcha have been totally damaged. Six more houses, belonging to Norden Lepcha, Nim Dorjee Lepcha, Namtyot Lepcha, Tshering Lepcha, Thinley Lepcha and Angay Lepcha, have been partially damaged and are at risk as the slide is still active with boulders and debris continuing to fall.
Meanwhile, the villages of Safo, Salim-Pakel, Ramom and Shipgyer have also been cut off by this slide.
The slide also disrupted traffic along Toong-Sangkalang road and SPWD approach road of Toong-Shipgyer, around four kilometres short of Toong Check-Post. Also in the list of damages are a pig and chicken coop belonging to Lherap Lepcha and one cow belonging to Naktuk Lepcha.
Apart from it, the slide has damaged the standing crops and land of these families while materials for CMRHM construction and foundation of the under construction community centre have also been damaged.
“We heard the sound of the slide as soon as it started which was around 1 AM. We immediately came out and saw that there was debris and slush outside our door. Fortunately we managed to escape from the next huge slide”, informed Lherap Lepcha while speaking to NOW!.
He informed that there is more danger, as the jhora below the village has also been washed out which was constructed by the Irrigation Department in 1986.
It is learnt that SDM Chungthang also visited the spot yesterday in order to take stock of damages. Meanwhile, the affected families have been shifted temporarily to safer locations at Ship village.
Panchayat president, Shipgyer GPU informed NOW! that the displaced families have been provided with money under NC fund from the SDM office for shifting. He also said that the earthquake last year had caused some cracks to develop at the starting point of the slide which could have led to this incident.
To assess road damages, SPWD AE, Sonam C Lepcha also visited the spot today and informed that restoration work for the road will start from tomorrow. Traffic will resume within one week, he added.
Meanwhile, the BRO has started the restoration work at Shipgyer-Chungthang road which was blocked by the same slide.

State civil servants call on CM to express gratitude for cadre review

GANGTOK, 03 Sept [IPR]: The officers of the State Civil Service Association called on the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at Samman Bhawan today and extended their gratitude for the Cadre Review of the State Civil Service undertaken by the State Government and the promotions of the officers under the State Civil Service.
While addressing the officials, the Chief Minister congratulated them and said that the government is the policy making authority and the bureaucracy is the implementing authority of the policies adopted by the government and hence coordination between these two is very important for the welfare of the people and the state.
He directed the officers to work in a coordinated manner and maintain teamwork while working for the state.  He urged the officials to be proactive, efficient, dedicated, responsible and capable human beings so that they can deliver their knowledge to the society.
Mr. Chamling also suggested that they should help the needy and the poor without any discrimination to any caste or creed. He said that each and every person from poor to rich of the society has an equal right to enjoy the fruits of democracy and hence the duty of the bureaucrat is to rise above caste and religion in delivering the opportunities provided by the government equally amongst all citizens. He further said that they should listen to the problems of the people patiently, share their feelings and try to help them during their time of need.
Talking about the human resource development programme the Chief Minister said that the government has given priority to providing qualitative education to the children of the state with the aim to produce capable human resource for the future of Sikkim. The CM declared that there will be an increase of ten percent in the budget allocated to education from the next budget session.
He urged the officials to guide the people and children with regard to their career and also advise and convince them to concentrate and master one subject of their interest. The Chief Minister also urged the officials to work for the future of Sikkim and set an example of a vibrant bureaucracy in the country.
In his address the Chief Secretary, Karma Gyatso said that it is a historic day for the State Civil Servants as the government has approved the promotions of hundred and fifty officials at a time which shows the extreme commitment of the Chief Minister towards the welfare of the people of the state. He expressed hope that the new grade of officers will give their best for the people and the state of Sikkim with compassion and a human touch in administrating matters of the state.
The Chief Secretary also extended his thanks to the Chief Minister on behalf of all Civil Servants and said that they are extremely grateful to the Chief Minister and also assured to fulfill the aims, policies and programmes of the government.
The meeting started with the welcome address delivered by the Additional Secretary and Chief Administrator, State Institute of Capacity Building and the vote of thanks was proposed by the Joint Secretary RMDD.

U-14 team from Namchi Sports Hostel leaves for Subroto Mukherjee Cup

NAMCHI, 03 Sept: The U-14 team of Namchi Sports Hostel left today for the upcoming Subroto Mukherjee Football Tournament in Delhi. The team, consisting of 17 players headed by their coach Suren Chettri and assistant coach Amosh Subba, will be representing Sikkim in the tourney. The team will first play its first match against Afghanistan on 07 September at Ambedkar Stadium.
Area MLA Namchi Singithang, Binod Rai, Joint Director (S/W) Sports and Youth Affairs, Kamal Chettri and Principal Namchi Sr. Sec. School met the team at Namchi Sports Hostel this morning and conveyed their best wishes for the tournament.
The MLA, while talking to the players said that this was a big opportunity for them to play in the national capital representing the state at the national level. Urging them to listen to their coaches, the MLA further said that this is an event where they can perform well and gain more experience.
Similarly, the JD while sharing his best wishes informed that Namchi Sports Hostel is selecting 30 such players each year under the scheme’ Search for More Bhaichungs’ and the experts were nurturing them will football skills here at the hostel. He further informed that, the government is providing them with free food and lodging facilities with the aim to produce skilled players.
It is due to this platform provided to the players by the government that players like Sanju Pradhan and Nirmal Chettri are making the state and country proud, he added. On behalf of the department the JD also congratulated Sanju Pradhan and Sunil Chettri and the entire Indian team for the victory in the Nehru Cup 2012. He also spoke about the achievements made by the Namchi Sports Hostel in the recent past.
Coach Suren Chettri while talking to the media personnel before leaving for Delhi said that though the players of Sikkim were really small compared to the other teams, they will definitely perform well and show their talents. This tournament will provide more experience to these upcoming football talents, he added.

MG Kiran takes charge as Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Finance

GANGTOK, 03 Sept: MG Kiran, (SK-1993), Commissioner-cum-Secretary to the Governor, on deputation will now take charge of the state’s Finance Department. Mr Kiran has been repatriated and posted as Commissioner-cum Secretary, Finance, Revenue & Expenditure Department in place of KN Bhutia who proceeded on retirement on 31 August, last Friday.
On the other hand, R Telang, (SK-1995), Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department has been transferred and posted as Commissioner-cum-Secretary to the Governor, Governor's Secretariat, Raj Bhawan, on deputation in place of Mr. Kiran.
Meanwhile, Nalini G Pradhan, (SK-1996), Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department has been given the additional charge of Secretary, Toursim and Civil Aviation Department till further notice.

Weeklong training on Rural Tourism Guides & Photography held in Darap

DARAP, 03 Sept: Training and capacity building programmes are being conducted in full swing in various capacities throughout the state, however with no post follow-up on most of these programmes, the actual aim and objective of creating specialized manpower in different sectors especially in the tourism and service industry is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
This issue of the post-training impacts was discussed, deliberated and addressed at the valedictory function of a week-long Training on Rural Tourism Guides & Photography that started on 27 August  which was organized by Darap Eco Tourism Committee (DEC) in collaboration with Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, TAAS and IPR department and sponsored by Ministry of Tourism, GoI yesterday.
A total of 20 participants from Darap, Nambu, Yuksom and Pelling underwent the training programmes that dealt with both theory and practicals on rural guiding that included bird watching, identification of local flora and fauna with their English names and a specialized course on technical aspects of photography. The participants were all lodged at Darap village during the entire tenure of the seven-day training programme.
Present as resource persons were well-known Ornithologist, Chewang Bonpo who dealt with the bird-watching aspect and rural guiding aspect, Keshav Chettri, photographer, IPR department and Manoj Chettri, senior information assistant, Tourist Information Centre, Pelling who took sessions on rural tourism guides and highlighted their roles responsibilities. The valedictory function saw the participation of a number of local entrepreneurs including the ward Panchayat member, Darap – Nambu GPU, ML Subba as the chief guest, the special guest included local entrepreneur,  Chungdala Bhutia of Panchak tours and travels, Pelling.
“The existing trend of participants taking up training programmes just for the certificates has still not been able to fill the void of specialized local personnel in the service sector. This apparent problem should now be understood by the participants who now have to use this practical knowledge and capitalize on the same with an aim to cater to the niche market,” urged Sushil Tamang, president, DEC while addressing the gathering at the function.
While stating that practical implementation of these training programmes in their respective localities where tourism in the past ten years has grown ten-fold would result in a sustainable and prospective livelihood the DTC president stressed on an action oriented approach from all the participants.
“The government is just a facilitator and these training programmes have a vision for the future, it is now up to us to make the best out of these programmes and create our own base of professionals through whom we can give the visitors an even better tourism experience here. We are making a mark for ourselves in the service sector through our unique products like home-stays, now we have to strive and set examples for others to follow,” he explained.
An interactive session where the participants shared their experiences was also conducted during the function.
Later during the day a special programme, was also organized by DTC at Cherry Village Resort, Darap. Power-point presentations were made by the participants on the impact of the training programmes to a gathering which had the presence of the area MLA, PL Subba, Zilla Adhyaksha, West district Zilla Panchayat, Karma Choki Bhutia, Chairman, Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation, NK Subba, executive members of the West Sikkim Tourism Society (WSTS) and Pelling Tourism Development Association (PTDA) and public of Yangthang constituency.
The function also saw a citation being presented to the out-going DC West, Santa Pradhan by DTC. Similarly, WSTS felicitated the new Zilla Adhyaksha while a letter of appreciation was awarded to president, PTDA, Tshering Wangdi Bhutia for his pioneering and commendable works in the field of tourism by DTC.

Lesser Known Aspects of Pang Lhabsol

The rise in popularity of the annual Pang Lhabsol festival has also seen a dilution of the religious aspects associated with it, the puja by the Teesta Bongthing being one such tradition on the verge of extinction, writes SD TSHERING…
The puja of Pang Lhabsol is mentioned in the Nyesol which was composed by Lhastun Chempo after he discovered the Ter of Rigdzin Sokdrup (Wyl.rig 'dzinsrogsgrub) or 'Accomplishing the Life-Force of the Vidyadharas' — a cycle of teachings revealed by him after a pure vision he had while meditating in the Cave of the Heart of the Deity to the north of Drakkar Tashiding in Sikkim. The cycle includes the famous practice of Riwo Sangchö. Nyesol contains the pujas related to the guardian deities of Sikkim which includes the Pang Lhabsol puja. Pang Lhabsol celebration has evolved since the Chogyal era from a purely religious affair to a socio-religious festival. Pang Lhabsol received a great boost during the reign of Chador Namgyal. In 1700, Chador Namgyal, seized the throne after his father’s death; he was a minor at that time. This outraged his elder half-sister Pendi Ongmu, daughter of the first wife, who ousted him with the help of the Bhutanese. Chador fled to Tibet where he remained in exile for ten years before returning and reclaiming his lost territory with the help of the Tibetans. While in Lhasa, Chador Namgyal became very proficient in Buddhism and Tibetan literature, and became the state astrologer to the sixth Dalai Lama. The sixth Dalai Lama, pleased with the erudition of Chador Namgyal, conferred on him exclusive rights to an estate in Tibet. He returned to Sikkim after the withdrawal of Bhutanese forces from Sikkim due to intervention from Tibet. He commanded that the second of every three sons of a Bhutia family must be ordained a monk of the Pemiongchi Monastery. He choreographed the Pangtoed chaam after getting a vision of the dance while in a meditative trance. Pangtoed chaam depicts the war of the generals of Khangchendzonga against evil to safeguard Sikkim. The chaam was also meant to keep alive the martial and native traditions.
During the Chogyal era, emphasis was mainly on performance of pujas but it has now transformed into celebration of the blood brotherhood swearing at Kabi Lungchock. Pang Lhabsol during the Chogyal era was celebrated at Tsuklhakhang at Gangtok though pujas were performed in all monasteries. It was customary for all villages to come to Gangtok bringing offerings to Tsuklhakhang monastery for the puja. The only exception was made to Bey, Lingzya and Tholung villages of Dzongu who were exempted from bringing offering to Gangtok due to the historical event connected to the funeral of Chogyal Tsuphud Namgyal in which these three villages were the main patrons. These three villages made their offerings at Tholung monastery and performed their pujas there. Tsuklhakhang monastery was also the venue for the Pangtoed chaam which was only performed here. The Pangtoed dancers were carefully chosen from certain castes and it was an honour to be chosen to perform the chaam. Two horses were especially bred to act as the mounts of deity Khangchendzonga and Yabdue during the Pangtoed chaam. These horses were chosen according to the specification laid down in the paychas and had to conform strictly to it. Both horses were never shod and were not used for any other purpose except for the puja.
Before the celebration at Gangtok, special threads woven from wool at the palace were sent to Pemayangtse monastery and to a Bongthing at Teesta along with other offerings for pujas to be performed at Yangdzo Drakin West Sikkim, the sacred rock symbolizing the deities of Rigdzin Sokdrup which was sanctified by Lhastun Chempo and at the four sacred caves and at Teesta. Prior to the pujas at Tsuklhakhang, a Bongthing from Nung in Dzongu used to come to the monastery to perform the pujas according to the old traditional way. This bongthing was especially trained for performing this puja and it was carried down their family for generations. It was said that when the Bongthing started his journey from Dzongu for Gangtok he was accompanied with a storm which was actually the manifestations of the guardian deities which were accompanying him. The people of Dzongu avoided the path the bongthing took on his trip to Gangtok to avoid harm by the deities. The origin of bongthings according to one song begins with the story of six Lepcha brothers who decide to become Kong Chen's (Kanchenjunga's) soldiers. When they tell their sister, she promises her brothers that when she bears children she will ensure that they worship Kong Chen and his soldiers.  On bearing a son, however, she forgets her promise and as a result Kong Chen sends a mythical serpent that coils itself at his feet across the Talung river that flows through Dzongu, damming it. As the river begins to flood, causing general panic, the son prays to Kong Chen and the waters recede. This boy, according to legend, became the first Bongthing.
Under the Chogyals, the annual ritual used to be preceded by a trek by the Bongthing, accompanied by young men from Nung, to Sikkim's capital at Tumlong near Dzongu, where they would be received by the reigning Chogyal and entertained at the royal palace. The Khangchendzonga Bongthing was especially feted. Apart from the offerings for the prayers, the Bongthing was provided ration for the year, a new set of clothes, money and gifts. In the days when the importance of the prayers was recognized, the entourage from Nung would stop at several places along the way to offer prayers at special locations on the return journey. They would take four days to reach Nung, where it normally took just a day and half. With their return would begin the Khangchendzonga prayers.
An important part of the royal offering used to be a full grown Yak bull to be offered as sacrifice at the Khangchendzonga altar at Nung. In 1973, however, the Chogyal decreed that a yak sacrifice, which had been part of the ancient ritual, should be discontinued as being against the tenets of Buddhism. Taso, it is said, believed that the discontinuation of the sacrifice displeased Kong Chen and brought an end to the 300-year-old Namgyal dynasty of the Chogyals. The last of the Nung bonthings was Samdup Tasho who passed away last year. The Khangchendzonga Bongthing used to be held in high esteem and people would make way for him when he approached. His house, now a dilapidated shell of a cottage, used to be known as Rum Vik, the Teeth of God, [Vik means both soldier and teeth in Lepcha], a name perhaps earned because of the presence of an elephant tusk – a gift from the Chogyal - that enjoyed pride of place in his altar. Alternately, Rum Vik could also mean the Soldier of God. The Bongthing’s ancestors were after all the first Lepchas to enlist as Khangchendzonga’s soldiers.
Bongthing Pem Tshering

The puja at Teesta was also performed by another Bongthing to appease the guardian dieties of Teesta and of the plains. In olden days the puja used to be performed in a jungle above Kali Jhora above Teesta but this was discontinued when the Bongthings were attacked by tigers and other wild animals. The old puja site is said to be about a five-hour hike from Kali Jhora bazaar in the jungle. Two lakes are said to have existed there one with a blood red colour and the other a milky white colour. The present Bongthing, Pem Tshering who is eighty one years old is the forty fifth generation of bongthings in his family. His family has been performing this puja for over two hundred and fifty years. He was trained by his father Pembu Lepcha for performing this puja and he started in 1962 after the death of his father. Pem Tshering was born at Changra basti above Teesta bazaar where he leads a very humble life dedicated to his puja duties. Animal sacrifices were performed during the pujas which has been discontinued. Besides performing the Pang Lhabsol puja the Bongthing also performs daily pujas for the benefit of Sikkim. The present altar site at Changra basti was purchased by the Chogyal for performing the puja.The puja at this site was started by the grand father of Pem Tshering due to the dangers at the Kali Jhora site. At present, the puja at Changra basti is sponsored by the Tsuklhakhang commitee; Rs 8000 is given to the bongthing as his yearly fee and for performing the puja. The local people of this basti also attend the puja. It may be mentioned that the puja site has been affected by a landslide and needs urgent repairs. Bongthing Pem Tshering has no son and he has trained his nephew to continue the tradition after him but how long this tradition continues will depend on the interest of the Sikkimese people in upholding this rich heritage of the state or like SamdupTasho, the Teesta bongthing too will also pass away due to our inattention. After Pangtoed chaam was stopped at Tsuklakhang in the eighties, the chaam was performed at Pemayangtse and Rabong which boosted Pang Lhabsol celebrations in these areas. Though the popularity of Pang Lhabsol has grown, the religious aspects of the festival is being diluted with more emphasis on cultural features, it would be a shame to lose such a rich religious heritage due to stress on popular demands.
[The writer is Director General-cum-Secretary, DESME, Government of Sikkim]


2008: Year of utter disappointment for me and thousands of others like me who did not clear the Sikkim Public Service Commission examination.  Only the best forty made it whether we liked it or not. Our friends and acquaintances became Under Secretaries. And after a point, I too was happy for them. Enough of the resentment and sadness I thought.
2012: Unprecedented mass promotion!
I go into flashback mode and wish I had cleared the exam. I would have been promoted as Deputy Secretary in 2012!
In the viva voce, one of the interviewers while glancing through my CV had commented that I should be in the Social Welfare Department. I replied that I had the passion to serve my State and that was precisely the reason why I had worked hard to get through the examination. Well rest is history.
My joys knew no bounds when Hon’ble Chief Minister while addressing the promoted officers (111 to be precise) on Monday candidly said a few things which resonated deeply with the feelings of the ordinary Sikkimese. We, as Sikkimese, have certain expectation from our officers and bureaucrats. But when the Chief Minister himself voices our concerns, we feel that we have found a voice which will be heard.
The Chief Minister could not have been more humble when he gave the credit for the promotions to others but himself. As always, he urged the officials to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Being aware of the ‘mukh thuskauney pratha’ that we have, he told the officers to accept their postings gracefully especially postings in rural areas. I hope that the officers underscored this statement of the Chief Minister.  Accepting a posting/ transfer without any hard feelings  is the least we can do to express our gratitude to the State Government for giving us the best of everything.
Talking about responsible bureaucracy, the Chief Minister said that officers should be proactive and they should be more worried and concerned with implementation of programmes and policies instead of criticising them. Let’s leave the criticism part to the opposition parties and arm chair critics.
The Chief Minister also lamented the unfortunate and highly deplorable remarks bureaucrats make.  Like “pahila sarkaar bada budget ley, ani tero kaam garchhu.” This kind of irresponsible attitude will ultimately prove to be detrimental for the image and development of the State.
He also asked officers not to indulge in caste-based bureaucracy. The Chief Minister also highlighted on the need to improve public oriented delivery system. He urged officers to motivate their subordinates and add a personal touch in their dealings and officers need to be just and fair.
A great piece of news came with the announcement by the Chief Minister that from the next fiscal year, 10% of the budget will be allocated for human resource development for preparing our youth for more exposure through coaching for competing in All India examinations including Defence, Bank and other sectors.
I am sure we are all privy to the whispers doing the rounds regarding some officers being utterly neutral. But we need to see if this neutrality is for good or for worse. Sitting on the fence and playing it safe is not going to help anyone. We as government employees must discharge our duties under any circumstance. Let’s not mix politics with our duty.
Last heard, the reconstruction of a large number of houses post September 18th earthquake is still incomplete. Another instance is the recent spate of torching of vehicles in the State. The obvious question people ask is why isn’t the administration taking any action? Why haven’t the culprits been brought to book irrespective of party affiliation? The administration has to restore the faith of the common man by performing its duty. If culprits go scot free, our society will surely degenerate.
We often see some government employees going all out against the Government. What justifies their ungrateful attitude towards the Government which has always worked for the welfare of employees? In this tussle, it is the common man who suffers. It is equally sad to see a single Department being crippled when one employee is on leave.
I have written this article on the basis of second hand information. I was not physically present in the programme. But I don’t think it is necessary to be physically present when you know what exactly the other person is trying to convey and that also for more than seventeen years. The Chief Minister apparently admitted that he is tired of saying the same things over and over again. But seems we are not tired of our ‘chalta hai’ attitude.
I have always followed such speeches of the Chief Minister closely, and one thing I have realised is that he has a lot of expectations from bureaucrats, especially the younger lot. He always stresses on certain things in all his meetings with officials, some of them being the need to be responsible and the need to have a human touch in our dealings with people.
And the best way to express gratitude to the State Government would be to put our best foot forward and work for Sikkim and for all of us!
“Real integrity is doing the right thing knowing that nobody will come to know whether you did it or not.” This quote by Oprah Winfrey sums up the role of government employees I guess.  Let’s do what we have to do without worrying about whether we will get a promotion or a transfer, whether our boss will write kind words in our Annual Confidential Reports, whether we will get the Meritorious Service Award et al. Let’s keep working and let our work do the talk. What say?
Jashoda Chettri [recvd on email]


The Chief Justice of India, S.H. Kapadia recently said judges should not govern the country or evolve policies. He made this statement while delivering a lecture titled “Jurisprudence of Constitutional Structure.”  Kapadia added that “Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people. Objectivity, certainty enshrined in the basic principles of the Constitution has to be given weightage.”
This statement seems to be fit for a country which fails to see jurisdictions and demarcations. We have an uncanny knack to mix and match. Segregation makes no sense to us whether it is the segregation of waste or segregation of the spheres of activities under executive, legislature and judiciary. This is clearly spelt out in the Constitution of India. We often hear or complain about one overstepping on the other.
Keeping aside the functions of executive and legislature aside, let’s examine the function of judiciary. The primary function of judiciary is to 'determine' the facts of laws and to apply them to particular circumstance. It also has law interpreting function. Judiciary is also expected to act as the guardian of the activities as provided in the Constitution. But nowhere do we see the need for judiciary to meddle with the affairs of the executive, especially when the functions and roles of all three have been spelled out clearly without leaving any room for confusion.
Differences in views and opinions of the executive, legislature and judiciary are normal. But what we need to understand is that the three branches are ideally supposed to work in tandem.
The very word judiciary means something that pertains to judgment/ court. It implies no other meaning. Segregation and separation of powers and functions of the three branches are pertinent to the welfare of the State.
Justice Kapadia also expressed his wonder over what would happen if the executive refused to comply with the judiciary’s directives that may not be enforceable. He made this reference to the recent Supreme Court judgment in the Ramlila Maidan police action against Ramdev’s supporters in which the “right to sleep” was declared a fundamental right. This is a very interesting point. This is where the whole argument about enforceability comes into the picture.
If the judiciary interferes with the affairs of executive and legislature, it then becomes difficult to attain the optimal balance between the three branches that is required for smooth functioning of the government.
The recent judgment of the Supreme Court that declared right to sleep as a fundamental right came as a surprise to many. We wondered if such a right could exist. After some research, we realised that the right to sleep is associated with sound health which is an inseparable facet of Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian Constitution. There are some rights which do not sound like rights but have been classified as rights like right to blink. And I always thought that blinking was purely an involuntary reflex! But the judiciary while pronouncing such judgments should be wary of loopholes. The practicability factor has to be kept in mind. It is not possible for the State or government to follow all the judgments of the judiciary to perfection. And judgments should not smack of interference. The judiciary should not make deliberate efforts to hamper the functioning of the state. Doling out rights by the dozen without pausing to think twice can complicate matters for the government. The recent reference of the Chief Justice of India is very appropriate and should be welcomed by all.
Dawa Dadul, Burtuk [recvd on email]