Why only Khasi men?

Editor,
We have of late taken cognizance of the fact that most of our Khasi clans have taken tough as nail stands on Khasi men marrying non- Hynniewtrep women and entitling the latter and their children with their respective Khasi clan name. Co-incidentally, the Sohtun clan recently held a meeting where their leaders have taken serious views on the men-folk of their community marrying non-Khasi ladies and subsequently, along with the offsprings, deriving a Sohtun surname. I appreciate this noble concept of the Sohtun clan. However, the grey area in this context is why, only the Khasi men-folk have had to be subject to this diktat? It would not be naive to ask why the same injunction is not being decreed in respect of Khasi women who marry non-Khasi men! We are aware of the alarming facts that some unscrupulous non-tribals with the sole purpose of commercialism have intentionally married Khasi women with the insidious agenda of circumventing the Income Tax net and thus garner ill-gotten wealth for far-reaching purposes.
It bears recall that on August 2, last, the Investigative wing of the Income Tax Department of the North East Region (NER) had raided certain businessmen in Meghalaya who are involved in running a web of business controlled as Benami property. The Benami syndicate, who, I believe, still thrives clandestinely in Shillong and elsewhere in Meghalaya is depriving our State of legitimate revenue-resources by way of non-deposit of local taxes and, to top it all, by indulging in massive evasion of Income Tax by abusing exemption under Section 10 (26) of the Income Tax, 1961, meant for tribals only. In these searches more than Rs 2 crore of unaccounted cash along with incriminating documents had been seized. The cash found was hidden in the most unlikely places like water tanks etc. The illicit activities were indubitably executed by the non-tribal business exploiters in willful collusion with our unprincipled tribals! Taking a cue from such instances, the other non-tribals from without may discover that the facile way to make a quick buck through trading is by way of getting hitched to Khasi women to get around the Income Tax dragnet. And to make matters worse the non-tribals are fully aware of our matrilineal discipline. This is a double whammy for the Khasis as one of the distinctive tribes of India.
Hence, given such apocalyptic consequences, I appeal to the Khasi clans to inculcate in our womenfolk the impending dangers that await the Hynniewtrep Society in mixed marriages in most cases.
Yours etc.,
Jerome K. Diengdoh
Shillong-2

Harassment at workplace

Editor,
Workplace harassment is a common phenomenon these days. Victims are often unsure as to what qualifies as harassment. Harassment can be sexual and non- sexual. Wrongful termination, amongst others, is considered a non-sexual harassment. To cite an example, it came to light that a local resident of Shillong was offered a job appointment in an organization known as IPE Global Ltd ( Urban Infrastructure & Tourism Division), as Project Management Consultant for the Shillong Smart City project, whose project team are currently based at Nongrim Hills, Shillong. According to the appointment letter, the job is valid till April,2020. However, after a month of joining, two employees namely Pankaj Yadav and Abha Sharma asked her to discontinue her job without giving any valid reasons. Worse, even salary was not paid to the victim. This clearly shows breach of appointment by the employer which is considered wrongful termination and violation of labour laws in India. Often victims are subjected to immense stress, depression and trauma which affects their physical and mental health. Hence, it is essential that the culprits be held accountable for their actions. While there are several labour laws against wrongful termination in India, in most cases, however, victims become helpless due to insufficient information and knowledge. Thus it is very important to sensitize citizens about various forms of harassment and various legal procedures to seek justice. Perhaps, the Government and NGOs can conduct more awareness programmes on this issue.
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request

Ayodhya verdict

Editor,
The Ayodhya case verdict delivered by the bench headed by Chief Justice, Ranjan Gogoi is exactly what the nation needed- a balanced, fully non-partisan justice that offers opportunity to people of all faiths to celebrate a just system. Delivering the epoch-making judgment, the bench clearly said the disputed plot of land belonged to Ram Lalla Virajman and that the Muslim Waqf Board would be given an alternate plot of land admeasuring 5 acres where a grand mosque be built. Thus, the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque putting an end to the more than a century old dispute that has torn the social fabric of the nation.
However, the disputed land would remain in the custody of the statutory receiver till the Trust is formed and the land handed over to it. The Court said that the Central government would be at liberty to make suitable provisions in respect of the rest of the acquired land by handing it over to the trust for its management and development.
Even though the majority of people hailed the verdict as a balanced one, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Saturday described it as ‘unjust and unfair’. However, it appealed to all communities to maintain peace and refrain from protests. Such feelings of the verdict being unjust and unfair should be expelled from the minds of people who feel let down. This is a time for the Muslims to cast out the feeling of being let down and welcome the verdict which is just and fair for them. There may be fanatics who may try to take advantage of the verdict by sowing seeds of hatred and revenge in the hearts of people. It may be good to remember that through violence nothing constructive can be achieved. Violence only begets violence.
The court found the demolition of the Babri Masjid an egregious violation of the rule of law. While allotting the land to Muslims, the court said, “The allotment of land to the Muslims is necessary because though on a balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims.” Meanwhile the AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi termed the Supreme Court verdict a ‘victory of beliefs over facts’, and said he will ask the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) to seek a review. He also said that Supreme Court was supreme but not infallible.
Truthfully, the judgement is just and fair and was supposed to come out of human wisdom. So, all are to accept it for the good of the country. Some dissenting Muslim leaders may be somewhat intolerant towards the verdict, but at this juncture they have to show respect for the rule of law of this country because in a country like ours where different religions co-exist, tolerance is a pre-requisite. Practice of tolerance brings peace and prosperity to the nation.
Yours etc.,
TK Nandanan,
Via email

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