VAB- A belated Act

Editor,
All this talk about empowerment of Rangbah Shnong is really too much ado about nothing. It only helps to highlight our (through our elective representatives’) lack of understanding of what electoral politics is all about. We have been electing persons who, by persuasive rhetoric, have roused our base notions and emotions. Few of us bother to reflect how our choices of representatives would affect our daily living conditions which are now experienced by the community through bad governance. To make matters worse the elected representatives have shown, by their behavior/actions that they either care or know nothing about governance – good or bad. Often times I have been making a statement to the effect that “good governance should be within the constraints of laws”. Good laws lead to good governance; likewise bad laws lead to bad governance. Clearly our elected representatives do not accept this precept, and are still less likely to act upon it.
Time and space do not permit me now to enlarge upon the theme of laws – good or bad. For now the need of the hour is to empower heads of our traditional institutions to do whatever they had been empowered to do before and during the British colonial rule period and whatever power they had continued to exercise till 26th January 1950 when the Constitution of India became operative (on Republic Day). After that day the first Constitutionally constituted institution empowered to make laws on traditional practices are the District Councils – The United Khasi and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council since 27th June, 1952 and subsequently the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council. Now, a news report on the front page of a Khasi Daily, (dated May 24, 2015) informs us that the GHADC had empowered their traditional institutions by an Act called The Garo Hills Districts (Constitution of Village Councils) Act, 1958. This fact, if true, reveals that the Garo people’s elected representatives were far ahead in comprehension of the process of law making in comparison with their Khasi counterparts. Be that as it may, the need now is for the Khasi and Jaintia councilors to act pronto to empower their heads of their traditional institutions. While one may commend the Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma for his statement a few days ago that the state government needs time to examine the pros and cons of the VAB 2014 one may now question HDR Lyngdoh’s u-turn by saying that the few flaws of the Bill should be addressed before his government’s concurrence may be obtained to merit its presentation for the Governor’s assent.
The community is forced to experience this trauma because of our elected legislators’ failure to comprehend the provisions of the laws that empowered them to govern within their constraints. That said, it behoves us to consider impassively the proper ways and means to do whatever is possible to overcome any obstacle.
For the purpose of immediate effective action one may suggest that a law may be enacted forthwith to empower our heads of traditional institution by stating clearly that the intent of the Act is “ to empower the heads of traditional institutions to exercise the powers that they had exercised from time immemorial till the first Republic Day, the 26th January, 1950 as were recognized and allowed or permitted during the period of the erstwhile British Governments of India”. The Bill for this may be short and comprehensible by simply providing in Section 3 which normally follows Section 2 Definition of terms by the sentence reading, “The heads of all traditional institutions are empowered to exercise the powers they were traditionally empowered to exercise before and during the erstwhile British Govt of India rule…” to be followed by a string/series of designated powers assigned/delegated to the respective institutions with limitations as may be deemed necessary and proper.
Alternatively we may follow the provisions of Articles 243, 243 A – 243 O (b) of the Constitution of India Part IX on Panchayats.
With these suggestions I leave it to the wisdom of our elected representative to choose and act accordingly
Yours etc.,
Morning Star Sumer
Shillong-2

Real students know what future they want

Editor,    
It is a breath of fresh air in this awfully stale world of chaos and confusion, when on May 25, 2015,  as the MBOSE declared its result for both the 10th and the 12th class, twenty one (21) twenty one indigenous students of the SSLC and ten (10) of the HSSLC, stunningly, made it to the top 20 and top 10 respectively. Hats off to the younger generation who choose not to believe the lies of those prophets of doom who every now and again tell us that unless we follow and support their path we have no future. The young ones know better how to deal with their future. Should not this be an eye opener that we are second to none and that there is no short to success, but that hard work and dedication pays. Have they no shame who proclaim themselves as the saviours of the JAIDBYNRIEW but whose motive is to mislead us and make a platform for themselves in the very near future? We see a class 12 student expressing his anger at the HYC who shamelessly asked all educational institutions to remain closed on May 29 to support their cause! Whose cause are they fighting for? Is it not to create their own popularity? The people are wiser now. We have seen through this bluff. .
Indeed we are glad to see the likes of Ricarldy Dkhar whose hard work and humility and a clear view of the future and the desire to serve humanity takes them to the heights of success. I wish all our young  generations to focus on their studies and do well in whatever stream they choose. The JAIDBYNRIEW needs the likes of them and yes THE FUTURE IS NOT BLEAK for those who follow their dreams and invest in their studies.
Yours etc.,
 M. Nongrum
 Shillong 2

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