The GCC of Meghalaya want the District council to pass a bill on Khasi-Pnar Clan


Shillong, Oct 24: The Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, held recently,  unanimously resolved to urge the KHADC for urgent ‘CODIFICATION’ and ‘RECOGNITION’ by introducing and legislating the KHADC Khasi Pnar Clan Dorbar (Dorbar Kur or Seng Kur) Bill 2013 in the interest of regulating the 3367 Khasi Pnar Clans (As per census 1981 published by Bah Spiton Kharakor).

The Clan Dorbar is one of the most important organ in the hierarchy of  ‘Khasi Pnar Political Democracy’,  the concept of Dorbar Hima, Dorbar Raid Dorbar Kur and Dorbar Shnong, as per oral history we are told was initiated by the various Clan Dorbar(s) who united their territory together to form a separate identity to protect themselves and their land from agression, and this practice has been passed down to us by our ancestors and we hold this unique bond till today.

After many generations, today we note that a number of disputes have arisen relating to nomination by Clan Dorbar(s) which are entitled to hold the office of Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar, Myntri, Wahadadar, Basan, Syiem Raid, Lyngdoh Raid, Dolloi, Pator, etc., in the 54 Hima & Elaka’s in Khasi Hills and 18 Dolloi & 1 Sirdarship in Jaintia Hills, we find that some disputes have even reached the door step of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Courts.  This shows that the Clan Dorbar is very vibrant but at the same time need urgent recognition of their respective Constitutions so as to have the force of law as per Para 11 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Although the various 21 KHADC Appointment and Succession, Administration Acts, Rules, Regulation, passed by the KHADC has mentioned and defined by naming the various ‘Offices ’ within a Hima /Elaka there is urgent need to also further codify and define the specific Role, Funtion and Responsibilities of the Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar, Myntri, Wahadadar, Basan, Syiem Raid, Lyngdoh Raid, Dolloi, Pator, etc. without these codification the various Acts, Rules and Regulation become ineffective. The Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar, Myntri, Wahadadar, Basan, Syiem Raid, Lyngdoh Raid, Dolloi, Pator, etc., should annually present a ‘Report’ to their respective Clan Dorbar in their Annual Clan Dorbar or Dorbar Kur. Their responsibilities vis-à-vis the Clan Dorbar or Seng Kur is yet to be defined.

The need for such codification is becoming more apparent inview of the need for notifying and identification of the competent authority under the respective Clan Dorbar or Seng Kur authorized to issue Identity cards, No-Objection Certificates for the purpose of obtaining the Schedule Tribe Certificates.

As unique indigenous people and being a clan based society,  with very complex customary practices we are faced with numerous challenges in protecting this very unique tradition handed over to us by our forefathers from time immemorial.  The proposed Bill if considered should look into the various aspects, such as the ‘sacrosanct’ blood relationship between the clans held till date by the Khasi Pnar which bars inter-marriage, the issue of ‘Matrilineal’  is also being questioned by some quarters where we find some families and their children have adopted their farther’s clan,  and hence these doubts and challenges are coming up in absence of  effective codification, recognition, awareness and legislation.  Another matter of relevance is that some Khasi Pnar families have in the past also independently and without authorization of the Clan Dorbar have changed their clan name – what would be the fate of these families in the absence of such regulation.

Mandatory registration in the Clan Dorbar National Citizenship Register of the respective individuals in their Clan Dorbar office will be an effective mechanism in regulating the 3367 Clan Dorbar(s). Census once a year, recording and compilation of the annual proceedings (Dorbar Kut Snem) of each Clan Dorbar will be critical to understanding the progress and growth of the Khasi Pnar.

As we are aware there are about 16 types of category of Land in Khasi and Jaintia Hills administered by the Clan Dorbar (or Khyndew Kur). They administer and govern the Clan Land, it is therefore very important for the competent authority to document and map all these issues for the protection and preservation of these unique customary practices the within the proposed Bill.

Hence, we urge the KHADC to take up the matter for urgent codification and recognition through effective Acts, Rules and Regulations to enable proper notification of the competent authority of the respective Clan Dorbar or Dorbar Kur or Seng Kur.(SP News)



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