Sunday, May 19, 2024

Teach tribal rights, Sixth Schedule in school: Bernard


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, April 22: The Meghalaya BJP has urged the NPP-led MDA government to include some key issues in the state’s school curriculum to stonewall the “blatant attempts” made by political parties to get mileage out of the emotions attached to them during elections.
These issues are the Sixth Schedule, powers and functions of the autonomous district councils, and customary rights and practices of the tribal people.
“I urge the state government to include in the syllabus the Sixth Schedule and the powers and functions of the district council and also the local and customary traditions of people living in the Sixth Schedule areas. Our students and children should know our roots and rights and the powers given to us,” Meghalaya BJP vice president and Tura MDC, Bernard N Marak said.
“Today, we are blinded by the general law which is confusing and many not applicable in the Northeast and the Sixth Schedule areas of Meghalaya. Every time during elections, they bring in issues and create a fear psychosis. Elections get over but the damages caused remain,” he said.
Pointing out that political parties always blame the BJP during elections citing certain laws and acts which in reality are not applicable in the Sixth Schedule areas, Marak said, “The CAA is not a trap for the tribals in Sixth Schedule areas but it has been politicised during the elections in the Garo Hills. Some leaders highlighted the CAA as a draconian law whereas CAA will not be applicable in the Sixth Schedule areas.”
He further said, “Meghalaya and the (rest of the) Northeast are always protected under the different schedules of the Constitution. The Northeast does not directly fall under the regular regulations of the country and there are special provisions. In some states, we are partially excluded whereas in others we are excluded. People have to understand what ‘excluded areas’ mean and what the Sixth Schedule means.” Stating that the BJP is always blamed for such legislation, he said, “It is very bad that some political parties are targeting the religious sentiments of the people to divert their minds so that they do not see the intention of the central government to bring in massive development in all the rural areas with special focus on the Northeast.”
He said the BJP instead, is trying to ensure that tribals are not affected through exemptions wherever required. “Abstain from religious politics, misleading the people, and blaming the BJP. This always happens during elections,” he added.


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