In revisiting Residents Safety and Security Act MDA needs to explore Fundamental Duties

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong has assured that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) led by National People’s Party (NPP) headed by Conrad Kongkal Sangma will re-look the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, aimed at improving the safety and security of the residents of Meghalaya. He was speaking after the meeting between members of the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), the state’s Law Minister, James K Sangma on August 6, 2018.
It may be reminded that Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 was passed by the state government as part of the comprehensive mechanisms to check influx and illegal immigration into the state, it was necessitated after the prolong agitation by various Pressure Groups, NGOs, Civil Societies, Students union including the HYC.

Former Meghalaya Governor, Dr Krishan Kant Paul, during his tenure had felt the pain of frequent break down of Law and Order in the state as he personally came face to face with the agitating groups demanding for imposition of Inner Line Permit (ILP) and had taken the state for ransom by calling a 12 - hour dawn to dusk bandh. The slogan for the movement is simple – NO ILP NO REST. As usual the miscreants taking advantage of the situation are creating panic in the city through arson.
As the Fist Citizen of the state, Dr Paul was quick to reach out to the people through various fora including public gathering calling all Right thinking citizens to come forward and work for development of the people of the state, stressing that all such unrest is affecting the Law and Order situation, and of course impact on economy of the state. Dr Paul stressed on Article 51A (i) of Constitution of India that states safeguarding of public property and to abjure violence.
Such concern and impromptu statement coming from than Meghalaya Governor is perhaps the first of its kind in the state. He took up the Constitutional office on July 8, 2013, succeeding Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, who was yet another dynamic Governor who attempted to streamline the work culture and governance in this Hills State during his tenure.
The very patriotic statement of Dr Paul while reaching out to the masses via Article 51A (i) of Constitution of India in itself expressed his care for the people and the state. He can also feel the pain as the miscreants damaged public properties. At the same time, he had opened up himself as one who has all ears for any grievances of his people. One needs to take advantage of such gestures and come to negotiation table rather than adopting pressure and violence tactics.
Dr Paul, former Delhi Police commissioner and a member of the Union Public Service Commission besides serving as the Police Chief in Arunachal Pradesh is well versed with pros and cons of ILP.
His experience and knowledge regarding ILP is definitely first hand while he was serving in Arunachal Pradesh where ILP is enforced. According to the reports in Arunachal Pradesh, the population of indigenous people has fallen to 68 percent in 2011 from 79.02 percent in 1971. Likewise, it had fallen in Nagaland from 88.61 per cent in 1971 to 86 per cent in 2011.
As Dr Paul Implored upon citizens to practice Fundamental Duties, so also the government must act on Article 51A (c) and (f) – to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity, also to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture while debating on ILP.
The Ruling MDA while re-visiting the said Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 can also base this on Article 51A (c) and (f) as suggested by Dr Paul, as the 46 year old state till date is still continuing with the debates and demands on the Floor of the State Assembly for basic necessities like road connectivity, health care, boundary issues, reservation policy. Now, it is the Inner Line Permit and Tenancy Act, all of which should have been taken care of during the formation of the state.
The elected representatives, who have the capability to draft legislation, are forced to move along with the demands, leaving very little time to think for the betterment of the society. With Indian vision 2020 which tries to strive for comprehensive and harmonious future with younger outlook means youth should also be at the helm of affairs including politics. Do allow the legislators to make laws which will enable the youth to be part of the progress.
Meanwhile, more than the salary and pension of all the 60 members of the August House, the members should come to a consensus on how every elected member should prioritize the developmental schemes for their respective constituency. All unanimously agree not to adhere to the petty needs of the individual or groups, but should only confine to the schemes and projects executed via their respective traditional institutions. This will not only curb the politicking which only escalates the bribe and favoritism, but provide ample time for the legislators to do what they are elected for – to draft legislations.
Like it takes two palms to clap, it also needs both the voters and the elected members to have the willpower to change the system, and to enable their elected members to specialize in drafting legislation which is their prime duty and leaving the community services to the traditional institutions. If such harmonious work force is developed, there will be more visible development of infrastructure and better governance, than the said re-visit of Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 will surely come to shape once the Fundamental Duties of every individual are respected.


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