This article highlights the controversy in matrilineal Meghalaya which revolves around the tribal council’s order regarding Khasis and their surnames.(Source: The Hindu , 17th May, 2023)
What is the context?
A tribal council in matrilineal Meghalaya sparked a controversy by ordering not to issue Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates to Khasis who adopt their father’s surname.
What is the controversy in matrilineal Meghalaya regarding Khasis and their surnames?
Who is opposing the order and why?
What is the rationale behind the council’s order?
What is the wider debate surrounding surnames and lineage?
What are the implications of this issue?
The Khasi council’s order on surnames in matrilineal Meghalaya reveals the complexities of cultural traditions and evolving societal perspectives. The clash between the council’s directive and the VPP’s opposition emphasizes the importance of recognizing individual rights and identities within the Khasi community.
Way ahead: To address this issue, open dialogue and understanding among stakeholders are crucial. The Khasi community and tribal council should engage in constructive discussions to find a middle ground. It should respect both tradition and individual choices. Reviewing the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act, 1997, can ensure its relevance and inclusivity in the present context.
Furthermore, efforts should be made to raise awareness and educate the public about the significance and value of cultural heritage. Simultaneously, it is important to acknowledge the importance of personal autonomy and individual rights. This approach can help foster a more inclusive and progressive society that appreciates diversity and respects individual choices.
It is essential to strike a balance between preserving cultural traditions and embracing societal changes. Embracing a nuanced approach and encouraging dialogue is essential for matrilineal Meghalaya to navigate the controversy. By doing so, the region can emerge stronger and promote harmonious coexistence between tradition and modernity.