SHILLONG, Sep 07: Stressing the important role that the hima dorbar has in combating social evils, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has asked the different himas (chiefdoms) under its jurisdictions to hold these dorbars at least once in a year.
Speaking at the Dorbar Hima convened by the Hima Mylliem held in the city here on Friday, KHADC chief Hispreaching Son Shylla said that this is the beginning of a revival of the dorbar himas in the region.
“Every hima will have to convene a dorbar hima at least once in a year. If not the Syiem or Acting Syiem will lose their authority. This was also clearly stated in your (Mylliem) Act,” he said.
The Dorbar Hima of Mylliem was held after a gap of 18 years. The last was convened by the then Syiem of Hima Mylliem Laborious Manik Syiem in 2000.
Stating that the traditional institutions play an important role in eradicating social evils, Shylla urged the Himas to take steps in addressing the increasing crimes against women and children and the problem of drug menace that is affecting the society.
“While the state authorities have the power to take action after an incident had happened, the himas and the syiems however have the powers to prevent and eradicate many social evils,” he said.
He said the himas should play their role in tackling the issue of drugs which has affected the youth and also take measures to prevent rape cases by coming up with stern warnings to instill among the would – be perpetrators.
“The syiems and the headmen should make also it a point to speak against these social evils in their dorbar meetings,” he said while lamenting that at present the headmen are only dedicating their time to meeting the MLAs to get developmental schemes.
Shylla also informed that the first meeting of the Council of Traditional Chiefs and Headmen (CTCH), which was constituted recently, will be held on September 26.
Shylla also pointed out that Iewduh which was once known as the ‘rice plate of the indigenous Khasi people’ is now overtaken by traders from other communities.
“It is disheartening to see that our own people are made to carry out their business on the streets and outside the shops owned by people from the non-indigenous community. Therefore it is high time that such shops are transferred to the locals,” he said.
Asking the Hima Mylliem to restore the objective of having the Iewduh market, he said, “You should start taking steps one day at a time and make Iewduh 100 percent the rice plate of our people.”
He also said that the Hima should also ensure that the Iewduh is not turned into a residential area while pointing out the various crimes that had taken place in the past.
On the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Bill, Shylla said that after the state government had returned the Bill, steps have been taken to ensure that it becomes an Act at the earliest.
Earlier, Shylla also lamented the low attendance of people during the dorbar hima and his suggestion to hold the next dorbar hima outside Shillong was also adopted as part of the resolutions of the Dorbar Hima by the Hima Mylliem.
“Where are the headmen and how many of them have made public announcements in their respective villages to inform the citizens about this dorbar hima? It is sad to see that a ground like this will be crowded only if people like Amit Paul comes. Therefore we will have the dorbar hima in other places where people still have love for the indigenous community,” he said.
Also commenting on the conditions given by the district administration while granting permission of convening the dorbar hima, the KHADC CEM said, the restriction to discuss the issue related to Them Iew Mawlong was a discouragement to the dorbar.
“They (district administration) thought the dorbar hima (by discussing the issue) would bring violence but it is absolutely not like that. In fact having a dorbar hima would bring peace in the society as it can help instill a sense of security among the citizens,” he said.