State remembers Founding Father of Khasi alphabet
SHILLONG, June 22: Meghalaya on Wednesday paid tributes to the Founding Father of the Khasi Alphabet, Thomas Jones.
It may be mentioned that June 22 is observed as Thomas Jones Day to mark the arrival of Thomas Jones in Sohra on June 22, 1841.
Jones, who breathed his last at an age of 39 on September 16, 1849, was buried at the Scottish Church cemetery in Calcutta.
The state government in 2018 had announced that the arrival of Thomas Jones in Sohra will be observed as Thomas Jones Day.
In Shillong, the NSS unit of Shillong Commerce College observed the day by organising a programme which was attended by the college students, faculty members, as well as religious leaders.
Pastor In-Charge of Church of Christ, Mawlai Umthlong, Yomanly Basanshrieh, who was part of the programme, enlightened the gathering about the contributions of Thomas Jones.
In Nongstoin, the Khasi Authors’ Society (KAS) observed the day by holding a seminar on the contributions of Thomas Jones to the Khasi language and society.
The seminar, which was organised at Nongstoin College, was attended by Nongstoin MLA Macmillan Byrsat as the chief guest.
In his address, Byrsat expressed hope that the recognition of Khasi language will soon be a reality.
Airing concern, he said that there are many in the Khasi community who are ashamed of speaking in their dialect.
Byrsat argued that a community is identified by its language.
Political leaders also took to Twitter to pay tributes to the Founding Father of the Khasi Alphabet.
“Tributes to the Founding Father of the Khasi Alphabet, Rev. Thomas Jones. The Khasi Alphabet in the Roman script and the establishment of the Sohra dialect as the common language of Khasi & Jaiñtia Hills remains his legacy & contribution to the tribes & people of #Meghalaya,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.
AITC state president Charles Pyngrope too paid tributes to Thomas Jones. “A founding father of the Khasi alphabets. We honour his contribution and dedication in the Khasi alphabets and literature,” Pyngrope said in his tweet.