‘We have no connection with India sans Khasi-Jaintia state’

Robertjune Kharjahrin

SHILLONG, Dec 5: Advocate and social activist Robertjune Kharjahrin on Monday said the relation between the people of Khasi-Jaintia Hills and the Indian Union will always remain incomplete without a separate Khasi-Jaintia state.
Speaking as one of the resource persons during a seminar on the topic “Khasi-Jaintia State” organised by the HSPDP youth wing here, Kharjahrin reminded that there is an agreement between the indigenous tribe (Khasis) and the Indian Union for a Khasi-Jaintia state. “Without a separate state we have no connection with the Indian Union,” Kharjahrin said, recalling that the demand dates back to 1917 when the country was under the British rule.
According to him, it was during this period that the British wanted to change the political scenario in India and it was at this point that the seeds for creation of a separate Khasi-Jaintia state had been planted.
“We cannot just be a part of the India Union without special protection like the right over land, preservation of the language and culture and special recognition,” Kharjahrin said.
Former NEHU faculty Dr LS Gassah said the HSPDP has not budged from its demand for a Khasi-Jaintia state.
“It is not wrong to demand our own state. We have got Meghalaya but it does not fall under the ambit of Article 371. A separate Khasi-Jaintia state protected under Article 371 will help to showcase the uniqueness of our culture and language to the outside world,” Dr Gassah said, adding that the Garos have also realized the same and are demanding a separate Garoland.
Other present on the occasion included HSPDP youth wing president Sandondor Ryntathiang and party president KP Pangniang.