A group of concerned citizens has expressed strong opposition against the state government’s notification which seeks to issue a Schedule Tribe (ST) certificate to indigenous people who are taking the surname of the father’s clan.
Addressing media persons on Tuesday, social activist Banshai Marbaniang said, “We strongly opposed this notification and demanded the state government for its immediate cancellation as it is against the very foundation of the matrilineal society.”
He said the notification was issued by the social welfare department of the state government on November 17, this year.
Marbaniang also alleged that the notification violates the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act.
In 2018, the KHADC had also passed KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (First Amendment) Bill, 2018 which seeks to prohibit mixed marriage among Khasi women and take the surname of the father’s clan.
The Bill had clearly defined the Khasi Custom of Lineage where a Khasi person takes his/her surname from the mother side whereas the Khasi custom of marriage is based on the unique “tip kur tip kha” principle (knowing and upholding the relationship between mother’s clans and that of the father) which has been existence in marriages between Khasi Tribe.
Apart from striping, a Khasi woman of her tribal status upon her marriage with a non-Khasi man and children born out of such wedlock will not enjoy the constitutional protections that come with it, the Bill also strips a tribal Khasi man of his tribal status if he takes the surname from his father.
Marbaniang also demanded the KHADC to intervene in the matter and ensure that the notification is canceled.
“We are surprised at the KHADC for keeping silent on this important issue. We feel that if it cannot take any measure on such issues which are affecting the matrilineal system, it is better that it should be dissolved. Therefore, we urge the KHADC to play its role in this regard,” he said.
Meanwhile, the social activist also slammed the Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT) for supporting the notification. He said the formation of the SRT is designed to divide and destroy the matrilineal system in the state.