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Khasi kingdoms to revisit 1947 agreements

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th May, 2019

A federation of 25 Himas or Khasi kingdoms plan to revisit the 1947-48 agreements that made present day Meghalaya a part of India.

Context

A federation of 25 Himas or Khasi kingdoms plan to revisit the 1947-48 agreements that made present day Meghalaya a part of India.

About

Background :

  • The 25 Khasi states had signed the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947 and March 19, 1948.
  • The conditional treaty with these states was signed by Governor General Chakravarty Rajagopalachari on August 17, 1948.
  • The Khasi states, though, did not sign the Instrument of Merger unlike most other states in India.
  • During the British period, the Khasi domain was divided into the Khasi states and British territories.
  • At that time, the British government had no territorial right on the Khasi states and they had to approach the chiefs of these states if they needed land for any purpose.
  • After independence, the British territories became part of the Indian dominion but the Khasi states had to sign documents beginning with the Standstill Agreement that provided a few rights to the states.
  • Though the Constitution has provided self-rule to a considerable extent through tribal councils, there has been an increasing demand for giving more teeth to the Khasi states.

Aim :

  • To safeguard tribal customs and traditions from Central laws in force or could be enacted, such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
  • The Citizenship bill would grant citizenship to non-domicile of north east which in turn bring assimilation that could diminish the cultural value of tribal areas.
  • The bill is one of the factors to strengthen the Federation of Khasi states that were ruled by a Syiem (king like head of a Hima).
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