Letter from the Editor-In-Chief

February, 2009 

Dear friends,

Meghalaya, among other things, is known for its matrilineal society, a system wherein women are highly regarded of and are custodians of all ancestral wealth and honour. In spite of this, it is troubling to see that crimes against women reached an all time high in the period from January to October 2008; the number of such cases recorded by the police being an alarming 178. One should keep in mind that this number is not inclusive of unreported cases which one fears is also high. In this issue of Eastern Panorama, we have highlighted some of these cases and some of the reasons for their high occurrence in our state. The prevailing situation is indeed a far cry from the ideals upon which the Garos, the Jaintias and the Khasis (the indigenous people of Meghalaya) have based their respective culture and society. Though we are on a steady rise when it comes to development, one can not help but ask what price is being paid in the pursuit of this development. 

Many prominent personalities from diverse fields were interviewed by Eastern Panorama and these people have given their views on what has been lost and attained in the 37 years since Meghalaya’s inception. Needless to say, there is a very apparent indication of a feeling of want and nostalgia.

This issue also features a special report on the ongoing turmoil between India and Pakistan and gives you an analytical look at the options that are available to India when it comes to Pakistan, from which, many feel, terrorism is nurtured and grown.

In a lighter mood, we also look at some of the many festivals that are occurring around the region. The North East, home to a huge diversity in peoples and culture boasts of festivals occurring throughout the year and in this issue, we have featured the Gyaan Ngai festival of Manipur and the Poi Pee Mau festival of Arunachal Pradesh. We also highlight Sourabhee Debbarma, the young siren from Tripura who is enthralling audiences across the nation with her performances in the widely watched reality show – Indian Idol.

Our February issue also features the first out of the four winners of the Eastern Panorama Fellowship 2008. Bidyut Gogoi’s article on the significance of community radio in the development of Meghalaya is well researched and presented. Kudos to him!

All in all, its been a busy month with a lot going on. We have tried to fit all that we can in our pages and hope you all enjoy this reading experience.     

Dr. K. K. Jhunjhunwala