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Solving the influx problem

Editor,

I feel guilty for remaining silent on the issue of influx as a citizen of Khasi- Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. Kindly allow me to say something to the Government and the people of the State through your paper. We do not have problems with outsiders coming in and going out of our state. We do have problems with those who come in, take away all that belongs to us and occupy the ruling chair beginning at our family unit. But our matrilineal system is the license an outsider makes use of to settle in and control us. Benami Transaction Prohibition Act becomes impractical and ineffective due to our matrilineal system. But the KHADC cemented this system with its Lineage Bill 2005. An outsider, in hardly a month enjoys more than a Khasi man simply by taking a Khasi woman as his wife or concubine.

Aware of the Lineage Bill 2005, the illegal immigrants understand that they need no permit/visa/ID Card to enter Khasi Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya. They know that Khasis are matrilineal and materialistic minded. Besides, they know that Hindi is one of the languages of communication in the State. They also know that a lot of temples, mosques and churches are available in the towns of Meghalaya. So, they need not worry of permit/visa/ID Card. Take a Khasi woman as wife or concubine and all that is impossible for a non- Khasis in Meghalaya will become possible.

A Bangladeshi illegally enters Meghalaya by paying Rs.20,000-30,000 to anyone who could take him at least to Sohryngkham, Mylliem or Upper Shillong. It is ridiculous that it takes no time for him to get a Khasi woman partnering with him in business for life. Now, together with his wife or concubine, they need not worry about the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act. They need not worry about the Students’ Union barking them at through the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act, and the Trading License is not necessary for them. The KHADC’s Lineage Bill 2005 alone is enough to back them for enjoying equal rights as sons and daughters of the soil through marriage.

Therefore, if we are serious about the issue we must take the bull by its horn. We cannot simply dam a river by fencing it with sticks. Here are two possible means: -Scrap the Lineage Bill 2005 of the KHADC to reinforce the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act 1980 and the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act 1971. Otherwise all our efforts to tackle influx will become null and void because an outsider can easily hide himself once he enters our matrilineal State.

Create and implement new Meghalaya Indigenous Peoples’ Protection Act using the 4 tier ID Card System briefly described as follows: –

(a) Meghalaya Indigenous People Permanent ID Card

(b) Meghalaya Non Indigenous and Non Tribal Permanent ID Card (carefully selecting the cut off year)

(c) Semi Permanent ID Card for the skilled labourers

(d) Temporary ID Card for the unskilled labourers

Yours etc.,

Revd. P. Gleamland Khongsdir

Shillong – 14.

 Jaintia Hills Education scenario

Editor

In your report ‘Government to improve Jaintia Hills education scenario’(ST 3rd Dec 2012) it is ironical that after 40 years of statehood it is only now that the State government is taking note that Jaintia Hills is still lagging behind in education and educational infrastructure. This would indicate that the elected representatives from Jaintia Hills particularly those who are highly qualified have failed to impress the State government on this matter earlier. The B. Ed college which is a long outstanding demand of the senior citizens of Jowai was never given serious attention by their local representative for so long. The laying of a foundation stone for construction of the college building at this juncture and just on the eve of election is no surprise but then it defies all logic since no steps have been taken simultaneously to provide the minimum manpower requirement and the other bare essentials to start the functioning of the college immediately, be it in a temporary building which is the principle adopted by many newly created institutions. For example, the Indian Institute of Management at Shillong and the National Institute of Technology at Sohra are now housed in temporary buildings while awaiting for their respective buildings to be constructed. In fact, the Kiang Nongbah College and even NEHU started functioning in private buildings in the early years. Knowing the way the government construction projects are implemented it will be a miracle if the B. Ed college building would be ready even after a decade. So should we wait until then to start the college? It seems that Dr RC Laloo believes the citizens of Jowai can be taken for a ride, little realising that these citizens are not so naive after all, to believe him. On the other hand it would be prudent for him perhaps to act more like an Education Minister rather than as a PWD Minister.

The other announcements of Dr RC Laloo of initiatives taken to improve the education scenario in the districts of Jaintia Hills are too far-fetched. Setting up residential schools in the blocks to benefit Jaintia Hills only, surely cannot be his initiative alone but it must be the policy initiative of the government as a whole where it has to cater to the needs of all the 39 Blocks in the state. It is a good initiative no doubt. But we have to wait and see if these projects can see the light of day given the huge financial burden that the government has to bear not only for the basic cost to set up these institutions but for the recurring costs to run them as well.

Yours etc.,

Kyrchan Dkhar

Shillong-2

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