lHoping Stone Lyngdoh dies at 86
lState funeral on Tuesday
SHILLONG: The architect of Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the longest serving member in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Hoping Stone Lyngdoh passed away in the wee hours of Saturday at NEIGRIHMS. He was 86.
A state funeral will be accorded to the departed leader on September 29 at his native village Mawkyllei, Pariong, West Khasi Hills.
Lyngdoh was admitted to the ICU of NEIGRIHMS on September 21 due to chest infection.
Despite his ill-health, the HSPDP legislator attended the first two days of the recently concluded autumn session of the state assembly on September 16 and 17.
The condition of HSPDP supremo, who was not keeping well for the last many days, deteriorated on Thursday following infection in the lungs. He breathed his last at NEIGRIHMS at around 1 am.
A large number of people including political leaders gathered at NEIGRIHMS and later at the residence of the late leader at Oxford Hills, Kench’s Trace here to pay their last respects.
Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, Union minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju who was in city to attend a function ,MPCC president DD Lapang, Shillong MP Vincent Pala, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Cabinet Minister AL Hek, senior Congress legislator SC Marak, Congress legislator Dikkanchi D Shira, Laban legislator Sanbor Shullai among other legislators and state government functionaries paid tribute to the late leader.
His mortal remains will be kept at Kench’s Trace till Monday and on the same day the body will be taken to Nongstoin to enable people of his constituency to pay tributes.
From Nongstoin, his body will be taken on Monday evening and the whole night the mortal remains will be kept at his native village Mawkyllei where funeral will be held the next day.
Lyngdoh, who was never defeated in any of the elections, was elected as MLA 11 times, MDC 7 times and one time as MP from Shillong.
From 1962, Lyngdoh was elected as MLA of Pariong and Nongstoin constituencies.
Lyngdoh represented Nongstoin constituency for many years and he was re-elected in 2013. He has been the president of HSPDP since 1968.
He was an honest politician throughout his political career which has been even acknowledged even by his political rivals. Lyngdoh had also served as Deputy Chief Minister, Cabinet Minister holding home and other key portfolios, and Chief Executive Member of KHADC during his political career.
Born on March 15,1929, Lyngdoh, a bachelor, was the vociferous voice of the Hill State movement. He was also vocal against uranium mining and advocated the need for a Khasi-Jaintia state. Lyngdoh wanted an early solution to the lingering border dispute with Assam which, however has not materialized during his life time.
In 1952, Lyngdoh, other leaders of that time, Hoover Hynniewta, Gilbert Shullai, Stephen Lyngdoh and Leo Laloo led the students ‘agitation against the nominated Members of the United Khasi- Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council. They were jailed for a day in Shillong . In 1954, he completed his I.S.C examination and later established the ‘Senior Basic School’ at Lawbyrtun village.
In 1957 with the support of Eastern Indian Tribal Union (EITU), Lyngdoh contested and won as MDC in the United Khasi- Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council
From 1962 to 1967, he took charge as Executive Member in charge of primary education. During the five year tenure, he opened as many as 1800 L.P.schools in United Khasi -Janitia Hills Autonomous District Council.
From 1984 to 1989, he assumed office as Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council. He was elected as MDC for 36 years.
Lyngdoh was also elected as MP from Shillong for the period 1977-1979.During the fifties, Lyngdoh joined hands with the Hill State Movement of the Eastern Indian Tribal Union.
In 1960, all the leaders of political parties under the banner All Party Hill Leaders Conference (APHLC) joined EITU and intensified the movement, and in 1963 they appointed Lyngdoh as chief organizer of volunteers.
In 1968, after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi approved the ‘Autonomous State of Meghalaya” (under Assam) for Khasi-Jaintia-Garo tribes, Lyngdoh rejected it and intensified the movement with the slogan “No Hill State No Rest, No Hill State Direct Action”. Following this, APHLC expelled him which resulted in Lyngdoh forming Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party with the support of his volunteers.
HSPDP organized a “Non-Violent Direct Action” and thousands of volunteers were jailed. In early part of 1970, Indira Gandhi arrived in Shillong and inaugurated the “Meghalaya Autonomous State, which, however faced the black flags of HSPDP volunteers.
After Gandhi returned to Delhi, Lyngdoh declared that there would not be any more talks with the Centre , if she did not grant a full state within December 31, 1970.
Subsequently, Gandhi declared the full state of Meghalaya and thousands of volunteers of HSPDP were released from the jail in Gauhati.
Lyngdoh continuously opposed any move to mine uranium in West Khasi Hills.
In this regard, he attended various world conferences which include Commonwealth Conferences, World Uranium Hearing at Austria 1992, Second Global Radio Active Victim Conference in Berlin which were participated by scientists and jurists of the world.
He was also asked to lecture in Bonn Parliament organized by Klaus Kublar, the Leader of Opposition and also in the cities of Germany, Berlin, Minze, Frankford Hamburg, Munich, Whyle, Saxonia and in Frigburg.Lyngdoh also took part in the conference on environment of economic ecology in the city of Caux, Switzerland in Paris, France.
In 1993, Lyngdoh lectured on topic of maintenance of forest and Industries in London and in Birmingham. He has also attended the Christian Assembly of 80 countries organized by Billy Graham in 1986 at Amsterdam. From 1972, he was appointed as the administrator of the indigenous clan Lyngdoh Nonglait and Mawiang Syiemship. He was also a church elder of the Presbyterian Church since 1973. Besides politics ,Lyngdoh also concentrated in the field of social activities for the needy, and attended religious functions of the Presbyterian Church .