Veteran politician Bindo Lanong has joined the increasingly loud opposition and attacked the State government’s decision to allow Khasis who carry their father’s clan name instead of their mother’s (as is the tradition) to apply for a Scheduled Tribe certificate as “unlawful”.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) figure said today, “This unlawful notification by the Social Welfare Department will divide the Khasi community and is misleading in every way.”
As Khasi society is matrilineal and not patrilineal, the department had no right to weigh in on the issue that relates solely to the tribes people.
“Who is there in the Social Welfare Department who dares to act so smart and take this decision on behalf of the jaitbynriew?” Lanong told Highland Post while calling for action against the person/s responsible.
Meanwhile, Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla said that he has directed officials to provide him more information on the notification, as it was not issued by his office. He said that the government will take serious note of the matter.
Lanong said that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) clan bill committee has completed the formulation of legislation on the matter of clans and has forwarded it to the Jaiñtia Hills council (JHADC) for its views. It will likely be put in the public domain early in the New Year.
What the bill definitely will not permit, however, is for alterations to the customary practices of the Khasi community. With regards to children who are given or adopt the clan name of their father, Lanong said that the bill proposes a set timeframe for such Khasis to make the necessary changes and adopt their mother’s clan name.
This is important, he said, because it will help prevent forbidden marriages, such as those within the same clan or related clans.
He attacked the men’s rights organisation, Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai, which has championed the cause of allowing fathers to give their clan names to their children, as a divisive body that will mislead the Khasi community.