Sri Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya said that he will visit Delhi to impress the Central leaders for amendment of the existing District Council rules. It is a welcome step.
While amending the District Council rules, provision may be made to nominate the genuine non-tribal population of the state in the District Council so that the non-tribal stake holders also have the chance to participate in the framing of rules and regulations of the Council.
Originally when District Council came into existence in the year 1952, three non-tribals were nominated in the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills autonomous District Council representing the Gorkha Community, Bengali Community and Assamese Community of east while Assam. Even the non-tribals are allowed to contest the District Council Election.
Late Lok Nath Joshi representing the Gorkha Community was nominated in the District Council and late Bhaskar Choudhury of Laban, Shillong contested the District Council Election and won and became the member of the District Council even after creation of Meghalaya.
Many non-tribal candidates used to contest the District Council Election in the past. Later there was “A Gentlemen Agreement” between the Tribal leaders like late B.B.Lyngdoh, Dr.D.D.Lapang etc. of Meghalaya and the non-tribal leaders that the non-tribals refrained from contesting the District Council Elections but instead the non-tribal be nominated in the District Council and for this purpose the provision of Nomination has been made in the acts and rules of the District Council but sadly the Meghalaya Government deviated from the “Gentlement Agreement” and inhibited from nomination and not-a single non-tribal has been nominated in the District Council in the recent human memory instead Tribal has been nominated under the provision of Nomination post.
In Garo Hills non-tribal have been participating in the District Council election and many non-tribal have been elected in the GHADC also.
In democracy the representative(s) of the stake holder must be in the policy making body. The non-tribals have to follow the rules and regulations frame by the District Council without allowing them to participate in the deliberation.
The Gorkhas have been living in Meghalaya for nearly 200 years and contributed a lot for development of the state.
The Gorkha are Hill people and tribal by nature, and it is different matter that the Gorkhas have not been recognized as Tribal in Meghalaaya.
Like most of the Tribal Gorkhas are also Animist and have all ingredients to be a tribal and as such the State of West Bengal and Sikkim have recognised many castes belonging to the Gorkha Community have been recognized as Tribal. Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Lama, Gurung, Magar etc. have been recognized as Tribal in those States and Kami Damai Sarki and Thami have been recognized as Scheduled caste.
The Chettri Bahun (Brahmin) and Giri have been fighting for tribal status in the State of West Bengal under the banner of “Khas Hitkari Sammelan” and it is learnt that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha of Darjeeling strongly recommended to include Chettri, Bahun and Giri as Tribal to the state Government of West Bengal and Miss Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal assured the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha to sympathetically consider the demand.