Khasi Students’ Union demands Article 371 in Meghalaya

(Photo: File photo

Shillong: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) today demanded the Centre to honour the Instrument of Accession (IOA) signed with the 25 “Khasi states” on August 17, 1948, and to introduce Article 371 in the state of Meghalaya.

“We will also be writing to the Government of India for implementation of the Standstill Agreement and Annexed Agreement – which has been long pending for the past 75 years,” KSU president Lambokstar Marngar said.

“Apart from the Sixth Schedule, the Government of India should further empower the Hynniewtrep land by the introduction of Article 371 (A) & (G) as was done in the state of Nagaland and Mizoram,” he added.

Marngar was reading out the 7-point resolutions adopted after a panel discussion on the Standstill Agreement, Instrument of Accession, Annexed Agreement and Sixth Schedule and how best to insulate the culture and tradition from the overriding central rules and policies – organized to mark the 34th death anniversary of (L) Wickliffe Syiem, who was a Deputy King (Syiem Khynnah) of Hima Nongstoin and also known as the founder of “Hynniewtrep nationalism”.

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The KSU chief further said that the Government of India should immediately include the Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India as a beginning of honouring the IOA signed with the 25 Khasi states.

“The Centre should also immediately implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation in 1873 as was done in the state of Manipur two years ago. We have been demanding ILP for the past 35 years,” he said.

He also said that the “Federation of Khasi States” will find out ways to include the traditional chiefs including daloi and waheh chnong of the Elakas in the Jaintia Hills region.

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The meeting also resolved to introduce a national anthem for the people of Hynniewtrep.

“We will take up with the Government of India on the need for us to have our own national anthem because we don’t understand a single word of the national anthem of India and at the same time this song by Rabindranath Tagore had excluded us from it. Therefore, we clearly understand that we are not citizens of India during the time they were making this national anthem in 1911,” Marngar said.

The panellists include Spiton Kharakor, former KHADC chief PN Syiem, Jaiaw MDC Paul Lyngdoh, spokesperson FKS John F Kharshiing and Sadon Blah, president of HNYF.

(L) Wickliffe Syiem’s son Andrew Shalomar and his brother also attended the programme and spoke about how the Khasis in Bangladesh are struggling for their survival.

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