Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla today washed his hands of the recent notification issued by his department which reportedly paved the way for Khasis who carry their father’s clan name instead of their mother’s (as is the tradition) to apply for a Scheduled Tribe certificate.
The change in the rules had been championed by men’s rights group, the Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT), but opposed by various groups and individuals, including United Democratic Party leader Bindo Lanong.
“The issuance of Scheduled Tribe certificates lies with the Deputy Commissioners’ offices and the DC offices must look if the documents are genuine or not before it gives the Scheduled Tribe certificate,” Shylla said.
He also said that nothing is specifically mentioned in the notification that allows Khasis using their father’s surname as their own as being eligible for an ST certificate. This, however, was the chief point of interest to the SRT, which had issued a press release stating such on December 18.
If any huge changes are made, all concerned stakeholders should be taken on board first, the minister said.
Recently veteran politician Lanong termed the notification as unlawful. He said that as the Khasi society is matrilineal and not patrilineal, the department had no right to weigh in on the issue that relates solely to the tribespeople.