The gender biased KHASI HILLS AUTONOMOUS DISTRICT (KHASI SOCIAL CUSTOM OF LINEAGE)(SECOND AMEDMENT) BILL, 2018 is a violation of the fundamental right of a Tribal women.
Our ancestors never dreamt of killing a society so rich in kindness and respect but was willing to allow even the men to ‘tang jait’ (take in a new title for their wives). How can a custom that has been there for ages be scrapped by an unconstitutional decision of a few and deny a Tribal Woman and her Children their Tribal rights. How can a tribal woman just lose her right just because she marries a Non-Tribal man. What crime has she committed?
This decision to discriminate against woman is more like a Khap Panchayat in our backyard waiting to pounce on women. For the information of many supporters of the bill many Khasi men too oppose the bill and are surprised that such a hasty bill was passed. No doubt there is concern for the indigenous Tribe by many, even by those not belonging to this particular Scheduled Tribe, but outcasting women from their fundamental rights is unconstitutional and violative of their personal Rights. Tribal Women too, have a right to chose their partners in life and do not need a Khap Panchayat like diktat to stop them.
Bringing in such an act at this point also may deny many Christians from performing their religious belief as Christians are not stopped from marrying a Non Tribal.
KHADC does not issue Scheduled Tribe Certificate, but the State Government does under the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order 1950, as amended by the scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe list (Modification) Order, 1956, the Bombay Reorganization Act 1960, the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966, the State of Himachal Pradesh Act 1970, The North Eastern Area (Re-organization) Act 1971 and the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe Orders (Amendment) Act 1976.
Can the law passed by the KHADC overwrite the laws passed by the Centre? And can the Governor of Meghalaya, assent to an unconstitutional Bill which is demeaning and Discriminating Tribal woman and their children? Benami is rampant by many greedy Tribal men and many leaders, yet KHADC remained blind to this fact and zoomed in only on Tribal women. This bill for me, smells of Formalin Fish…
If no one does I will challenge this amendment if it ever becomes a law!