The 73 Years a National Solemn Commitment yet to be made effect by the Govt of India

Shillong, August 17: The Federation of Khasi States had to cancel the virtual online meeting which was meant to be held on 17th August 2021, to recall the events 73 years ago when the then Governor General of India Shri. C Rajagopalachari, signed and accepted the controversial Instrument of Accession and its Annexed Agreement on 17th August 1948.

The spokespersons of the FKS said that even after 73 years the historical treaty of the twenty five Khasi States signed individually and collectively as the Federation of Khasi States,  is very relevant till today and if one is to examine indept the relevance of this treaty today in the year 2021 it can  be seen manifesting and unfolding infront of us.

It is left to the wisdom of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, the Government of Meghalaya, the 36 Legislators and 60 MDCs of United Khasi and  Jaintia Autonomous District Councils to decide when they will wake up from their self denial and intentional ignorance and to make effect the treaty terms as laid out in the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement of 17 August 1948.

The non-fullfilment of the solemn National commitments  by the Central Government and the lack of sincerity by most of our Khasi and Jaintia leaders has resulted in the many challenges that the Khasi Jaintia people have faced though the last seventy three years.

A few of those challenges are the intentional delay by the center to respect and take action on the i) Meghalaya Assembly resolutions of 13 April 2000 for exemption and amendments of the Forest Conservation Act 1980  ii) official Meghalaya Assembly resolution passed on 23rd March 2015, for exemption and amendment of the  Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957, and the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act 1973.

Under Para 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India which is the rights of the Khasi people. iii) 27th September 2018 Resolution for including Khasi and Garo Language into the Eight Schedule iv) challenges in resolving the Boundary with  Assam and Bangladesh without first resolving the IOA and   AA of the Khasi States.

The conflict of IOA and  AA with numerous Central Legislation including the Sevent Schedule and many other pending issues. The Federation of Khasi States is surprised to the delay by the Central Government as even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – Policy Paper for Meghalaya in 1997 assured the people that it would honour all the commitments made by the Center to the Khasi States Chiefs.

The delay to  address and make effect the IOA and AA within the Constitution of India as agreed is causing delay in the official recognition of Rangbah Shnong, Sordar Shnong, Myntri Shnong in the Dorbar Shnong, Rangbah Kur in the Dorbar Kur,  Syiem, Lyngdoh, Basan, Bongthai, Pator, Longsan in the Dorbar Raid and Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar, Wahadar, Doloi, in the Dorbar Hima level in a Special Article 370 A within the Constitution of India.

Ironic that these institutions are called in to assist when the State Government is in trouble or want to implement their numerous schemes. It must be also mentioned that peaceful conduct of Indian elections is with the assistance of the traditional institutions but they find no mention in any Article of the Constitution of India, the IOA and AA provides the roadmap for that proper respectful recognition.

It is unfortunate that democratic petitions and a solemn National treaty is not honored by the Central Authorities which appears to be paying attention only when demands are made through violence and insurgency which  exposes the lack of redressal mechanism within the Constitution of India.

Even the directive on the IOA & AA since 2012 and 2014 from the National Commission for Schedule Tribes (a constitutional body under Article 338-A of the Constitution of India) is not taken seriously and implemented.

In order to further enlighten our eminent Central and State leaders we attach below two official Letter from official archives of the Federation of Khasi States to i) The President Constituent Assembly, New Delhi from Paiem Sati Raja, Syiem of Mylliem State on 5th October 1949 expressing serious concern and rejecting the move to exclude ‘Municipality of Shillong’ from the jurisdiction of Mylliem State in view of Section 7, of the Indian Independence Act 1947.

Letter to His Excellency the Governor of Assam for Excluded Arease and States from Dr Homiwel Lyngdoh, Chairman, Constitution Making Dorbar of the Khasi States, and Paiem Jor Manik Syiem, Secretary, Constitution Making Dorbar of the Khasi States, on 25th October 1949  expressing their doubts about the effectiveness of the provisions of the 6th Scheduled to protect the customary traditional rights and practices of the Khasi people.

These letters are glaring historical facts of The Constitutional Anomaly in Para 20. Tribal Areas  ‘Municipality of Shillong’ within the Sixth Scheduled, and the First Schedule of  the Constitution of India vis-a-vis Section 7, the Indian Independence Act 1947.

When recall that on signing the IOA and AA the interim Assembly of the Federation of Khasi States was inaugurated by the Governor of Assam on 29th April 1949 with about 87 representatives 25 Chiefs of Khasi States by designation, 54 elected as per the voter strength of each Khasi States and 8 nominated out of which four were women.

The aspiration  of the people of the Khasi States for the restoration of the Khasi States Assembly continues till today and will go on. FKS continue to appeal to the citizens u khun u hajar to carefully read word for word the contents of the treaty Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement of 17th August 1948 available in public domain and to more importantly examine the importance and depth of understanding on the IOA and AA.

The elected legislators, Members of Parliament representing the Khasi people till date on this very important subject the failure of which  has resulted in the continued struggle of the people since last 73 years and which is unfortunately going on till today and erupting in many forms in our society, said Mr John Kharshiing chairman of the GCCM and adviser DKHNKRH and spokeperson of the FKS.

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