HYC seeks minority status for ‘Niamtre’ community

SHILLONG, May 25: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Wednesday moved Governor Satya Pal Malik to impress upon the Centre to include Khasi Indigenous Faith (Niamtre/Niam Tynrai) as a Minority Community under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Informing that the Government of India till date has notified six religious communities — Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Jains — as religious minorities in India under Section 2(c) of the Act, the HYC said, “There are people from the Khasi and Jaintia communities in the state of Meghalaya, Assam and other parts of the country which are still practising and professing the religion of ‘Indigenous Faith’ or popularly known as ‘Niam Tynrai- Niamtre’ in the country.”
“As per our knowledge and information, the people who still belong to the ‘Indigenous Faith’ are about three lakh all over India and also are economically and socially backward which requires more assistance and protection from the Government of India and respective state governments,” HYC president Robertjune Kharjahrin said.
In a memorandum to the Governor, the HYC, said, “In order to raise their level of education and participation in employment, skill and entrepreneurship development and reducing deficiencies in civic amenities and infrastructure and also to allow them to enjoy the rights and privileges under the Constitution of India, it is humbly requested to your good office to kindly impress upon the Government of India to notify the ‘Khasi Indigenous Faith’ as one of the minority communities in India as per the Act of 1992.”
The HYC has also asked the Governor to request the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, to create a separate form for classification of people practising ‘Indigenous Faith’ and to not include them under ‘Other Religions’ “so that the population of the persons professing the above stated religion will be clear in the future”.
Meanwhile, the HYC also submitted another representation for the general welfare of the farmers of the state seeking the Governor’s intervention in the matter.
Pointing out that the state government has not yet fixed the minimum support price (MSP) for farmers’ produce, HYC general secretary Roykupar Synrem said, “This inaction on part of the government has led to various hardships for the farmers of the state as is evident during the COVID-19 period where farmers had to sell their produce at a throw-away price or in many cases they were left with no options but to throw away their produces in the market areas.”
“In order to provide some sort of security to the farmers in selling their produce and ensure that they earn a fairly stable income, and importantly to maintain a steady supply of farm produce, MSP should be implemented at the earliest in Meghalaya,” Synrem added.
In the representation submitted to the Governor, the HYC sought his intervention for the implementation of the Meghalaya State Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and provision of relief for farmers during natural calamities.

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