THE 
ASSEMBLY DEBATES 

OFFICIAL REPORT

MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Monday the 22nd March, 1971.

Proceedings of the third session of the provisional Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled under the provision of the Assam Reorganisation Meghalaya Act, 1969.


The House met at 10. A.M.

Mr. Speaker in the Chair -

Mr. Speaker - Hon Members, the first item of today's agenda is 'Address by the Governor'. The Governor will be coming just now. Myself, the Deputy Speaker and the Secretary will now go out to receive the Governor. In the meantime, the Address will be distributed to the hon. Members.

(At this stage the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Secretary went out to receive the Governor)

(The Governor took his seat inside the House)

Mr. Speaker - Hon. Member. I am now requesting the Governor to address the House


Governor's Address

The Governor :-

MR. SPEAKER AND HON'BLE MEMBERS,

        The autonomous State of Meghalaya will soon have completed a year of its existence. This period has been an eventful one. I shall refer briefly to the events of the past year and the future programme of my Government. Before I do so, I have, with great sorrow, to refer to the said demise of Shri B.P. Chaliha, the former Chief Minister of Assam. Shri Chaliha had won a place of high esteem in the hearts of the people of Assam and Meghalaya. His dealings were always marked by honesty, sincerity and a catholicity of outlook. The North-Eastern Region is poorer with the departure of this statesman.

2.    During the last twelve months, we have witnessed a sincere and competent effort made to work a novel and somewhat complicated constitutional experiment. There were considerable difficulties of mechanics and location and, to some of these, I referred in my address last year. My Government strove very hard to solve and overcome these difficulties and this was possible in some cases. In other cases, the problems remained and all concerned looked for a way out of the impasse. My Government then discussed with the Government of India and after mature deliberation, this House passed an unanimous resolution in its last session demanding full statehood for Meghalaya. Further discussions took place with the Prime Minister herself and finally she made the following announcement on the floor of the Parliament on the 10th November, 1970 :-

        "......................................... The decision to grant statehood to Manipur and Tripura, however, necessitated a fresh look at the status of Meghalaya. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya also that in the changed situation, Meghalaya should be made a separate State. Later, Shri K.C. Pant, visited the North-Eastern Region and discussed this matter with the Chief Minister and other Ministers of Meghalaya, as well as with the Ministers of Assam. Recently, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution demanding full statehood. On October 2nd, I was in Gauhati and further discussions were held with both the Governments. Taking these factors into account, Government have decided to accept in principle Meghalaya's demand for statehood......................."

        This announcement was greeted by the all the people of Meghalaya with enthusiasm. It is the earnest hope of my Government that a Bill granting full statehood to Meghalaya will be introduced and passed by the Parliament at the earliest.

3.    In my last address, I had referred to the stupendous problems faced by the new Government in evolving and properly organising the administrative machinery. The difficulties in securing the services of experienced and trained staff, absence of adequate office accommodation and the inherent limitations of the Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act continue to pose serious problems to the Government. The basic structure of the administrative machinery has however, been evolved integrating, in a large measure, the executive and secretariat wings in the light of the recommendation of the Department of Administrative Reforms of the Government of India. This, it is expected, will avoid delay in execution of development schemes and also enable the administration to function with increased efficiency and effectiveness. The staffing pattern for these Directorates has also been finalised.

4.    It is proposed to rationalise the system of recruitment to the different posts under the Government with a view to ensuring uniformity in standards. The Re-organisation Act provides for a common Public Service Commission between Assam and Meghalaya. Under the existing regulations, it is not necessary to consult the Public Service Commission in the case of appointments by direct recruitment to posts carrying pay-scales the maxima of which are less than Rs.501 per mensem. Government intend to centralise recruitment to these posts which are excluded from the purview of the Public Service Commission and are setting up a Selection Board for the purpose so that staff selection methods can be made more objective and systematic.

5.    The law and order situation during the year was normal in the State. On the East Pakistan border the situation was relatively quiet excepting for a few incidents of smuggling, cattle lifting, dacoity and kidnapping. Gambling in the form of betting connected with archery had reached serious proportions in Shillong and elsewhere and had resulted in the ruination of many families. Archery has been a traditional sport among the people of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills but recently there was an unhealthy development in which the old sport was exploited for the purpose of gambling by distorting it in a manner so as to reduce the element of skill and correspondingly to increase the element of chance. In order to put a stop to this menace, this House had passed the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970 which was put into effect on 14th December 1970. This has been instrumental in largely controlling this social evil.

6.    One of the main purposes of setting up the State of Meghalaya was to accelerate the development of this region. Before the formation of Meghalaya, for the Fourth Five Year Plan including the year 1969-70, the Planning Commission had already earmarked an outlay of Rs.65 crores for the Integrated Hill Plan of the composite State of Assam. Out of this the share of Meghalaya was fixed at Rs.38 crores. This allocation, which was arrived at on the basis of population, falls short of the needs of the new State to meet the cost of certain essential development tasks designed to make up the leeway in the development of the area. As is well known. Meghalaya is among the most backward parts of the country. The objective of national planning in India is not only to raise the national income or per capita income but also to ensure that the benefit is evenly distributed, that the regional disparities in income and standard of living are narrowed down so that the process of economic development is accompanied by stability and absence of social tension. This can be achieved by keeping a watchful eye on the need for the development of the relatively backward areas and weaker sections of the community. My Government attach great importance to this aspect and have moved for increasing the plan outlay for the State and, also for dealing with the problems arising out of the geographical situation of Meghalaya as a border State. Besides, some schemes relating to regrouping of villages in Garo Hills, development of roads of economic and strategic importance, rehabilitation of the economy of the border areas, improvement of water supply in Shillong town and development of Shillong Tura-Jowai towns have been drawn up and sent to the Government of India for financial assistance for their implementation. The total cost of these adhoc programme would be of the order of Rs.35 crores of which about Rs.14 crores would be required during the remaining period of the Fourth Plan. 

        My Government had move the Government of India for declaring both the districts of Meghalaya as economically and industrially backward. I am glad to inform the House that the Government of India have accepted this proposal. As a result of this, concessional institutional finance and outright grant or subsidy by the Centre will be available to entrepreneurs in this State.

        While drawing up the development plans for Meghalaya, emphasis has been laid on building up an infra-structure particularly a well-knit communication system, area development and institutions for provision of facilities. Attention has also been given to better facilities in the field of education, medical and public health services and water supply.

7.    Meghalaya has a long border with East Pakistan. The partition of the country cut off the normal outlets for the produce of the border areas of Meghalaya affecting about 1,500 villages with a population of 1.75 lakhs. These figures imply 36 percent of the State's total area and 23 percent of the population and show that the border problem is a very important one for the State. As a result, the economy of the region has suffered and income and investment have declined. There has been large scale neglect of horticultural and other crops in these border areas and in the absence of remunerative returns hardly any attempt has been made in maintaining cultivation and fighting plant diseases. To revive the border trade to some extent, Government have been making energetic efforts to open up trade by permitting Pakistani traders to come to certain specified markets on the Indian side of the border. At present 14 such border markets are permitted on specified days and the Government of India have been moved for opening up twelve more such markets in other places on the border. As an experimental measure, Pakistani traders have been allowed temporarily to come to Shella market in boats 4 days in a week for the purpose of collecting shingles, boulders and limestone. Besides, on bazar days which are twice a week, Pakistani traders are allowed to come in boats to collect authorised commodities. It is proposed to extend this scheme to some other border markets also if it is found a success in Shella. In addition to this, a coordinated development programme for the border areas is being taken up which will cover the various sectors of development taking into account the need for developing the agro-industrial potential. Attempts will also be made to find alternative markets for the traditional produce of the border areas and alternative occupations and means of livelihood for the people.

8.    The Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act contains a number of special provisions governing the distribution of powers between the two States and the performance of agency functions by the Government of Meghalaya. There is, for example a provision for delegation to the Meghalaya Government of the powers and functions of the Central Government but for this prior consultation with the Assam Government is necessary. My Government have approached the Central Government for this purpose but unfortunately action has been very slow as the process of consultation with the Assam Government has taken too much time.

9.    The Act also envisages the constitution of a committee for the development of Shillong Town. The Government of India, after consultation with the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya have constituted such a committee consisting of the Chief Minister and one Minister each of Assam and Meghalaya Governments. This committee will advise the two Governments on matters of common interest in respect of Shillong in the field of education and water supply in particular and in respect of its development and administration in general.

10.    In accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 55 of the Assam Re-organisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969, the Government of India have recently issued the Assam Taxation Laws (Meghalaya) Modification Order, 1970. The provisions of this Order will have the effect of adapting the Assam Laws with some modifications with regard to their applicability in the autonomous State of Meghalaya. The Government of Meghalaya are setting up district offices at Shillong and Tura for effective administration of the tax laws in the State.

11.    Agriculture is and will continue to remain the backbone of the State's economy and in this sector the emphasis is on adoption of of improved agricultural practices, a coordinated programme for reclamation of land which can be made fit for cultivation together with development of a network of irrigation, introduction of high-yielding varieties and measures to take up dry farming in areas where irrigation is not possible. The people have to be weaned away from the destructive exploitation of available resources, such as the practice of jhumming which destroys our forest wealth. It is also necessary to take up a scheme for regrouping of villages in Garo Hills in order to introduce viable farming units and generally to promote progressive use of land resources. It is also necessary to pay attention to the credit needs of the farmers, particularly , through co-operatives. The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd., has been set up during the year to meet the credit requirements particularly in the agricultural sector.

        In addition to the regular Plan schemes, at the instance of this Government, the Government of India have since allocated two projects of composite type of benefit small farmers, marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers. The outlay, for each of these Projects is Rs.100 lakhs for the remaining period of the Fourth Plan. One of these Projects will be in United Khasi-Jaintia Hills and the other in the Garo Hills.

12.    In order to conserve the forest wealth of the State, it is proposed to take up schemes of afforestation and forest reservation in co-operation with the District Councils. The method of farm forestry is also being introduced in order to ensure proper land use.

13.    In the social services sector attention is being given to expansion and improvement of educational institutions. In the current academic session Honours classes have been introduced in Tura Government College. Steps are being taken to introduce Pre-University Science classes in the next session in the college. My Government has moved the Government of India to take expeditious action to set up a Hill University in Meghalaya. It was decided some time ago to set up an inter-ministerial working group along with a representative of the Planning Commission to prepare the places for the University and a draft Bill. The Working Group was to submit its report by October 1970. Unfortunately there has been delay in the implementation of this decision. My Government is very keen that early action is taken on this decision and a Bill framed and introduced for the setting up of the University.

        As primary education in the State is under the control of the District Councils, the services of the Sub-Inspectors of Schools are being placed at the disposal of the District Councils to ensure better co-ordination and more effective inspection of the schools. Steps are being taken to constitute an Experts' Committee to examine the various aspects relating to education. 

        A scheme for giving incentives to doctors serving in the rural areas has been formulated so that hospitals and dispensaries in the interior are manned by qualified doctors and staff. A number of water supply schemes in urban and rural areas are under execution out of which a particular mention may be made of those of Mawlai, Rymbai, Pynursla, Muktapur and Baghmara. A State Social Welfare Board for Meghalaya  is also being set up.

14.    In the field of communications, priority is being given to construction and improvement of roads which will open up the mineral areas of the State and also roads along the Indo-Pak border. The Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura Road which will serve as a trunk road connecting Shillong with Tura running from east to west through the central part of the State is also being developed. During the year under review, construction of a number of bridges has been completed. Special mention may be made of the Dudhnoi and Mahadeo bridges which were opened to traffic recently. The development of Damra-Darugiri-Nangalbibra-Siju-Baghmara Road passing through the mineral belt of Garo Hills and touching the Indo-Pak border is being taken up by the Border Roads Organisation.

15.    As regards industrial development, the emphasis is on the effective exploitation of the industrial potential of the State. Establishment of new industrial units in medium and small scale sectors is being encouraged and the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation is being set up. The question of setting up industrial township and industrial estates in the State is receiving active consideration of the Government. The question of taking over the Meter Factory has been taken up with the Assam Government. The Geological Survey of India and the Directorate of Geology and Mining, Assam are carrying out surveys in a number of places in the State. A coordinated programme of power development keeping in view the requirements of industries and agriculture is being drawn up.

16.    In my last address, I had referred to the proposal to entrust some of the functions in respect of agriculture, animal husbandry, community development, co-operation, village planning and social welfare to the District Councils on mutually agreed terms. The details in this regard are being worked out and the matter has been discussed with the executives of the District Councils. At present, many of the development schemes undertaken by the District Councils are being financed by the Government.

17.    The personnel policies of the Government have been so formulated as to reserve a number of vacancies at the lower levels under the Government for direct recruitment. Apart from this, the various programmes of educational, industrial and agricultural development being taken up by the new State will result in increased employment opportunities for the  people. The demand will be more and more for persons with special skills. Avenues for imparting training in various fields and for encouraging higher education among the youths are being explored and developed. My Government also proposes to explore the possibilities of assisting graduates from Meghalaya for receiving training in specialised institutions in order to enable them to participate more effectively in the All India Service competitions. A programme for development of youth services seeking to impart occupational training is also being taken up by the Government.

18.    The position of essential supplies in the State during the year was fairly satisfactory. The procurement and distribution of essential commodities in Meghalaya has been done so far by the Government of Assam out of their own procurement and from allotment from the Government of India. During the last year, however, the Government of Assam could not meet the entire requirements of Meghalaya. Steps are being taken to secure direct allotment of rice from the Food Corporation of India. The monthly requirement of rice for the State is of the order of 30,000 quintals. A sum of Rs.2.00 lakhs has been sanctioned during the current financial year by the Government as rice transport subsidy in order to make rice available at reasonable price to the people in the border areas where transport and communication facilities are inadequate.

19.    The system of land tenure in Meghalaya differs from place to place and the entire area has not also been cadastrally surveyed. District Councils are being financially assisted to evolve a system by which ownership of land can be identified so that the credit requirements of the agriculturists can be more easily met by the different financial institutions.

        Some areas of the State were affected by heavy floods during 1970 causing immense hardship to a large number of people particularly on the western side of Garo Hills. Prompt relief measures were rendered to the people affected by floods and scarcity.

20.    During the past year, some progress has been made towards solving the problems which the new State of Meghalaya had to face. The basic frame-work of the administrative machinery has been evolved and my Government has every hope of harnessing the enthusiasm of the people for development of the State. The solution of the problems and implementation of the tasks of development will be secured with the association of the people through their traditional representative institutions. My Government hopes to secure increasing participation of the people and groups of different shades of opinion in the common tasks before us. A Government is a trustee of the good and welfare of its people and in that capacity it bears a heavy load of responsibility. This load will increase as soon as Meghalaya assumes its rightful place among Sister States in the Country. In shouldering this burden, my Government has the assurance and confidence in the will and determination of the people and all political parties to assist in the task of development and the betterment of their lot.

        I am sure that with goodwill and sustained hard-work, we shall be able to face the challenge that lies ahead so that we develop our State along the right lines and the people of the State become meaningful partners in the task of building up a prosperous Meghalaya. 

JAI  HIND


Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address

Mr. Speaker :- Under sub-rule (2) of Rule 13 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I hereby report of the to the Assembly that the Governor has been pleased to make a speech, a copy of which has been placed on each Member's table.

        I have received a Motion of Thanks given notice of by Shri D.D. Pugh. supported by Shri Johndeng Pohrmen under sub-rule  (3) of Rule 13 of the said Rules, which reads as follows :

        "That the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 22nd March, 1971".

        Now Shri D.D. Pugh to move.

Shri D.D. Pugh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following motion in reply to Governor's address :-

        "That  the members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 22nd March, 1971."

Shri J.D. Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I second the motion.

Mr. Speaker :- I have fixed Tuesday,  the 23rd March, Wednesday, the 24th March and Thursday, the 25th March,  1971 as the dates for discussion on the Address or on the Motion of Thanks or matters relating to the Governor's Address. Notice of amendment, if any to the motion of Thanks or matters refereed to the Address may be given so to reach the Assembly Secretariat by 4.P.M. today.


(OBITUARY REFERENCE)

        Let us now come to item No. 3 obituary references on the demise of Shri Bimala Prasad Chaliha, Ex-Chief Minister of Assam and others.

Capt W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission I would like to make a few obituary references :

    It is with profound sorrow that I refer to the sad demise on February 25, 1971 of Shri B.P Chaliha, former Chief Minister of Assam. Born on March 26, 1912, Shri Chaliha evinced great interest in constructive work from his early life. He was a man widely respected by the people of the Hills and the plains through our the length and breadth of North Eastern India. In spite of political differences, the people recognised his sincerity and in fact and in all that he did, he was guided by the highest motives. With his unquestioned integrity and deep sympathy for the common people, Shri Chaliha had won a place of high steam in the hearts of the people of Assam and Meghalaya,. He believed in the highest Gandhian principle and tried his best to live up to them. His efforts in making peace in Nagaland have borne fruit. He was awarded Padma Vibhusan on January, 26, 1971. In his death Assam and the North Eastern India, and indeed the whole country, have lost one of the finest leaders.

        In the death of Dr. K.M. Munshi on February 8, 1971 at the age of 84, the country has lost an erudite scholar and an able administrator, Born on July 30, 1887, he was educated at Baroda and Bombay University. In the 1925, he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council. He served as Home Minister of Bombay, and then subsequently as Union Minister from May 1950 to May 1952. Earlier, he was also a Government of India's Agent General in Hyderabad during the police operation in September, 1948 Dr. Munshi was associated with various cultural activities. The Bharatiya Vidhya Bhawan bears eloquent testimony to his eruditions and organisational ability.

        It is with a sense of shock that I refer to the premature death of Shri Nath Pai on January 18, 1971. A leader of Praja Socialist Party, Shri Nath Pai was an eloquent speaker and a very able parliamentarian. He never spared himself and died in harness soon after addressing a public meeting at Belgaum. An eloquent champion of social justice, Shri Nath Pai felt deeply about the rights of the common people. His death is all the sadder as he was only 48.

        The assassination of Shri Hemanta Kumar Basu on 20th February, 1971, has robbed the country of a valiant freedom fighter. Born in October, 1895, Mr. Basu began his political career in 1914 by joining and working with Netaji. He suffered long period of imprisonment with Netaji., In 1928 Shri Basu was adjutant to Netaji when he was General Officer commanding the Volunteer Corps of the Calcutta session of the Congress in 1939, Shri Basu joined the Forward Bloc formed by Netaji. Shri Basu took considerable interest in the political affairs of West Bengal and was also associated with various workers movements in the State. In the 1967 United Front Cabinet, Shri Basu was Minister for Public Works and Housing.

        The death of Shri T. Haralu, M.L.A Leader of the Opposition, Nagaland Assembly at the age of 50 has come as a shock to all to us. He was travelling by train with his father in law, Shri Kevichusa, M.P and had a heart attack at Siliguri. Born in 1921, Shri Haralu joined the NEFA Service as the Assistant Political Officer in Lohit and Kameng Divisions in NEFA and also as Secretary, Agriculture and Forests, Nagaland Government and finally as Deputy Commissioner, Kohima. He was mentioned in dispatches during the Second World War for the services he rendered as Organiser of the Naga Scouts which played a prominent part in helping the allied troops. He was awarded 'Padmashri' in 1964 for his outstanding work in NEFA. He resigned from the Administrative Service in November, 1968 and was elected to the Nagaland Assembly in 1969 where he became the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Speaker :- Whether any other hon. members would like to participate?

Shri S.D.D Nichols Roy (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I should like to associate my self with the words expressed by the Chef Minister Leader of the House say a few words on three of the gentlemen who are no longer with us and whom I know personally.

        Shri Chaliha was known to all of us and we was a man who has left this part of India at the time when changes were taking place. It is due to his statesmanship that these changes have taken place in an atmosphere of cooperation, good will, and peace. A lesser man would not have been able to tackle the tremendous problems that exist in the North East India in such a state man like manner. Mr. Chaliha had a share of successes of failures but in the world of expediency he was able enough to act according to his moral insight and in so doing he made the name of Assam to shine in the rest of India. At the conference held in Shillong held in Shillong in 1969 he said this and it has been quoted into he newspapers across the country and across the world. I quote Shri Chaliha. He said "If the object be pure if there is faith, it is possible to move mountains."  He referred not only to the mountains of physical problems but the mountains of bitterness and hate that exist in the world and that we need faith and pure objective to remove these mountings. He also played his part in the North East India. The Chief Minister has already referred to  his efforts over a period of years trampling the hills and forests of Nagaland at a considerable loose to his health to achieve peace and it is largely due to this efforts that eventually a cease-fire was arranged and which exists today. In spite of political differences he had some of his best friends who live today in Nagaland and Meghalaya and I join with the Chief Minister in expressing my profound sorrow at the loss of this great son of India.

        Mr. Nath Pai was also personally known to me and to several of our colleagues. We used to meet him in Delhi over the last 10 or 11 years. His objectivity, his sense of responsibility his acumen in searching solutions to problems, in pointing our the problems to the country, were well known and at every occasion that we need met him we received a warm welcome from him. Thanks to him and one or two other colleagues of his party because it was due to their effort that his party and others in the Parliament were supporting the feeling of the hills people for their own Government and eventually brought about goodwill and cooperation of the House - the Lok Sabha - in  supporting what the hills people wanted. He was a democrat who urged the nation to follow the democratic procedures. The Lok Sabha will be missing has presence which was felt for many years. We can only emulate his example in a responsible position, in a responsible attitude towards the Government and I join with the Leader of the House in expressing sorrow at the untimely death of Shri Nath Pai.

        Mr. Thepfooria Haralu was a personal friend of mine since 1942. It came as a great shock when I learnt of his sudden of death due to heart attack in the the train. I remember when I was in Nagaland in 1942 and 1943. he and his family welcomed me into their home. I learnt many things  about the Naga people through him their courage, their cheerfulness, their stead fatness and I am deeply sorry that Nagaland and the North East India have lost this young man who served with such an excellent record the common hill people of N.E.F.A and his own State, first as an administrator and later on as Member of the Legislature. I join in offering my deep sense of sorrow and grief at the loss of Mr. Thepfooria Hiraly.

Shri J. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Chaliha 25 years ago when he lived in a house which is next door to my house I was there at that time. I remember the happy mornings and evenings we used to meet and talk together. The talks were useful and I than discovered that Shri B.P Chaliha was a man of a very strong character and in the language of the Governor in his speech a man with a capacity of outlook. He was an idealist and I will not forget the quotation which he very often quoted that "good is the enemy of the best" he used to say that it is not enough to be good but should strive at attaining the best. He was not only a man but I can say he was a great gentleman. and I was not surprised that in later years be become the Chief Minister of the Assam for many many years, In  his death the family has lost a gentle and kind father. As a friend, we have lost in him a noble friend. The State has lost a man of magnanimity and an able administrator and the country has lost one of the most highly respected national leaders. Our human capability capacity are very limited and when the sting of death had taken him way, we are helpless and we cannot bring him back to life. All we can do is to feel the sad demise of this great leader. To that extent I associate myself with the Leader of the House, the Chief Minister, in expressing our sadness and feeling at this great loose and in expressing our condolence to the members of the bereaved family and also pray to God that his soul rests in peace.

        I knew very little about the other leaders but I join in association myself with the Chief Minister in expressing our condolence to the bereaved families.

Shri John Deng Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to take part in making an obituary speech. On so doing, I refer specifically to (Late) Mr. K.M. Munshi and (Late) B.P Chaliha whom I know personally and who breathed their last on he 8th February, 1971 and 25th February, 1971.

        I had  been privileged to personally know Mr. Munshi for the first time in 1960, when as Members often General Council of the Swatantra Party. We met at Bombay to discuss party matters. Mr. Munshi has been quite advanced in age, but his mind, tongue and pen were still active, as far as I could notice during the deliberations in the meetings. He was a lawyer of great repute and a great expert in the Constitutional issues, and thus he was great consultant in this regard. Very well advanced in age full of experiences, well informed of national as well as international affairs, he was a great assert to Indian as a whole, and to the Swatantra Party in particular. He never spoke must for the sake of speaking or just for show But whatever he spoke, he spoke with great charity self confidence authority and competence. He commanded great respect even from among his fellow top leaders in the party, and his export opinion was always sought for. In a lunch he gave to the members of General Council in his his palatial building, he enjoyed the vegetarian dish with the guests in such a simple manner that one of might have forgotten that Mr. Munshi had been a react national figure. Like many of his top colleagues in the Swatantra Party, he was a firm believer in the Philosophy of maximum individual freedom, and to the end of his life he advocated for that in Mr. Munshi's death India has lost one of its noble sons, who had seen its agencies in the Pre-Independence days, its immediate post-Independence struggles for political and economic stability and its present fight for radical social changes, with a view to make India  better land to live for every body. While offering condolences to his bereaved family. I join with all other sympathizers of Mr. Munshi in a prayer for his eternal rest.

        Coming to (Late) Mr. B.P. Chaliha, I must say right from the outset that Mr. Chaliha was one of the best men I had ever come across in my life. He was so amble, gentle, sociable, friendly and humble that he at once captured the heart of anybody, who happened to come into contact with him, and fast friendship was the result. I had heard the worthy name of Mr. Chaliha some 20 years ago. I, however, met him personally for the first time in 1962 at Gauhati Circuit House, when was as the General Secretary of  the Swatantra Party in Assam. I was invited to a special conference in connection with the Chinese aggression. From the on, slowly, but steadily we began to know better each other, and I must confess that Mr. Chaliha always tried his best to oblige me whenever I approached him on behalf of the people, especially my border people at of the Dawki areas. Easily, accessible, inspite of Government security measures, his residence as well as his office were like shrines, where the high and low, the rich and the poor, and the ignorant and the learned go to pray for one hundred and one favors. To him all irrespective of castes, creed or religion looked up as a most loving father ever ready to wipe out the tears of sorrow and pain from the eyes and the cheeks of the crying children. In the case of the tribals, he seemed to have a special soft corner. He so endeared himself, to the tribals that his name was never  mentioned without paying glowing tribute to him as a good man. His was a life of love, peace and charity.

        Throughout his life he disclosed sincerest patriotism and I verily believe India will have his name placed like one of the brightest gems in its crown, and in the case of the tribals of this part of the country, his name will be imprinted in the hearts fo the tribals never more to be forgotten. It is a pity that Providence did not destine Mr. Chaliha to live in order to see the final realisation of the most peaceful separation between the Hills and the Plains, of which hw was on the those who had had much to say for many years in this regard. I have the feeing that were Mr. Chaliha to live for the next few months, he would be the first one to convey his good wishes to the new full State of Meghalaya. Not withstanding, I firmly believe that Mr. Chaliha will not fail from the land beyond death to invoke God's blessings for the peace and prosperity of Meghalaya for all time to come. In the death of Mr. Chaliha India in general has lost one of its worthy sons. Assam in particular has lost its noblest son and the tribals of North East India have lost their friend. Please Dear God grant Mr. Chaliha eternal rest. And allow me, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to take this opportunity of extending my sincerest condolences to the bereaved family of Mr. Chaliha Please Good God, give them necessary comfort and strength so as to enable them to accept you holy will.

        With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel urged to associate myself with the Leader of the House and to express my feelings on the passing away of Shri B.P Chaliha, the great son, of North East India and of India as a whole. I have been intensely associated with Mr. Chaliha for the last thirteen years. In fact right before he assumed the leadership of the State I had the occasion to meet him in the year 1958 and to discuss with him the need of a new leadership in Assam for the benefit of the people of Assam. From then onwards I have had many experiences and associations with him and I found in him a unique personality in many ways just like what the last speaker, Mr. John Deng Pohrmen had said, he is a man of love, peace and charity, a man of high ideals a man of extreme good. Will to all so us In our visits to Delhi and other places of India I noticed also will to all of us In our visits to Delhi and other places of India I noticed also that he is being held in high esteem as one of the great leader of modern India, Perhaps all of us know him very well and I will not need to narrate his qualities of head and heart. But one thing I am sure about Mr. Chaliha is that his name, like that of Mr. Gopinath Bordoloi and Rev. J.J.M Nichols Roy, will be remembered in the history of North East India.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel very much urged to say a few words particularly on the demise to Mr. B.P Chaliha, whom I had the privilege of knowing for a number of years. I had the occasion to know him personally not so much in political matters but in other spares of activity. I had the opportunity to meet his as a social workers. I found in him a person of intense love and feeling and on many occasions I was overwhelmed by the feeling that he had  for the suffering humanity. In fact, at one time he was very closely associated with the Red Cross activities in which I had a part to lay. I could see then that whatever he said or did was motivated by the mission and concern for the down trodden, poor and the distressed. I saw in him qualities transforming themselves in to qualities of different nature in later years. But basically he has a ways maintained the mission that he had held for years. In fact, if there is anything which struck me is a fact that Mr. Chaliha is a man of peace and I fully associate with what the other hon. members had said about him that he was a peace maker in more ways that one. That is why when some people had expressed of Mr. Chaliha as presiding over liquidation of Assam, I was really thinking that more than that rather against that, he was in fact, really presiding over the building of human hearts, I have a strong belief that if it were not for Mr. Chaliha being in the saddle of power, the history of the Hill State Movement would have taken a different turn. On the other hand, we have seen him building bridges on difference fo peoples. As one of the hon. Members had said, even the jungles of Nagaland found Mr. Chaliha searching for peace. In the Mizo land after whatever happened, he had shown his mark by trying to bring peace in that troubled land.

        From all these we know of Mr. Chaliha not only as a peace make but as a person who is deeply interested not only in the State of Assam of which he is the Chief Minister but also interested in what is happening outside Assam. It is in this context, I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that he has assumed the status of a national leader, He was considered to be one of the senior statesmen of India and he would have played a more effective we role if death has not robbed him from amongst us. In Mr. Chaliha we have also seen a quality which I think we should be benefited to learn. He was a man of few words and he was interested more in action rather than in speaking or talking. This is a quality which has impressed me most I remember an incident in which I met him. I spoke for about an hour but I could get only 10 or 15 words from Mr. Chaliha. But within those 10 or 15 words the key to the problem was shown. This is the type of leadership Mr. Chaliha, possessed and I join with my friends who have spoken good things about him. I feel that I should also convey through you, Sir, the condolences of mine to the bereaved family. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Members, Dr. Bhuyan, would you like to say a few words?

Dr. H.C Bhuyan :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, reference has been made to the many great qualities of head and heart of Mr. Chaliha. From the speech of the Governor and the resolution moved by the Leader of the House and from the various speeches of the Hon. Members to which we have listened I am afraid I will not be able to say more than what the different hon. Members have spoken about him. Actually my contacts with Shri Chaliha were far and few between, and I don't think I met him more than twice or thrice at close quarters. But his distance did not stand in the way of having a correct perspective. When so viewed, the two qualities that stood out from all the rest were his patience and humanity. These are the qualities that struck me most among all the other qualities with which we he was endowed. He held the stewardship of this State of Assam for more than 12 or 13 years. Thirteen years is a long time, long enough to be the head of the State. But from the start when he embarked upon this political career he remained bumble till the end. From the speeches of those of who knew him intimately it appeared that his is a life of humility and Like all other great men, he appeared even bigger, Sir, with these words, I want to say that I whole heartedly associate my self with all the sentiments that have been expressed on the floor of the House. With these words, I now resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Is there any other hon. Member who would like to speaks?

        As I have been listening to the eulogies spoken by the hon. Members over the death of many of the noble sense of the country, my heart starts to throw that why within a short of one month India should lose not  less than five eminent and distinguished politicians and administrators. Many things have been spoken about the qualities of head and heart of Mr. Chaliha, of Mr. T. Haralu, of Mr. Nath Pai and of Dr. K.M Munshi. But perhaps the most tragic death occurred of the life of the Mr. Hemanta Kumar Basu. All the four leaders died a natural death. But why Mr. Hemanta Kumar Basu one of the greatest freedom fighters fo the early thirties and forties should die at the daggers of an assassin. If you read the life story of this great man you will feel that he really lived in an age of an adventurer. He has been a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi during the twenties and the early thirties. But in the later thirties of the present century he became more closely associated with Netaji Subhas Bose and he was one of the greatest leaders from the Quit India Movement. Later on he joined Netaji Subhas Bose in many of his adventure both in India and Burma. But why should  great fighter and lover of freedom like Shri Hemanta Kumar Basu have died at the hands of his enemies should have died at the dagger of his own country men. I think we should be pained at the death of those to whom we have referred here. Perhaps Hemanta Kumar Basu is the oldest. He died at the age of 86 whereas Dr. K.M. Munshi died at the age of 84. Nobody has referred to the death one of Shri Hemanta Kumar Basu except the Leader of the house. He was one of the founders of the Forward Block along with Netaji Subhas Bose. And from 1952 onwards till his death he was the leader of the Forward Block in India and he died at the time when we was about to reach the peak of his glory in his political carrier in the mind term poll in West Bengal.

        So far, as Dr. K.M. Munshi is concerned, I had the occasion of meeting him only twice and  those two occasions were in the meeting of the All India Historical Conference. So, although we have learnt about Munshi as a great politician, a great administrator, but as far as I am concerned he was a great scholar, a great journalist, a great historian and a great authority on Constitutional Law. We must not forget the fact that Dr. Munshi was not only one of the freedom fighter but he was one of the founding fathers of our Constitution. He was a Member of the drafting committee of the Constitution headed by Dr. Ambedkar. The draft constitution of India and his knowledge of Constitutional Law was recognised and admired by all the eminent scholars of India and abroad. Perhaps Dr. Munshi was more respected in this country as a a man of culture. In the Western countries, he was more appreciated for his great contribution through journalism and writings and through many volumes of India history which he had tried to get them written in 10 volumes of Indian history which he had tried to get them written in 10 volumes by the greatest historian of this country and this man of genius had a difference of opinion with other Indian Leaders, and that is why in the year 1952 he was appointed Governor by the Union Government. His main difference of opinion with the leaders at that time was that Dr. Munshi was more inclined towards the economic thoughts of Adam Smith's and Lord Keyne. He was very much against socialism he was very much against communism and against Marxism and Leninism and very much against anarchism. he was a followers of the capitalist economic thoughts. When I am referring to this, I am only referring to his economic thoughts. Whether the country accepts his belief or not. the name of Dr. Munshi will always remain in the annals of the Indian history as one of the greatest thinkers.

        So far as Nath Pai is concerned, I had the occasion of meeting him only once and of watching his speech in the Lok Sabha also on one occasion. In my opinion, he was one of the best orators of the day, perhaps he was a profound orator among the youngster politicians. He was respected for his knowledge he was respected for his eloquence and for his gentlemanliness. He was the champion of the poor. His name will always  be remembered by all Government employees because this man was always associated with the lots of the Government employees, especially, the lower sections of the employees. And more than that, he took interest also in the welfare of the youth, He was associated with the International Youth Organisation. Shri Nath Pai was a member of the U.N Human Rights Commission. His sudden and untimely death at the early age of 47 has deprived India of a great orator.

        Mr. T. Haraluy, I had the occasion of meeting only on two occasions during the our tour to Nagaland along with the Hon'ble Chief Minister and Mr. Nichols Roy and from that short and brief meeting that I had with him I could gather that he was always amiable, sweet and gentle and we he would capture the imagination of each and any person who would come to meet him. He was ready to accept anyone as his brother. And that was his main trait of his character.

        Of course, about Late B.P Chaliha, ex-Chief Minister of Assam. Each and every leader has had occasions of meeting him. But the last occasion that I met him some time in December when the announcement of the Prime Minister to give full statehood to Meghalaya which was welcomed by all sections of the people, I could not forget when Shri Chaliha said that though Meghalaya will be separated from Assam, yet my heart will always remain both in Meghalaya and in Assam ; and perhaps that is why is last wish was to have his body cemented in MEGHALAYA and his ashes be spread over the rivers of the plains, so that there should be exchange of hears between the people of the Meghalaya and the people of Assam for all time to come. I found him to be a man full fo sympathy full of loves as everybody has expressed. He would speak less, but mean more. he does not believe in making speech to justify this thing or that thing. But he believed that only through noble efforts can be a person be justified in the eyes of the public and the world. I whole heartedly join with the whole House to express my sentiment and bereavement over the death of this noble son of India. Before I adjourn the House, I have got the sense of all the hon. members that the House should record a condolence by adopting a resolution over the death of the Shri B.P. Chaliha, I think it is better to move the resolution from the Chair, I hope the House will agree that we pass a resolution now.


CONDOLENCE RESOLUTION

        "This House records a sense of profound sorrow at the sad and comparatively early demise of Shri Bimala Prasad Chaliha, Ex-Chief Minister of Assam and one of the outstanding personalities of modern India and conveys its heartfelt condolence and deep sympathy to the members of the bereaved family".

        Before I adjourn the House, let us stand in silence for two minutes as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

(The House stood in silence for two minutes)


ADJOURNMENT

        The House stand adjourned till 10.00 A.M on Tuesday, the 23rd March, 1971.

N.C Handique.

Dated Shillong,

Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,

The 22nd March 1971.

Shillong.

******