SHILLONG: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), on Thursday, has made its stance clear on the issue of mixed marriages within the Khasi community.
While acknowledging the council’s stance against prohibiting such unions, Pyniaid Sing Syiem, the Chief Executive Member (CEM) emphasized on about the delicate balance between preserving the unique Khasi identity and allowing personal choices.
He, however, made it clear that individuals entering into mixed marriages should be aware that they would forego certain privileges. Through a statement released on Thursday, Syiem said, “As a minority, it’s crucial for us to safeguard our distinctive Khasi identity.”
The KHADC CEM conveyed the council’s intention to establish rules that strike a middle ground, neither outright opposing Khasis marrying non-Khasis nor granting them the privileges they had enjoyed as Khasis before.
While acknowledging the council’s inability to dictate personal choices, Syiem underscored the consequences of such decisions. “Individuals who choose to marry non-Khasis must recognise that they won’t retain the benefits of Khasis or the rights accorded to Scheduled Tribes,” he stated.
Syiem also revealed that the Executive Committee (EC) of the council is in the process of drafting an executive order. This order would encourage the “Seng Kurs” (clan organizations) to register with the district council until the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2022 is officially enacted.
The purpose of this order is to extend formal recognition to clans (Kur) that have formed their own committees. This move would allow the KHADC to acknowledge Seng Kurs as official entities, enabling their office-bearers to function in accordance with the district council’s powers and responsibilities.
Notably, the Rangbah Kur Ka Bri U Hynniewtrep recently engaged with the CEM after the expert committee returned the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2022 to the district council.
The decision was prompted by the need to address certain issues highlighted by the expert committee. Furthermore, the Rangbah Kur Ka Bri U Hynniewtrep advised the KHADC to include RL Blah and Erwin K Syiem Sutnga in the Advisory Committee on Law & Traditional Affairs, a committee led by nominated Member of District Council, Bindo M Lanong.