In his article “Decoding the Tenancy Act 2013″(ST 27th Nov 2013), Phrangsngi Pyrtuh is of the strong view that the Tenancy Act if ever implemented will hover like a guillotine on the traditional institutions (Durbar Shnong). According to him through this Act the Government agenda is to dismantle barriers of development even if that means removing this important traditional institution. This is certainly a profound conclusion because some contents in the Tenancy Bill do indicate that they could lead to that if left unchallenged. However, it is hard to expect that a government consisting of our very own people should have such destructive designs unless vested interests are at play. At the same time it would be foolish for this government or any other government for that matter to hastily conclude that these Durbar are barriers to development. On the contrary, the Durbar are springboards to different development processes be they in the rural or the urban areas. An open approach through them than otherwise will usually bring favourable results. The government usually seeks the assistance of these Durbars during any crisis and they are also the conduit through which good intentions can be made to flow to the public. Local grievances which are not always attended to by the government machinery are tackled by the Durbar themselves. However, it is only when grand designs are suddenly imposed upon them that the Durbar tend to fight shy or may tend not to give way easily or not give way at all. This would make it appear that they are impervious to change which is often wrongly perceived because of their strong adherence to traditionally values. This is probably because those responsible for introducing such designs either fail to project convincing outcomes or because coordinated approach with the Durbar is not sought for. Further, there is the intention to dilute sound , established and faultless systems. Some do doubt about the credibility of this institution and the integrity of those who run it and they may be right to the extent that they perceive unpalatable things in some Durbars . But exceptions cannot be the rule and aspersions need not be cast on the whole lot. There are inadequacies and inconsistencies in the Government, in private organisations, in NGOs and for that matter even in religious institutions. It cannot be concluded that all those who are there are people of integrity. Questions have also been raised about the lack of an elaborate open election process in the choice of the executives of the Durbars. Open election can bring factions and factions within a small group because of a localised issue is the last thing that the society wants. Hence consensus is still preferred over elections even in a civilised locality even though there are short lived murmurs thereafter. No doubt , these Durbars still need improvement in the way they are managed and it would be prudent for any government to strengthen them, build their capacity and to empower them to a certain extent to get the best out of them instead of scheming otherwise as there are no viable alternatives as of now or later which can promote governance at the grassroots level. And this is a vital stage in the governance process. New initiatives will rather invite chaos and conflicts and may not even form roots . It is hoped therefore that wisdom prevails so that traditionalism and modernism blend well together for positive outcomes
In response to facts about CSWO, we would like to clarify that the so called order read by Smt Irene Hujon, as an Order, is in fact an opinion by the then Joint Registrar of Societies, who was misled by certain facts because a person at the Deputy Commissioner’s office had hidden the reports and letters from the file of the CSWO, and left only what he had wanted the Official to see. At that juncture and even today there were many in the Government who want the CSWO President out as there are several complaints filed to various authorities by the CSWO on cases of corruptions in Central schemes across the State.
As we are blamed of impersonation the CSWO clarifies that complaints were made from February 2011 about impersonation but till date some in Government are interested to keep the issue lingering for reasons best known to them. We threatened to file an FIR against the person in the DC’s office and he took out our letters. We complained to the Magistrate, who promptly took away the files from him. Feeling sorry for his age, and as he was due for retirement, we did not file the FIR.
We are thankful though that the file is now not handled by him, and we expect that Government will do justice to speed up the case, as a hearing is going on at the Office of the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies, East Khasi Hills. The last date fixed was 29.11.2013, but the magistrate was absent. We are yet to know of the next date. We had also filed FIRs at various police stations for impersonation but strangely the Police turned some of these into FRs. The State Intelligence too had followed up and when they found out we were the legitimate CSWO they backed out, without alerting the Government, thereby confusing some in Government and the general public.
It is unfortunate that some in the Government are playing around and even sending letters and notices to the two CSWOs making a fool of the Judiciary. A Government that cannot decide on a controversy surrounding the registration of a Society had better shut down this office since many people are misled by rumours, and no prompt redressal is available.
We would also like to mention that we received no letter from anyone enquiring about our status.