The Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT) has expressed its happiness at the government notification which stated that Khasis carrying their father’s clan name as their surname will be eligible for a Scheduled Tribe certificate.
SRT has long campaigned for a shift in cultural practices in the matrilineal Khasi society, including when it comes to surnames.
Traditionally, Khasi children carry their mother’s clan name but yesterday’s notification will give Khasis who have been given or have adopted their father’s clan name the right to apply for a Scheduled Tribe certificate.
In a press release, SRT general secretary, Armour Lyngdoh, said the organisation has lauded the notification of the government.
According to Lyngdoh, the State government through the Social Welfare Department has issued an order on November 17 stating that Khasis who took their father’s surname would also be entitled for a Scheduled Tribe certificate.
“We are happy and at the same time express our gratitude to the government of Meghalaya for having favourably considered our memorandum on the subject of the right of those Khasis who adopt the father’s surname in obtaining Scheduled Tribe certificates, which was a hotly debated subject in the past few years,” Lyngdoh said.
It may be noted that the offices of the Deputy Commissioner in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills are not issuing Scheduled Tribe certificates to children born of Khasi parents (Khasi father and Khasi mother) just because they choose to take their father’s clan.