Proceedings of the Emergent Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9. a.m. on Monday, the 5th May, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair. 

Oath of the New Member

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin with the first item in the list of business for today, Oath or affirmation by new member under Article 188 of the Constitution of India. Will Shrimati M. D. Shira come forward to take he oath?

(Shrimati Miriam D. Shira took the Oath under Article 188 of the Constitution of India)


Announcement by the Speaker

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. I may inform the House that the Ministry of Home Affairs the Chief Minister, Meghalaya to summon the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the earliest for the  purpose of ratifying the Constitution (Thirty-Eight Amendment) Bill, 1975 relating to Sikkim as passed by the two Houses of Parliament. Accordingly, it was decided to summon the Assembly, on the 5th May, 1975. In accordance with Rule 230 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee was held on the 30th April, 1975 to consider this issue. Simultaneously, a draft Calendar detailing the business to be transacted during the ensuing Session of the  Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was prepared Committee. The Committee then considered the draft Calendar and approved the same. A copy of the Calendar for the meetings has been circulated to the hon. members.

        I hope this has the approval of the House. 

(Voices : Yes, yes)

Prof M. N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, but I have not received the Calendar. 

Mr. Speaker :- In fact, the Calendar is a very simple one. The hon. Member will get the Calendar. So let us pass on to the next item. The Chief Minister to lay the Constitution (Thirty-Eight Amendment) Bill, 1975 relating to Sikkim as passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

Laying of the Constitution (Thirty-eight Amendment) Bill. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister):-Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Constitution (Thirty Eight Amendment) Bill, 1975 relating to Sikkim passed by the two Houses of Parliament.


Mr. Speaker :- Now, the Chief Minister to initiate the obituary references. 

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

    Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishana, the philosopher-Statesman and former President of India, passed away on the 17th April, 1975 at the age of 86. 

        Born on 5th September, 1988, Dr. Radhakrishana took his M.A. from Madras University in 1909. He was, for some time, Professor of Philosophy at Presidency College, Madras and Mysore University. In 1921 he came to Calcutta University as King George V Professor of Philosophy. In 1926, he represented Calcutta University in the Empire Universities Congress at Cambridge. He was the first Indian and non-Oxonian to be invited to deliver the Upton Lectures in Oxford. His subject was 'Hindu view of life'. In 1929 he delivered the Hibbert lectures at Oxford. These lectures were later published as 'An Idealistic View of Life' which is regarded as his lost important work and as embodying his original contribution to religious thought.

        In 1931, he was knighted. He took over the Vice-Chancellorship of Andhra University in 1931. 

        From 1931 to 1939, he was on the League of Nations International Committee of Intellectual Co-operation. In 1936, Dr. Radhakrishana was appointed Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics in Oxford. In 1939 he was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the first Asian to join that body. In1939, Dr. Radhakrishana accepted the Vice-Chancellorship of Banaras Hindu University. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Uttar Pradesh in 1926. From 1946 to 1952 Dr. Radhakrishana led the Indian Delegation to the UNESCO. He was on that organization's Executive Board from 1946 to 1951, its Chairman in 1948-49 and presided over its General Conferences from 1952 to 1954.

        In 1954, Dr. Radhakrishana was awarded the Bharat Ratna and received the German 'Pour Le Merite' the same year. In 1949, he was appointed Ambassador to Moscow, the post he held till 1952, when he became the Vice President. In 1957, he was re-elected Vice President and in 1962 President of India. 

        The last award Dr. Radhakrishana received was the 1974 Templeton Foundation Prize for the progress in religion. 

        He published several books and  articles.

        In his death, the country has lost a great teacher, a philosopher, orator, author, diplomat and statesman. 

        Mr. Kahndubhai Desai, former Governor of Andhra Pradesh passed away on the 17th April, 1975 at the age of 77.

        Born in Bulsar, Gujarat in October, 1988, Mr. Kahndubhai Desai gave up his studies in 1920 to participate in the non-co-operation movement. He later graduated from the Gujarat Vidyapity. 

        In the early thirties, he joined the Trade Union movement and became General Secretary to the Textile Labour Association, Ahmedabad. 

        In1937,  he was elected to the Bombay Assembly. He was a member of the AICC between 1934 and 1952. Mr. Desai was included in the Congress Working Committee fro several years. He was imprisoned during the Quit India Movement in1944.

        In 1946 be became member of the Chairman Assembly and was elected in the subsequent general election to the Lok Sabha.

        He was the founder of the Indian National Trade Union Congress and become its President successively for three year. He was Union Minister for Labour between 1954 and 1957. 

        He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1959 and was Governor of Andra Pradesh between 1968 and 1973. 

        In his death, the country has lost an eminent patriot and a able administrator. 

        Among the distinguished women in India's public life during the last several decades Miss Padmaja Naidu occupied a pre-eminent position. Coming from an illustrious family, the emulated the example of her mother, Mrs. Sorojini Naidu and entered the struggle for freedom. She participated in the Quit India Movement and was jailed along with other patriots. After Independence, Miss Naidu was elected to the Parliament but she resigned her membership on account of her ill health. Subsequently, Miss Naidu was appointed Governor of West Bengal, and she held that high office for many years with great distinction. After relinquishing office as Governor, she continued to take active interest in social work. She played a leading role as Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society during the Bangladesh refugee operation. Miss Naidu was also associated with the Bahrat Sevak Samaj, All India Handcrafts Board and several other bodies. In recent years, she was on the Nehru Memorial Fund.

        Miss Naidu's death removes from the public life of the country a great patriot and supporter of many good causes, and she will always be remembered as a pioneering figure among Indian women who devoted their life to the public service.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself with the Leader of the House in paying homage to the great leaders of the country. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishana was not only one of the greatest philosophers and a great thinker of modern time but he was also an outstanding statesman. Mr. Speaker, Sir, even right upto his old age of 86 and throughout his life he had given valuable contribution to the whole world. In this context I would like to say that the richest legacy left behind by him will be a great benefit to mankind. Mr, Speaker Sir, I would also like to pay homage to Shri Kahndubhai Desai and Smti. Padmaja Naidu. Both were valiant fighters for the freedom of India. After Independence, as public leaders, they continued to render valuable services for the benefit of our country Mr. Speaker, Sir, we consider the passing away of these leaders as a great loss to our country.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself with the feelings of sorrow over the passing away of three eminent persons of India, viz, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishana, Shri Kahndubhai Desai and Miss Padmaja Naidu. We must, in particular, feel sorry for the passing away of Dr. Radhakrishana. As a man he was so eminent that it would be difficult for India to find another person to fill his place. I remember even in those days of the Hill State movement when we visited Delhi we had the privilege to meet the eminent statesman and scholar. As a man he was very alert and smart and gave us all sympathy, co-operation and support. Having been the first Indian to be the full-fledged Professor of Oxford University and also the first Asian to join the British Academy, further still even in the Christian world he was recognised by the Pope Paul VI who awarded him the Knight of the Golden Army of Angles and last year he was awarded the Templeton Foundation Prize. As a non-Christian he was the first person to receive these awards in recognition of his views on religion and philosophy. India has become so much poorer by the passing away of these great men and I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments and grief expressed at the passing away of Shri Kahndubhai Desai and Miss Padmaja Naidu. May their souls rest in peace. 

Mr. Speaker :- I share the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House, the Leader of the Opposition and other hon. Member on the sad demise of Dr. Sarvapali Radhkrishnan, Shri Khandubhai Dessai and Miss Padmaja Naidu. We have assembled here when the Nation has scarcely recovered from the shock and sorrow which have overburdened it. Very few Indians have been held in such a high esteem in the world arena of intellects as Dr. Radhakrishnan during the recent past. If the twentieth century has produced any Philosopher King as has been contemplated by the Great Philosopher Plato, I can say without any fear of of contradiction that it was Dr. Radhikrishnan. The House has been informed about the bio-data of Radhakrishnan from the references made by the leader of the House and Leader of the opposition and also by another hon. Member. But may I also have the privilege to remind the House that Dr. Radhakrishnan is perhaps one among the very few who has received the highest honours from the world Government, different institutions and different countries. You have heard that recently he had been awarded the Templeton Foundation Prize which is supposed to be similar to that of the award of Nobel Prize in the field of religion and during the British days, right back in 1931, he was knighted by the Emperor of India and it has been narrated also that even the Pope Paul VI awarded him the highest Vatican award known as Golden Spur in the year 1964. But it is true that it is difficult for any institution to offer him a very appropriate award for a giant like Dr. Radhakrishnan. Perhaps the most fitting award was the one given to him by Mongolia in 1957, the Master of Wisdom. As far as we are concerned, I think we have a very soft corner for the late Dr. Radhakrishnan. As pointed out by the hon. Members he was very sympathetic with our Hill State movement. He was very helpful also in the setting up of the North Eastern Hill University. On one occasion when we met him he uttered a word of surprise that Shillong did not have any University at that time; and he said - "How is that a place which had produced a very great colleague of mine like Dr. R.R. Thomas should not have a university? Dr. Radhakrishnan happened to be the closest friend of the late R.R. Thomas and I hope he had some soft corner for this particular area in this country. So Dr. Radhakrishnan not only glorified himself through his wisdom and achievements but glorified his motherland as well. Without him India is today a destitute and the void created by his death will perhaps remain un-replenished for generous to come.

        India is equally unfortunate to lose most outstanding personalities in Shri Khandubhai Desai and Shri Shrimati Padmaja Naidu. The contributions of Shri Desai towards India's freedom and Trade Union Movement and Shrimati Naidu's self-less services for the social upliftment of the masses will forever remain invaluable by the death of these noble Indian.

        We are all grateful and highly indebted for what they had done in the service of the Nation and today we bow down our heads in deep obeisance to these great souls and pay homage to their memories. 

        I now request the hon. Members to be on their feet and observe two minutes' silence as a mark of respect to the deceased. May God grant them eternal rest and peace and fortitude to the members of their bereaved families.

(The House observed two minutes' silence)


        Since there is no other business for today, the House stand adjourned till 9.00 A.M. on Tuesday, the 6th may, 1975.


Dated Shillong


The 5th may, 1975.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.