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  India   All India  27 Jul 2018  Khasi women marrying outside to lose ST status

Khasi women marrying outside to lose ST status

Published : Jul 27, 2018, 1:25 am IST
Updated : Jul 27, 2018, 1:25 am IST

The amended bill will apply even if a Khasi woman marries a man from any other tribe and not just non-tribals.

(Representational image)
 (Representational image)

Guwahati: In what has created a major controversy in the frontier state, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has passed a bill stripping the women of their Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and all privileges if they marry a non-Khasi man.

The autonomous district council, which governs three districts of the frontier state, has made this second amendment in the Social Custom of Lineage Act on Wednesday. The proposed amendment, which has been sent for the approval of the governor, proposes that such woman who marries to a non-Khasi man, their children would also be deemed to be non-Khasi.

Though, the proposed amendment, which will become an act after the approval of the Governor would not be applicable with retrospective effect, the KHDAC chief executive member H.S. Shylla justified its necessity to protect the indigenous community from the problem of immigrants posing a serious threat to their existence.

Referring the problem of immigrant as silent invasion, he clarified that he was not against love relationships or marriages as “it is a personal choice”.

On asked about men, he said, “A time will come when we will have to do the same with Khasi men also and not just women. By then, there will not be a need for tang jait.” It is significant that “tang jait” is a ceremony, which is organised in Meghalaya to accept a non-Khasi woman whom a Khasi man marries, to a new clan.

After the amendment the new act states, “Any Khasi woman who marries a non-Khasi as well as her offspring(s) born out of such marriage(s) shall be deemed as non-Khasi who shall lose the Khasi status and all the privileges and benefits as a member of the Khasi tribe who cannot claim preferential privileges under any law.”

The council has also defined the word non-Khasi in the proposed amendment which said, “Non-Khasi means a person not belonging to indigenous Khasi tribe classified as Scheduled Tribe under the Constitution.”

The amended bill will apply even if a Khasi woman marries a man from any other tribe and not just non-tribals.

The Meghalaya is known for its matrilineal society in which women have a dominant role. The youngest daughter of the family, inherits all ancestral property.

Tags: khasi women, st status