Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9-30 A.M. on Tuesday, the 7th June 1977, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the hon. Speaker in the chair.

Mr. Speaker :- Let is begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question No. 48.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

( Replies to which were laid on the Table )

Revised Pay Scales for deficit College Staff

Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :

48.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of deficit colleges in the State ?

(b)

What is the revised scale of pay for the Grade III staff of such colleges ?

(c)

How many such colleges have paid the Grade III staff according to the revised scale of pay ?

(d)

The reasons why Synod College, Shillong, is not paying the Grade III staff according to the revised scale of pay ?

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) replied :

48.(a)

-7 (seven) Nos.

(b)

(1) L.D. Asstt - Rs. 240-5-265-E. B-7-335-E. B.-9-380 per mensem.

(2) U.D. Asstt

 Rs. 350-10-400 E. B.-15-500 per mensem.

(3) U.D. Asstt. -cum - Accountant.

(4) Librarian - Rs. 325-15-400-E. B.-16-560-E. B.-18-560 per mensem.

(c)

None have so far paid since the revised scales were sanctioned by Government only recently.

(d)

Does not arise.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What are the names of those deficit colleges ?

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) :- Shillong College, St. Anthony College, St Edmund's College and Sankardev College.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is there any proposal to begin more colleges under the deficit system?

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) :- No.

Shri H. Hadem :- Sir, 48 (c). Since when ?

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, in-charge of Education) :- Since 1st April 1975.

Lease of Alcyone Property

Shri W. Syiemiong asked :

49.

Will the Minister-in-charge, of Revenue be pleased to state -

(a)

The date when the lease of Alcyone property around Morelle Building in Shillong expired ?

(b)

Whether the property has since reverted to the Government ?

(c)

What is the area of this property ?

(d)

Whether it is a fact the previous lessee has taken over the property again ?

(e)

If so, why ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) asked :

49.(a)

-30th June 1973.

(b)

On determination of the lease the Government re-entered possession on 21st November, 1975.

(c)

1.21875 acres.

(d)&(e)

The previous lessee has not taken over the property again. However, orders were passed on 15th November, 1976 to resettle the lease with him

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Forty-nine (d) and (e). Sir, may we know as to who has taken over the property ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Sir, the answer is clear. The previous lessee has not taken over the property again.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- My point is that if the order of resettlement has been taken up ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- The lease is under preparation and the terms of settlement are also under preparation.

Shri H. Hadem :- Is the total area of settlement 1,21875 ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, unfortunately we had given the area according to the previous lessee.

Mr. Speaker :- Is in terms of hectares ?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, 49 (d). May we know the names of the previous lessee ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Shri R. Goenka.

Shri H. Hadem :- What is the total area of resettlement with that lessee ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- 1.21875 acres.

Payment of Land Compensation

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

50.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to state -

(a) 

Whether land compensation for the following roads has been paid, and if so, when -

(i) Balat-Ryngku-Shell Road,

(ii) Mawsynram-Thieddieng Road,

(iii) Mawsynram-Syntein Road,

(iv) Part of M.B. Road, in Trongpleng area ?

(b)

If not, the reasons thereof ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) replied :

50.

(i) (a) No Declaration under section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act is yet to be punished.

(ii) No. Land Acquisition proceedings are yet to be started.

(iii) Yes. In 1974.

(iv) This portion of the road was constructed during 1954-55 of the composite State of Assam and payment of the compensation was made in 1955-56.

(b) As mentioned against (a) above.

Shri P.R. KYNDIAH :- Sir, 50 (ii). What is the difficulty in starting the proceedings of the land acquisition ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Funds have been received and now it is at the disposal of the Collector for some time back Mr. Speaker, Sir, and there is no more difficulty in making declaration of starting proceedings of the land acquisition.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- May we know when it is expected to start ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- As soon as possible.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, will the Minister be more precise ?

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Minister is aware that they should be precise while replying in the House. If you are not in a position to reply you may ask for notice.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Sir, I require notice.

Shri S.P. Swer :- 50 (iii). Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether possession of the land has been taken by the Public Works Department for the construction of Mawsynram - Syntein Road ?

Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Some portion of the road have already been started and in there portions advance possession of the land has already been taken.

Officers serving in the District and other Jails in the State 

Prof. M.N. Majaw asked :

51.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Jails be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of officers serving at the district and other Jails in the State ?

(b)

Whether any of them have had training in criminology, educational and social physiology, or in any other field directly related to the care and rehabilitation of criminals and prisoners ?

(c)

If so, how many ?

(d)

If not, why not ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) replied :

51.

(a) Ten.

(b) Yes.

(c) One.

(d) Does not arise.

Shri H. Hadem :- 51 (b). Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether there is a proposal to have more officers trained in education and social physiology ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) :- Yes, Sir.

Shri H. Hadem :- When do those other nine officers go for training ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) :- At present we have a proposal for sending two officers to have this training course ?

Shri H. Hadem :- Where is that training institute ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) :- Tata Sociological Institute, Bombay.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What kind of training do they impart ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) :- Training is imparted in criminology, educational and social physiology.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- 51 (c). What post does this officer hold ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) :- Civil Surgeon, Tura. He is also the Superintendent of Jails.

Prisoners at District Jail

Prof. M.N. Majaw asked :

52.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Jails be pleased to state -

(a)

The average number of prisoners at the District Jail, Shillong during 1976-77 ?

(b) 

Whether this number is in excess of what has been laid down by the Assam Jail Manual for the accommodation of prisoners within the specified areas in the Jail ?

(c)

Whether there is a dining hall for the prisoners ?

(d)

If not, where do they have their meals ?

(e)

Whether there are sufficient number of bathrooms and lavatories for the prisoners ?

(f)

Whether indoor and outdoor games and a reading - cum - recreation room have been provided for the prisoners ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, in-charge of Jails) replied :

52.

(a) 275 (Two hundred and seventy-five).

(b) Yes.

(c) No.

(d) In an open pace in front of the barracks.

(e) Yes.

(f) There are indoor and outdoor games. There is no reading-cum-recreation room.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- What happens when it rains as it is today ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- There is space outside the main building where they can stand when it rains.

Shri S.P. Swer :- 52 (b). Whether there is any proposal to extend the jail for accommodation of extra prisoners ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- There is a proposal to shift the jail to a better site because there is no land sufficient for expansion of the existing jails. The question is under process.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- What steps have been taken so far to complete the Jail Manual ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- A State Advisory Committee has been constituted on 25th February 1977 to prepare a Jail Manual of our own under the guidance of the Central Jail Manual.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 52 (f). Whether there is any proposal to construct a reading-cum-recreation room ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- Since there is very much congestion for want of sufficient land, this will be considered along with the proposed jail in the new site ?

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- 52 (e). How many bathrooms are there ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- I require notice.

Shri H. Hadem :- 52 (b). What facilities were given to the political prisoners ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- There were book and newspapers to read, a radio and some indoor games.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- 52 (b). May we know the policy of the Government whether the jail is a place for comfort and enjoyment or a place for punishment ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :-We will have to do according to the provisions of the Jail Manual. As such, we would not treat it as a place of comfort.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- That is not the answer. What about the policy ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- That has been done according to the provisions provided under the Jail Manual and what type of punishment to be given and what type of diet to be provided according to the provisions of the Manual.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, the provisions of the Jail Manual must be based on a certain policy. I would like to know the policy behind these provisions whether it is a policy for punishment or a place of enjoyment ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Jail is only a shelter ....

Mr. Speaker :- You need not reply. Actually, questions are meant to seek information from the Government. So far as policy matters are concerned, that is always the practice.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- (b) When was the Assam Jail Manual published first ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- In 1899.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 52 (c) Where do the prisoners have their meals ?

Mr. Speaker :- The answer is there 'in the open space.'

Jail Building at Williamnagar

Shri C.A. Sangma asked :

53. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of Jails be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government propose to construct the Jail building at Williamnagar within the current year ?

(b)

If so, when will the work start ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) replied :

53.(a)

A proposal for construction of Jail at Williamnagar is under active consideration of Government.

(b)

The construction will be taken up as soon as the requisite funds for the purpose are available.

Shri Jackman Marak :- At present is there any Jail building in Williamnagar ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) :- Not yet.

Shillong Beautification Scheme

Shri D. Lyngdoh asked :

54.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Town and Country Planning be pleased to state -

(a)

The amount spent for the beautification of Shillong Town during the last two financial years ?

(b)

Whether it is fact that Government propose to remove and dismantle public memorial like Mot Phran at Barabazar, etc?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that expansions and improvement of road, lanes and bye-lanes are also included in the Shillong beautification scheme ?

(d)

If so, how many such roads, and bye-lanes were taken up during the last two years ?

Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, in-charge, Town and Country Planning) replied :

54.(a)

1975-76 = Rs. 2,18,731.87

1976-77 = Rs.    84,508.00

      Total     ...       Rs. 3,03,239.87

(b)

No.

(c)

Yes.

(d)

Road - 7 Nos.
Land/bye-lane - 8 Nos.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE RANIKOR BRIDGE

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

55.

Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the construction of the Ranikor Bridge has been allotted to M/s Sekhar and Company ?

(b)

If the answer be in the affirmative, the reason why the work has not been started up till now ?

(c)

What is the amount of money paid in advance to the said Company and what steps Government are going to take to ensure that public money is not wasted ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge, of P.W.D. etc.,) replied :

55.(a)

The construction of Ranikor Bridge was allotted to M/s Sekhar and Company on 25th January 1969 by the composite State of Assam.

(b)

The contract was subsequently rescinded as the contractor failed to show any satisfactory progress.

(c)

Rupees 3,51,657.80 was paid to the contractor by the composite State of Assam, being the 75 percent of the cost of materials as per the terms of the contract. Security Deposit amounting to Rs. 96,843 furnished as bank guarantee has been forfeited and steps have been taken for recovery of the said amount.

Shri H. Hadem :- 55 (c) whether those materials were brought at site ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Some of the materials were brought to Balat and Ranikor.

Foot-patch alongside the bridge at Mylliem

Shri Jormanik Syiem asked :

56.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government have given up the idea of constructing a foot-path alongside the bridge at Mylliem ?

(b)

Whether an alternative proposal has been made in lieu of the foot path in the above bridge ?

(c)

If the answer to (b) above be in the affirmative, when will the alternative proposal be implemented ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department, etc.) replied :

56.

(a) Yes.

(b) The existing bridge is proposed to be reconstructed with provision of 1.5 M, wide foot-path on either side.

(c) As soon as Ministry of Shipping and Transport, Government of India, sanction the estimate.

Shri Jormanik Syiem :- 56 (c), when can we expect the reconstruction of this Bridge ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- As soon as we get the sanction from the Government of India.

Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Can we have some idea ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- How can I give the idea of another Government.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- When did the Government communicate the proposal to the Ministry of Shipping and Transport ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- We have already submitted our estimate.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- When ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- On 30th March, 1977.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- What is the amount of the proposed estimate ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- I want notice for that question.


Calling Attention

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Prof. Majaw to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54.

Prof. M.M. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to a news item appearing in "U Kyrwoh ka Rilum", dated 18th May, 1977 under the caption "KA MEGHALAYA HOUSE HA CALCUTTA".

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Chief Minister make a statement ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government of Meghalaya has framed a set of rules regulating the the occupation of the Meghalaya Houses at Calcutta and New Delhi vide No. GA.152/74/86 dated 25th March 1976, and in the Appendix I do the said Rules a list of those entitled to the use of the Guest House has been arranged in order of priority. Of course, this has since been modified. Requisition from those mentioned in the said Appendix for allotment of a seat should be addressed, as far as in practicable, on week before the date of intended occupation, to the Trade Adviser, Calcutta in respect of the Meghalaya House at Calcutta. The rules also provide for allotment of accommodation to officials and non-officials not included in the Appendix and requisition for accommodation stating clearly the purpose and period of stay has to be addressed to Government in the General Administration Department at lease ten clear days before the date of intended occupation. In allowing accommodation due regard is to be given to the order of priority as stated in the Appendix and the needs and circumstances of each case.

        From time to time requests have been received from "non-officials" for residing in Meghalaya House at Calcutta. These non-officials come from all walks of life and represent different communities. Except in a few stray cases, Government has allowed accommodation without any discrimination whatsoever and without also insisting on the time limit above.

        Out of urgency or due to ignorance of the rules, some people had approached the Trade Adviser, Calcutta direct for a seat in the Meghalaya House and from the monthly reports received from the Trade Adviser it is evidently clear that accommodation was given even though technically accommodation could have been refused or the case first referred to the Government for a decision under the rules. The officer in charge of the Meghalaya House is required to ensure smooth functioning and maintain a standard of discipline in the day to day management of the Guest House and it may be that in the discharge of his duties some of his words or utterances were misunderstood or misinterpreted.

        It is a fact that complaints have been received by the Government alleging anti-tribal attitude of the present Trade Adviser and Director of Movements and the Government is enquiring into the matter.

        The General Secretary of the Calcutta and Meghalaya Bearers' Association has also leveled charge against the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta of misbehaviour and harassment to the 4th Grade Staff of the Guest House and the complaints is receiving attention of the Government.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, by way of clarification, may we know whether periodical checks are made of the registers of visitors of the Meghalaya House to be able to ensure that due accommodation is given to the people of the State under the rules ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are getting reports on this matter and we know how the allotment of seats is made in the Meghalaya House there.


Private Members' Bill

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to Item No. 3. Shri S.P. Swer to beg to leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I beg leave of the House to introduce the Bill. I would like to make my submission in brief about this Bill.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, without having the leave of the House if the hon. Member is going to make his submission before the House, then how can we make a statement.

Mr. Speaker :- The statement can be made at the consideration stage but at first, leave of the House has to be sought.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, he has to convince the House why he has begged leave of the House.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,  beg leave of the House to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the  Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I just have a few words here in order to find out whether anybody has approached the Government about the bill ?

Mr. Speaker :- Nobody has approached. So, the motion is carried. Now I ask the hon. Member to introduce the Bill.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I beg to introduce the  Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977 be introduced.

( The motion was carried )

( The Secretary read out the title of the Bill )

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us pass on to the Item No. 4. Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister of Revenue, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before leave is granted, I want to make a few observation in this regard. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, a similar bill has already been introduced by the Government with regard to some important matters. Now Sir, with regard to the aims and objects of the two Bills they are more or less the same. The underlying aim and object of the two Bills i.e. the Government Bill and the present Bill are both for the protection of the tribal people, to protect them from exploitation, i.e. that their rights and interests even their lands are not exploited. Sir, now in this connection I would submit that this restriction is actually a curtailment on the liberty which is one of the fundamental rights under the Constitution of India and according to which citizens have a right to move freely throughout to the territory of India, to acquire the right to hold and dispose off property. So, Sir, it is curtailment of the freedom of the disposal of property and also curtailment of the right to acquire and to hold the property and dispose it off Sir, in this connection, I would like to submit before the House that the framers of the Constitution have considered it proper that the weaker sections of the population of India must be protected. They want that the weaker sections of the population of India i.e. specially the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to grow according to their genius. Therefore, Sir restrictions have been allowed with regard to the enforcement of this right when it is for the interest of the tribal people. So, Sir, in the Constitution Clause 5 of Article 19 clearly defines that the State Government may make laws imposing reasonable restrictions on the excessive of the rights of freedom of movement, residence, settlement acquisition and disposal of property, in the interest of the general public or for protection of the interest of any Scheduled Tribes Sir, such restrictions must be reasonable and not arbitrary or not excessive. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir in this connection I would submit that with regard to the Bill that has been brought forward by the Hon. Member from Mawkyrwat - it speaks of total prohibition to the disposal of land from tribal to non-tribal and about the transfer of land from tribal to tribal there is no such restriction. From this Act it is clear that a tribal can transfer, and sell his landed property to a tribal but a non-tribal cannot sell or dispose off his immovable property even with the prior permission from the competent authority. So Sir, there is no scope whatsoever for the transfer of the property between tribals and non-tribals. So it seems quite arbitrary according to the Constitution. Further, Mr. Speaker Sir what is most important is the interest of the aggrieved party which must be taken into consideration. In this connection let me say Mr. Speaker Sir, that the land is most valuable property to a tribal, and since the land is most valuable property to a tribal, a tribal will never sell his land unless he is in great hardships. Without trouble he will not sell his land which is the last resort like when he is not able to pay his debts. But Sir, here according to the provisions of this Act a tribal will not be able to dispose off his property even when he is in real need to dispose it off. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, so far as the Government bill is concerned in regard to the land, if a tribal wants to sell his land and if he cannot get a tribal purchaser in that case Government will have the full power to take over that land.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I just raise a point of order at this stage that a full discussion be made according to Rule 17. What the Minister, Revenue was intending to do is this House is rather going at length into the merits and demerits of the Bill which will come at the consideration stage. Therefore, I would suggest that this Bill may be introduced and then we shall have a thorough discussion. Not only two members will speak for which the rules provided but I will also like to discuss on this very important Bill which I say the Government has failed in bringing the amendments in this Bill. Therefore, let us discuss this at the last stage on the reasonableness of the matter on which the Minister has brought forward. I would request the Government to let us discuss this Bill at the consideration stage.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually the hon. Member does not raise a point of order. It is only a request.

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh :- It is a brief note.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, why we are not allowing it is because we are objecting to the very principle of the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually here the contention of the Minister-in-charge of Law and Revenue is that they objected to leave being granted to a number of Bills. One, is that the Bill seems to be unconstitutional; secondly, that the Bill is integrated in the Government Bill and thirdly, it seems to intend to go against the fundamental rights of the Constitution.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the Minister of revenue is standing to make observation on the Bill, I, as member in-charge of the Bill, may be allowed to make a statement as per Rule 70 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Speaker :- When the Minister is objecting to it why do you intend to beg leave of the House ?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the first instance I understand that the Minister of Revenue is objecting to the principle of the Bill. He said that it is unconstitutional while he himself has stated rightly that it is quite constitutional because in accordance with Clause (5) of Article 19 there is a provision in which certain restrictions rather the right to acquire, hold or dispose of property has been restrained for the benefit of the interest of the Schedule Tribe. I will also take the same stand that is, the intention of this Government is not to deprive anybody to transfer the land but to protect the scheduled tribe. The scheduled tribe being a very weak section of the community and the whole country also realises this that they are to be protected and so what protection is there unless his land is protected. If I may remind the House, the Congress Government in the Centre had since a very long time been issuing from time to time directives to look to the welfare of the Scheduled Tribe and if I remember a right Sir, even in the last few years during the emergency the Central Government have issued the new economic programmes that the land which has been alienated from the tribal and has been taken by the non-tribal at the price should be restored to them (the tribals). So I do not see that there is anything here which is really unconstitutional. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would not only refer to this fundamental right itself as it has to a certain extent been restrained or curtailed that is to acquire or hold properties by this Clause (5) under Article 19. Moreover, the Constitution itself has empowered the Governor of the State to make regulation to prohibit or restrict the transfer of land in the scheduled area of the State. If we look at sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 5 of the Sixth Schedule it has stated these things, that the Governor of the State can make regulations to prohibit or restrict the transfer of land. So my intention when I ask for permission to introduce the Bill is to have this sort of restriction incorporated in the Act to be in line with the constitutional provisions. You say that it is unconstitutional but I say it is quite constitutional and that is why I intend to introduce the Bill because according to my information, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the contention of the Hon'ble Minister, Revenue is that you have denied the rights of the tribals to dispose of or transfer his properly. Through this Bill, I seek protection from alienation of tribal lands by any other communities which may amount to exploitation and which the Constitution itself has provided. But the intention of the Bill was not that it should bar them to transfer the land. He can transfer the land. He can transfer the land only to another tribal. There is another provision which says that the land which has been held by a non-tribal should not be transferred to a non-tribal except with the previous sanction of the competent authority. We know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that originally all the lands in the hill areas belonged to the tribals except in the border areas of Assam. During all these years because of the lack of protection of the tribals, the lands were alienated and the non-tribals are holding these lands. These lands should be regulated by certain legislation which presupposes that these tribal lands should be protected by such Amendment bill as originally envisaged in the main Act. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg the Government not to oppose the Bill at this stage as the hon. member from Nongthymmai has stated at least good gesture should be shown to us to introduce the Bill and to discuss in detail, at the consideration stage, the merits and demerits of the Bill. I would, therefore, request that I may be allowed to introduce the Bill.

( Shri S.N. Koch rose to speak ).

Mr. Speaker :- No, no, no. If you want to discuss the Bill, perhaps I may ask the ruling party to make a good gesture. If you want to oppose, it is to be rejected according to the procedure. Now, Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1977.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1977.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 1977. (The motion was negatived).

        Let us come to the next item. Mr. S.D. Khongwir to move Motion No.1.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss about the measures for the protection and development of the tribal people of the State. 


MOTIONS

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, you can initiate the discussion.

* Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is not a new subject for the last 5 or 6 years in this very House itself, we have had ample opportunity to discuss about this very important subject - the protection of the tribal people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, even during the current session of the Assembly, several hon. members have discussed this at length and also from the Government side, the Chief Minister himself in the course of his reply had also discussed about this very important question. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, we may ask what are the reasons that this subject should focus the attention or should be the concern of almost each and every member of this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not only the hon. members of this august House that are concerned about this matter, but the whole tribal people are very much concerned about this question. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is well concerned about this question. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is well known that because of our distinct culture, we have got our own customs and practices, we have got our own identity, individuality and because of that, we wanted to preserve our distinctiveness and our individuality as the tribal people in this country. That is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are very much concerned about this matter and in so far as I am concerned, I am never tired to discuss about this. This is not the first occasion for me to discuss this matter but this may be the second or third occasion in so far as I am concerned. As we have just had the occasion to discuss a couple of minutes ago, the Constitution of our country recommends the distinctiveness of the tribal people and that is why there are provisions in the Constitution regarding the preservation and protection of the hill people. In the Constitution, we acquire a very significant and important place. The position or the question of the tribal people figured very prominently in the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly itself and Mr. Speaker, Sir, at this juncture, I would like to refresh our memories from the Report of the Bordoloi Committee. With your permission, Sir, I would like to read out certain paragraphs from this report. In one of the paragraphs, it says "The fear of exploitation by the people of the plains on account of their superior organisation and experience of business, the hill people fear that if suitable provisions are not made to prevent the people of the plains from acquiring land in the hill areas, large numbers of them will settle down and not only occupy land belonging to the hills people but will also exploit them in the non-agricultural professions. Thus, the hill people seem to attach special value to the present system of an 'Inner Line'. It is felt that even industries should not be started in the hill areas by non-tribals because that might mean exploitation of the people and the land by the non-tribals. In addition to these main points, there is the question of prevailing their ways of life and language, and methods of cultivation etc".

        Again another paragraph says - "The anxiety of the hill people about their land and their fear of exploitation are undoubtedly matters for making special provisions; it has been the experience in other parts of India and in other countries' that unless protection is giving land is taken by people from the more advanced and crowded areas. The question has already acquired serious propositions in the plains portions of Assam and the pressure of population from outside has brought it up as a serious problem which in the next few years may be expected to become very much more acute. There seems to be no doubt whatever therefore that the hill people should have the largest possible measure of protection for their land and provisions for the control of immigration into their areas for agricultural or non-agricultural purposes".

        The hill people, as remarked earlier, are extremely nervous of outsiders, particularly non-tribals, and feel that they are greatly in need of protection against their encroachment and exploitation. It is on account of this fear that they attach considerable value to regulations like the Chin Hills Regulation under which an outsider could be required to possess a pass to enter the Hill Territory beyond the Inner Line and an undesirable person could be expelled.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the basis of this report of the Committee and also through the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly itself, as I have already stated earlier, the Sixth Schedule became part and parcel of the Constitution of India. According to Article 244, Clause (I) of the Constitution, it is provided that it shall apply to the administration of Assam, Meghalaya and the Union Territory of Mizoram. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the course of his reply to the Budget discussions, the Chief Minister has made a statement or rather has contended that the provisions of the Sixth Schedule are quite adequate.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No, I did not say so.

Mr. Speaker :- He said the officers at Delhi said that the Sixth Schedule contains adequate provisions for the protection of the tribal people.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I said that the officers at Delhi have wanted to incorporate Article 371 A i.e. a special provision to be made but it was found not required in view of the present situation.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- It means the power of Delhi which say that the provisions of the Sixth Schedule are quite adequate to meet the situation in so far as protection of the tribals is concerned. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel in my humble capacity, while going through the provisions of the Sixth Schedule, I should agree with the views expressed, let it be of Delhi or from anywhere else that the Sixth Schedule contains adequate provisions for the protection of the hill people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, just now, we have had quite a full discussion on another provision of the Constitution, Article 19, Clause (5). I will read it just to refresh our memory Mr. Speaker, Sir. Clause (5) of Article 19 says 'Nothing in sub-clauses (d), (e) and (f) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes or prevents the State from making any law imposing reasonable restriction, while exercising any rights conferred by the said Sub-clause either for the interest of the general public or for the protection of the interest of any scheduled tribe." Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very very difficult to define these two words 'reasonable restriction' because reasonable restriction is always subject to the supervision of the Court and determination of the Legislature is not always final and conclusive. Just a couple of minutes ago we have had discussion on this particular Article. It is about imposition of reasonable restrictions. But it is very difficult if from our side we reply on this particular provision of the Constitution and that is why some time last year, we had gone together to Delhi for the incorporation of this new Article 371 Clause 9 for the interest of the tribal people. We consider that this provision either in this Article 19 (5) or the provisions of the Sixth Schedule are not, in my opinion, adequate for the protection of the Hills people. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not tarry long in the realm of Constitutional complicacy because I know there are some other hon. Members here who would like to interpret the Constitution with more force, but I will deal only with some other portions of my motion. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as this provision of the Constitution is concerned, I would like to suggest to the Government to kindly examine this because they have got the machinery and they can set their machinery at work and try to really find out whether the existing provisions of either Article 19 (5) or of the Sixth Schedule are really adequate for the protection of the interest of the tribal people and if they find that this provision is not adequate enough or strong enough to protect the interest of the Hills tribal people, the Government should not hesitate to invite us also to cooperate with them so that we can once again go together to Delhi and press the Central Government for a suitable amendment to the Constitution so that our interest can be better protected. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the stage of nervousness of the Hills people on the outsiders or the non-tribals. I would only like to direct our memory to the condition of our State 27 years ago, say in 1948 1949 or 1950. For example Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to our capital city of Shillong; in 1961 the total non-tribal population was only to the extent of about 50,000 including the cantonment area. But now Mr. Speaker, Sir, after a lapse of about 10 years the total non-tribal population in the capital city of Shillong has risen to about 86,000 or 89,000 including the cantonment area according to the 1971 census. So these figures Mr. Speaker, Sir are very frightening indeed and if we continue in this pace Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we cannot effect real protection for our people against exploitation of our land, we cannot really effect better protection for our people. I am afraid Mr. Speaker, Sir, we may be like the gibeonite condemned to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we may like to ask ourselves how they should be protected in order to preserve them in a democracy. Mr. Speaker, Sir, democracy necessarily means the majority and once the majority is forfeited, democracy will lose its significance socially and in the political context. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no doubt that constitutional protection is the safest and the surest. But apart from this protection other steps should be taken to develop the hills people socially and economically. I feel that we should try to develop ourselves so that we can reach a certain stage of development in the course of a few years so that we may be in a position as tribal people to combat any force that tends to damage or tends to destroy us.

( At this Stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair )

        In this connection I would like to suggest some measures for the development of the Hills people themselves. I am convinced Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that vigorous measures are needed and necessary for the tribal people to preserve themselves. Now it is necessary for us, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we should try our level best to see that we are developed, we are strengthened so that as I have said earlier to combat the forces that are against us and if we resort to these measures of development, I am sure that the increase of outsiders will be minimised. In the sphere of business activities Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the entire House will agree with me that most of our tribal people are not business-minded. We have seen the conditions in the very popular business areas in our State for example at 'Iewduh', or see the market 'Iawmusiang' at Jowai or even if you go to Tura at the market place you will hardly find out tribal people doing business. We know for a fact that at 'Iewduh' the owners of those shops, those stalls are the tribals but who is carrying on the business ? It is the non-tribals. When I last visited Tura I saw that the District Council of Garo Hills had constructed those beautiful buildings and allotted to say, Mr. Sangma, Mr. Marak, Mr. Momin or any Garo family for their interest and what do we find in those shops ? The ownership may still belong to the tribal people, the Garo families but the management of the shops now is under the hands of the non-tribals. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my early discussion on the same subject I have already given a note of warning to the Government as well as to our own people that we have to be very careful in so far as the new Sub-divisions and new District headquarters are concerned. The Hon'ble Minister, the Member from Nongstoin who is not here now, will bear me out that in a couple of years ago when I had been to Nongstoin I just could not believe the number of non-tribals who are there in business. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so we have to be very careful in this connection because I still contend that the major interest or the major entry of outsiders into our State, into our hills is through business. This is the main conduct of the people from outside to come and settle for business in our State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what protection, what constitutional protection do we have in so far as these trades are concerned. There is only one paragraph in the Sixth Schedule which says that the District Council may prescribe that no person who is not a member of the Scheduled Tribe, resident of the District shall carry on business in any manner except under license issued to them by the District Council.' Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that I do not know about other District Councils, but looking around from the conditions in this District Council I feel that may be the District Councils according to this provision of the Sixth Schedule are not well equipped. They are not strong. The provision is not strong enough for the District Council to deal with this very important question, because, as we have seen in other areas in the District any non-tribal who just wants to start any shop can de so because if you go to places like Umsning, Nongpoh and Umling you will find that without a valid license from the District Council the non-tribals will start their business. But when the District Council tried to stop, it finds that under the provisions of the Regulation it is very difficult to implement.

        So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest to the Government to kindly sit together and consult with the District Councils in so far as this trading by non-tribals is concerned. Another point Sir, that I would like to say a few words in so far as this preferential treatment to the tribal contractors and businessmen is concerned. Now, the percentage of the preferential treatment is 7 per cent and that too, to the extent of a total value of 50,000 of the contract work. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the last occasion, I have suggested that this percentage may be raised from 7 per cent to 10 per cent. But I would hasten to say in this connection that sometimes, I find that this preferential treatment usually falls in the wrong coffer, it goes to the wrong pockets. Instead, this preferential treatment this benefit that is being given to the tribal contractor, sometimes goes to the wrong hands. The non-tribal businessmen and contractors are enjoying, this 7 per cent preferential treatment. I do not know whether the Government are aware of this or not. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we cannot check the trend of this particular treatment that we are offering to the tribals my suggestion is to raise the percentage from 7 per cent to 10. It will be of no value to the tribals if we cannot check it. The intention of the Government in giving this treatment is for the interest of the tribals. But in the day to day administration and day to day working in the different departments of the Government, we find that it is not the tribals who benefit but it is the non-tribals. You know Sir, sometimes the tribal is selling his name for the benefit of a few rupees. They call it in legal parlance "benami". We sell our names for a few rupees. 

        Another point Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would fully agree with the Chief Minister when he said that we should encourage our people to take up small and cottage industries. I quite agree with the Chief Minister and also I would advocate the idea of encouraging our people to take up these small and cottage industries. I would suggest to the Government to extend all technical and financial assistance to those people who want to take up these trades. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another point that I would like to say that if we cannot check on the influx of outsiders, it will be a very dangerous inlet, another dangerous inlet for tribals in this State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, a few years ago, may be in 1972-73, we have had a prolonged discussion on this matter and the Government we know, have adopted certain policy for reservation of the tribal people viz-a-viz. other communities. But I would like to remind the Government of the discussion that we have had about three or four years ago about the recruitment of tribal youths in the the Central Government offices. We find Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in most of these offices, the majority of the employee are not the tribal youths, the Khasis, Garos or the Jaintias. But there are of different communities and to our knowledge Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of those people are really outsiders. They have just come from outside the State for getting employment in the Central Government offices here in Shillong. I understand this is not a subject matter of the State Government. But I think under the good offices of the State Government, this matter could be taken up even with the Central Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very sorry that I am to say a few words about the attitude of the Government. Sometimes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it appears from the action of the Government that the Government is anti-tribals. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to be frank especially with the Leader of the House. There are some persons who have just made a remark that the Chief Minister himself is anti-tribal. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is just a talk, I will hasten to clarify and say that I do not believe that the Chief Minister of the State of Meghalaya is anti-tribal. This is not my contention Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir. But as I have stated I would like to be very frank with the Chief Minister, the Leader of the House so that he will understand the feeling of the people. If I do not volunteer to give him this information, may be the Chief Minister may pull me up, and say if you have heard these kinds of things why don't you co-operate and bring them to the notice of Chief Minister. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have just come up with this information that I have heard from certain quarters that the Chief Minister is anti-tribal. I do not believe. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, speaking about the attitude, I cannot help the particular attitude of the Government. On that day I moved my cut motion under the head of revenue, it has disappointed me very much Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I spoke about the obnoxious patta system, I really was very much annoyed at the attitude. Of course, it is the joint responsibility, I would not say the Minister-in-charge of Revenue. But I will say the Government, the attitude of the Government has led me to believe, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Government are serving as a mechanism by which 'ri kynti' land owners can perpetuate and exploit the people. It has led me to believe like that because the attitude of the Government is so far as this obnoxious system and practice are concerned Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. If the Government challenge, if they pose a challenge to me, the hon. Member from Mawlai and if they day 'prove' give me time, 24 hours time I require and we will come to the room of the Chief Minister himself on any day he appoints. I will prove that this system is an exploitation of the people by the land owners.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would inform the hon. Member that on the day I made the statement as proposed by the hon. member the Bill will be prepared in consultation with the District Councils and the experts. I have stated about this matter.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we care to read my speech in connection with the cut motion, I have never uttered a single word regarding the Bill that is being prepared by Government at that time. I have never uttered, not a single word, on the Bill hoping, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because I know the Bill .....   

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- If I am correct, the hon. Member himself has suggested to bring the Bill within this session.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- When I suggested to bring that Bill, I did not say to bring that Bill which is being brought. That was very wrong. I simply suggested that the Government may bring a Bill in this current session of the Assembly itself. I never referred to that Bill because I also am one of the members of that sub-committee.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also not referred to that Bill. I said that a Bill will be prepared in consultation with the District Council and the legal experts. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Let us not argue on that Bill. Otherwise it will be more than enough. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since it has been a very long pending case. I do not know in Garo Hills what is the system that is prevailing. But in so far as our areas are concerned for years together we have been suffering from this system. That is why I was a little bit zealous to bring the Bill within the current session itself. In the course of my discussion on the subject, it might appear that we have been speaking may be, against our friends, the non-tribals. But actually it is not so, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The only thing is that we are trying to emphasise the importance of protection of the tribal people without any rancour or malice to the other sessions of the community but as I said, with charity toward all. There are some loose talks in some sections of the non-tribals that we are fighting a case for the tribal people. Some say it is a communal, or something like that. But I would like to clarify, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that it is a very wrong interpretation because usually I am not fighting only for the interest of the tribals. The Constitution itself is not communal. So in that context, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are not communal. So in that context, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are not communal. We simply try to fight to preserve their identity. Before I conclude I would like to put a question to myself. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what have I done to preserve or protect the interest of the tribals ? What have we done, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what have the tribal people done to fight and protect their identity. I have made a reference earlier that shops have been given to the Garos to the Khynriam and Pnars. What have they done with those shops. I call upon the tribal people to go to this important point. Of course, I am not speaking against the non-tribals. But would like to inject this idea into our own tribal people. Are we hard-working? Are we answerable to what we have done ? Suppose I am here to decide to set up a business at Calcutta or at Gauhati, do you think I will succeed ? No, I will never succeed. But somebody else from outside comes here and starts business here in Meghalaya. Definitely 100 per cent they will succeed. Why ? Because we are not hard working enough as a community. I call upon all of us, let us strengthen our policemen so that when anybody comes to attack us we will be strong enough to protect ourselves, then everything will be alright. The tribals will be strengthened and the identity will be continued. And no other outside force can do us any harm. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, after listening to the speech of the mover of the motion I hardly have anything to say. Nevertheless, the motion before the House is so important and vital for the protection and development of the tribal people of the State that I do not hesitate to stand up and have my say. Now the motion itself, if we go deeply into the meaning and the connotation rather the motivation of the cut motion, it will be seen that the motion seeks not only to protect the identity or distinctiveness or the individuality as the mover has said, of the tribal people but it seeks to suggest measures to develop the tribal people protection and development are two words which have an inter-play of meaning and which cannot be viewed in isolation. Personally, I do not want to speak on Protection just for protection sake because that kind of protection will not last. That kind of protection will be museum-like and a time will come when the more you protect the more problems will be coming up. Therefore, personally my idea of protection is dynamic; a protection has to be development - progress - oriented otherwise, we will be like the Red Indians who are in the United States. They are a mere specimen of humanity who are dwindling. Therefore, I would like to examine the whole matter in its wider context. The problem that have been spelled out by the mover are best considered in the wide spectrum of political, economic, social and cultural import. Unless we do that, I am afraid, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will be chasing solutions which will not be in our grasp. All of us in this House whether tribals or non-tribals, I am sure in my heart that they have the concern for the tribal people because the tribals in our State constitute more than 80 per cent of the population. Therefore, any talk of protection or development has to be directed, in a large measure, to see that the interest of this large segment of population is met. Therefore, I feel that we should take this opportunity to speak out our minds with full responsibility and in a constructive manner. I am not standing here today to criticise the actions of the Government or to criticise the actions of any set of people or any community. But I stand here today, if it is possible, to awaken the consciousness in the minds of the people on how urgent it is that we do something drastic on order to bring about this protection and development of the tribal population in the State. Therefore, I will not, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir approach the subject in a spirit of isolation. I was one of those leaders who had always advocated for an atmosphere where each one of us who live in Meghalaya feel a sense of belonging. I am one of those leaders who advocate for evolving a sense of mission that we in the State can set an example not only to ourselves but to the whole nation. I do not know how far we have succeeded but I do know one thing that Meghalaya today presents itself as a very challenging existence in which the ears and eyes of the nation are directed towards us because of many happenings in this part of the country. Therefore, I am not going to approach the subject in a partisan manner but I would like to call a spade a spade. Now, whatever we talk of any political set-up or of any political solution, I believe we cannot divorce ourselves from taking into consideration the economics of the people. That is important. My friend the hon. mover of the motion, has eloquently spoken out his mind on the subject of economics of tribal people and I would like to add, that we are yet to evolve an economy in our State for the interest of the tribal people which is self-generating. Not only that it should be of a creative economic activity. We are yet to do that. We are yet to make our tribal people self-reliant to stand on their own feet. I will refer to a very chronic economic disease prevailing in our State and most of us know about it. That is rural indebtedness. The people in the villages the farmers and the villagers, I think that most of you will agree with me, have always been in debt : they were born in debt, they wore in debt and they die in debt. This is one of the chronic economic malaisn afflicting our people and unless something very drastic is done, I do not see a day coming for the self-generating economic activities in our State. When I was in the Treasury Bench, holding certain portfolio, I tried to go deep into this question and along with the then Revenue Minister we thought of a plan as how to wipe out the debts of the villagers so that every person will be a productive force. I leave it for the present Government to tackle this problem because I believe it is linked with the fundamental question of economic activities of the tribal people. As we know, the manner in which the exploitation of the people in the villages has assumed a form of gigantic proportion. The villages are exploited day in and day out for they get loan at a very high rate of interest charges by the private money leaders. And with the influx of outsiders, I must be very frank, the problem has assumed a dangerous proportion. I would like to request the Government to apply its mind to this very fundamental question in which our people are not only plunged into indebtedness, but affects them physically and worse psychologically. They do not get themselves, liberated. They do not get themselves liberated in order to usher in an ear of economic productivity. I would like to make some suggestion which each and every one of us and the Government in particular should consider. That is to go deep into this question and settle it once for all and tackle it in a bold manner. That is, legislation for redemption of all debts. This is one point I would like to bring home in the sphere of economic activities of the tribal people.

        The other point which I would like to focus here is the economic strong-hold of the tribal people by big businessmen in the field of production, and distribution affecting their economy. Now let us see on the production, distribution of two or three important crops that we have in our State i.e., agricultural crops like potato, jute, cotton, etc. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we examine closely this problem you will find that the economic strangulation of the people is not done by the tribal people but I am sorry to say that it is done by the non-tribal people. Whether it is in case of potato business or jute business, we have heard that there is economic exploitation not only by the big money lenders or big capitalists but also by other people coming from outside. I know many cases in Garo Hills while I was on tour. I had the personal experience also in Khasi Hills and in Jaintia Hills where exploitation is going on. Therefore, any talk of protecting or developing the tribal people will be useless unless and until we appreciate the need to get hold of the control of production, distribution and economic generation. Once we loss sight of the problem then we are sunk. Now we are in the Government for many years under APHLC and we were very keen to develop our State. Our State is endowed with the beauty of nature with a geography which is sensitively placed. Its beautiful hills, dales, valleys, waterfall. We were very keen at that time to exploit the water resources for the development of power and we had ASEB and now we are having MSEB which is the biggest industry in our State. Now, power industry has been a big booster to our State economy. I agree. But if you go closely into the subject, the story has a different start. I was surprised to find out that while in the sphere of generation we had done well of course not so much in the sphere of distribution; I was shocked to find the employment position in MSEB. There are 3000 to 4000, I am subject to correction, employees working under MSEB. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will be surprised to know in this gigantic organisation in which 3000 to 4000 employees work only 400 or 500 are tribals. What I want to bring home is that while industries bring physical and monetary benefit to the State but if we look at the the other side of the coin you will find that the tribal people of the State have not fully get themselves involved in the employment avenues created by the Industries. They have not got their due share. Now I am not against industrial development but I feel that the Government should consider a measure by which the people will be involved in industrial enterprise, economic activities and administrative machinery of the State. Now before I came here, because I know I would be speaking on this very important subject, I have tried to get a copy of my speech which I delivered in 1973 at the time of the passage of the Residential Permit Bill when I referred to the indebtedness of the scheduled tribals in such words as "Indebtedness is a chronic disease which has been widening for the past years" but I have also said about what Late Pandit Nehru said. He said about it and I think Mr. Lyngdoh, the hon. Member from Nongthymmai, has mentioned it also. I will read out a part of the speech given by the Prime Minister Nehru in the Tribal Affairs Conference held in December 4, 1954. "It is obvious that nobody wants that the tribal people should be a museum specimen. It is equally obvious that a-long with the progress in their own way, they do not like anything to be imposed upon them. There are two approaches one is museum approach and the other may be called an open door approach. "Pandit Nehru did not favour these approaches. He preferred an approach that the tribals grow according to their genius. Sir, in the interior places, our people are exploited by outsiders and they are exploited economically. So Sir, we will have to find a middle course, then only it can succeed if there is no element of compulsion about it. Such demand is, in fact, to be made through by our own people. So this is a very important matter and I would like to emphasise on the wordings of late Pandit Nehru who said that the protection of the tribal people can be initiated through their own people and the idea behind his speech was how to approach the tribals and this is the key point. Now we will have to question ourselves how far have we done that. Whether we have done it through our own people of not. Now I would like to make a passing reference and as our Chief Minister is here I would like him to consider this case which is very important. Now, as the Government is aware when we were on the other side of the House and now we are here on this side of the House and even then, we have the same motivation. We have been trying to see that the tribal  people of the State get preferences in employment and in all kinds of other activities. I had been thinking this morning about the need to check as to whether the sense of involvement among the tribal people is such that they are the masters in their own land. Now whether it is so ? I don't believe that Capt. Sangma, a friend of mine who has responsive attitude in his dealings with the people and I don't think that he will change now because of party's change and I believe that he will bear some of these things in his mind. Now, Sir, I would like to touch on the question of involvement of the tribal people in the administrative machinery of the State which is very very important. Now, here I am happy to find that due to the resourcefulness and serious attempts made by our Chief Minister and his colleagues in the past we are now getting more tribals officers even from outside the State to come to our State and who also belong to this State of our own. I refer to three officers who have been able to come to our State and I am very very happy about it. Yes Sir, number of tribal officers have come to our State and it has struck my mind yesterday and today that if we are to see that the people have a sense of belonging, then they now get tribal officers to men more responsible posts in the administration of our State. Now out of about thirteen tribal officers I found out that some of them hold very important responsibilities. We know that there are prized posts and subjects in the administration like Home, Personnel, Finance and Industries. I feel that it is high time in view of the fact that we have got sufficient number of them to man all these important departments of the State Government. I think all these officers have good qualities and experience. Of course, this is the matter of suggestion. What I say is that an attempt may be made through their won people in line of what Pandit Nehru has pointed out. That is why I believe that I referred to MSEB where we have not been able to appoint as many tribals as it should be. And Sir, regarding the Cement Factory at Cherrapunji, this industry is overwhelming manned by the non-tribals on the top. Anyway, Sir, I leave it to the wisdom and experience of our Chief Minister.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Regarding what ?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- It is regarding Cement Factory. Now while coming to the economic activities of our people, my friend has dealt with at length on this subject. The Leader of the House and myself have shared the same opinion on the need to encourage the tribal people to come in a big way and that is why we have as a matter of fact, evolved some schemes by which we will have Housing and Trading centres in which about 80 to 85 per cent of the lots will be confined to the tribal people. I hope that this scheme will progress satisfactorily. Here I would like to say that our Government today and before also have borne in mind that unless the tribal people are economically strong, they shall not be able to withstand the wave coming from outside. Sir, I would not like to go any further on this point. Now I would like to dwell on a matter which is very interesting, i.e., culture. Now culture is very encompassing; the definition which is near is perhaps a way of life and it includes dances, music, dresses, etc. and it is really very encompassing definition of the life of the people. Now I just want to say a word here that it is very important as Dr. Elwin has said some time back, "it is very interesting on this. He said like this : we should hasten slowly, advance with caution, give the tribes adhesive space to adapt themselves to the new world. It is just possible that in our enthusiasm for doing good we may overshoot more and do evil instead." Then he said "again it has often happened in other areas of the world that such contact has been disastrous to the primitive culture and gradually the primitive people thus affected die out." It is very crushing remark given by Dr. Elven which we have to be very careful to hasten slowly. Which means in the fact that if we want to develop our State we have to be very careful to hasten slowly. Which means in the fact that if we want to develop our State we have to be very clear about our priorities. We cannot just develop right and left, right and centre as I said. Then what happens after sometime we find that the tribal people are swept off. That is why he mentioned about culture which I feel it is very important because a community lives and sustains on its culture it survives or otherwise in its culture. Unless it is strong culturally, whatever we do politically or economically it cannot stand. Now I will refer as a matter of suggestion through you Sir, to the Education Minister. Now we have been touring the State and we know the culture of our people and I was very happy sometime last year or even this year also when the Wangala festival was held. It is very good and the people know the moorings. But then the Government action is not commensurate with this Wangala style of the cultural trend. I would, through you, Sir, like to have the ears of the Education Minister. I remember when I was the Minister I went out on tour to the western parts of Khasi Hills. We had a very good time when all the villages of the surroundings areas came to meet us in their traditional music and drums and harmoniums, the tables, clarionets. The people have a sense of culture. But then what happens in the Institutes of Art and Culture. I do not see this cultural importance is attached to this department. On the other hand we have foreign music recitals and westernised things. I am a lover of music and I was a musician myself but then the accent of western music is far-fetched. It should be as what we have done in Garo Hills. here the Institute of Art and Culture has a big role to play. I think it is high time that the whole concept of work of the institute is to be redefined. I believe Sir, that the Education Minister will take personal care since he is a lover of music to see to the working of the institute of art and culture to be in line with the cultural behaviour of the people. I would make that suggestion. Now on one point which I would like to dwell since we are talking as members of a big family. One of the handicaps of progress among tribal people which all of us have to share perhaps lies in our social system. I have met a number of young men who were very interested in trade and commerce. But somehow, I think because of our social system in which a boy, generally speaking, in this part of the country has not much to inherit. So it is tome for the Government or for the District Councils to think how a boy gets a certain share in the inheritance in order that he has a capital to go in for business enterprise. Gradually, we now see young man becoming business conscious and it is very important that we should speak these things here that is ensuring working capital to young men. When we talk about protection and development of the tribal people we have to see the whole prospective. We cannot confine only to one sphere of activities. I believe that the Government or the District Council should be concerned about this aspect of the matriarchal system. Now I will come to a very sensitive question, the political sphere of protection and development. Now my friend, the hon. member from Mawlai who had moved a motion had made a very eloquent advocacy of more powers, more law to be enacted in order to meet this very pressing problem of maintaining our identity. On this question I like to read a very interesting statement made some time back - I think the Leader of the House was also there because I saw his photograph there. This is a book which is called "Common perspective for North East India" and the convenor of the meeting at that time when there was a seminar was one person named Panalal Das Gupta of Calcutta. In his introduction he made a very remarkable statement which I think we should try to appreciate and understand. This is what he said of the Hill man. "In spite of their very dynamic outlook, they seem to suffer from two contradictory trends. At one end, they are seeking a larger identity breaking out of the aged-old tribal insularity and at the other end they seek to realise that identity in their very little locality in their very local nationalism but what that larger identity should be, they have not been able to locate as yet". Well this is a thought provoking statement. Now what I would like to say here, much as I would like to say on how best we can maintain the identity of our people. We have also to think in terms of having that creative diversity in the unity of India. Now how we go about it. The other day, when I participated in the general discussion on the Budget I was making a case that because of very fearsome made by the anthropologists on future identity of our people, I have made a suggestion that we should receive the Residential Permit Bill and circumvent the law since it was stated to us that it was illegal technically. So we should circumvent the law and find out how best we go in again for legislating a Bill similar to the Residential Permit Bill and perhaps the present Government in the Centre would be more responsive and who knows we might get it through. I have stated that on that day that if that is not done, perhaps we might have to go in for the Inner Line Regulation. I had gone very far. Why did I say that, I would not normally be a person to say that. I said that because as we all know the influx of the people from outside whether from Bangladesh or from  the Himalayan Kingdom or from outside the State is such that is present a threat to the ethnical survival of the people of these Hills. Now sometime ago, I think in 1976, the demographers said that the population of scheduled tribes inhabiting the hill areas of Eastern India, Meghalaya appears to be decreasing rapidly due to high death rate and how birth rate. It also said that the prospects of the survival of these tribes - the Mizos Khasis, Lepchas in the next two decades in the light of the disturbing trend appears to be very dim." This statement is a threat. What is going to happen we do not know. Therefore, in the context of what I know from what the demographers have said and in the context of what I have experienced as a Minister and a member in the Treasury Bench, in the context of what we see with our own eyes, unless we go with a very drastic legislation to contain the tribal people in our State, we shall be facing a grave problem. 

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, R/R, etc.) :- In which paper the statement is made ?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I know that this problem is the concern not only of the members of this side, but if that side and all of us I would make a very serious suggestion Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in view of the very alarming situation that we are facing today in so far as containment of the tribal identity in our State is concerned, that the Chief Minister takes upon himself the initiative to call a Round Table Conference to discuss this matter in depth and find out ways and means how to meet this threat to our identity. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with great responsibility, I feel that the situation today brooks no delay. Now the motion speaks of protection and development. This has to go side by side as I said earlier. I do not believe only in the protection to be positive, to be viable and to be alive, it should be development oriented. The kind of development has to be done in such a fashion that it will always bear in mind the need to maintain the population structure of the State. We have to maintain the population structure of the State at 80 per cent and by all measures at our command and we do have many suggestions to give. I do not believe that this is the forum just at the moment that I can give the suggestions. But I would sincerely request the Chief Minister, through you Sir, that he would take upon himself, as suggested, of a meet together and discuss this matter threadbare. I do not believe that as a Congress Chief Minister, he will be inhabited by my suggestion. I believe Captain Sangma has not changed, he will be always as he was. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Not at all.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Thank you. Therefore, on this question, I would say that we are all concerned and so we share it all. I do not like that this problem has to take a different channel of agitation We agitate it here and this is good enough. We agitate among the leaders. Let not this question be given an opportunity to be agitated elsewhere. Therefore, I entreat Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, each one of us that we take upon ourselves to face this problem right now. With these words, Sir, I resume my seat. 

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir I would also like to speak a few words on this motion.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, R/R, etc.) :- I require the hon. member to kindly let us know the quotation from which document he got.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Well, I will give you, I will not say come to my office.

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, R/R, etc.) :- That is why I know that he will not come and I requested him here.

Shri S.N. Koch :- I do agree with the hon. mover of the motion and also my previous speaker that that subject matter brought in this motion is very very important. Of course, while we are stressing that it is very important, we must be capable of dissecting the thing on which  region it is important and on which region it is not. Unless we are capable of separating the grain from the shaft, we may be confusing and instead of delivering the goods, it may bring disaster to the State as a whole - More than last 5 years, this issue came up again and again and looking at the working and functioning of the Government and also the sentiment expressed by the hon. members on this particular issue, I do not find that Government is lagging behind in nay way to solve this very very important problem. Now the only question is how far it is justified to bring discussion on this subject time and again. Before I come to my point I must also give my identification which is very peculiar. Now I stand there in such a position that if I claim myself to be a tribal which I consider to the true I find myself far from the truth. Then again if I claim myself to be a non-tribal, well I find I am further from the truth. When we consider the State as a whole, we cannot leave out any section of the people or any citizens or inhabitants of this beautiful State of the North Eastern part of the country. The protection of the people and development of our State must proceed harmoniously and together. It this is true, then I think I appeal to the hon. Members coming from the majority community that they think about those very unfortunate people of the State who are outside the ambit of the term "Tribal" but very much within the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir today as I said my identification is such that it is shrounded in mystery. It is so obscure and if I am to give my own identification I cannot be specific at all because under the present setup of things I am tribal in my way of life, languages and economic practice, but when I look to the Presidential order listing the communities who are recognised as tribal, I find the name 'Koch' does not appear there. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in a democracy, it is not truth and justice that always prevail. But it is the majority that prevails over minority. As such minorities are always subjected to the harsh reality of subjugation, deprivation and domination, State machinery having been controlled by the number of votes in democracy, whether that minority in a tribal or non-tribal. So the unfortunate minority people are left untouch, uncared for, unheard and unsung in the State. I am telling this truth because I know in Garo Hills there are the Hajongs who are very much recognised as tribal people for whom there are protective laws and measures hon. member from Mendipathar who has spoken before me when he referred to the Koches, the Rabas and the Hajongs and also I think the Government has been so good enough to declare those people in certain Act to class them even equal to the Scheduled Tribes and in the certain cases regard them as weaker section or the backward class. So that also comes under the weaker section of the society because they are from the backward classes. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, what we are talking of exploitation being experienced by the Scheduled Tribes is that in matters of trade and business also they are exploited. If we allow the non-tribals to come to the rural markets of the scheduled tribes, or the scheduled areas, Mr. Chairman, Sir, such members of the non-tribals, can do the business better or more than the tribal community of that area. Therefore, have we not realised that those members of the scheduled tribes, in the scheduled areas can-not fight or compete with the non-tribals in their business ? As such, they require protection. In the rural markets of the scheduled areas, we find that the scheduled tribes people are doing some business amongst themselves in small quantity because they do not have much finance, because they are economically backward, they do not have enough understanding to go in for big business. But if a non-tribal goes there he understands well about the business, his standard of understanding is above an ordinary member of the Scheduled Tribe and also, economically, he is advanced. Therefore, he can monopolise that area at the cost of the poor local tribals. He can purchase everything by himself. He can amass and trade every commodity and this, would amount to exploitation, and it is an exploitation. Therefore, what protection can we give against this type of exploitation is that we should not allow non-tribals to come and trade with the members of the Scheduled tribes, Backward Classes in the scheduled areas as provided in the Constitution itself. As per directives of the Central Government as well as from the State Government the Government had been helping the members of the Scheduled Tribes in education. But I understand that during the last few years there has been a grumble from the members of the Scheduled Tribes saying that the Government may do away with even scholarships. This, of course, the Government has not done away with. We request the Government to see that scholarship in the field of education should not be abolished because this scholarship which the Central Government as well as the State Government had been giving to the members of the Scheduled Tribes as well as to other Backward Classes, has helped us to come to this standard that we are here today, the representatives of the people in this House. Therefore, if we take the members of the scheduled tribes in the rural areas, none can send their children for higher education in the colleges and universities without getting the scholarship from the Government.

Mr. Chairman :- I think the hon. Member can have an opportunity to discuss about scholarship when we come to motion No.2.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- What type of protection then can we give, to safeguard the interest of the tribals. There are various types of exploitations, in business in jobs etc. The hon. Member who has spoken earlier has pointed out these things. If all we are going to give them protection, we must first consider the question as to where we should protect them. It has been quoted by the hon. Member from Jaiaw about the speech of the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. If I remember aright that address stated something like this where should we protect those members of the scheduled tribes. Can we take them from their places and put them somewhere in the zoo as specimen or as museum specimen ? Or should we protect them in their own place ? To this, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would say that it has been the policy of the Central Government in that past that the Tribal areas are protected and we have seen that it has even issued in the new Economic Programme that these tribal lands alienated, taken away by non-tribal should be restored and that he is to be protected his land is to be protected first of all. If he does not have land what type of protection we can give for the Scheduled Tribes ? Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the positive protection for the members of the Scheduled Tribes against exploitation of his land is by enacting such low is this Land Transfer Regulation etc. We have seen the previous Government as well as the present Government that they have thought it necessary that there must be something, for the real protection of the Scheduled Tribes by bringing or adopting the present Land Transfer Act, Land Revenue Regulation and other measures which are pending also take the Residential Permit Bill. But Mr. Chairman Sir, in my opinion, this Bill the Transfer of Land (Regulation) Amendment Bill 1977 which has been brought by the Government to amend the previous Land Transfer Act, is for the protection or prohibition of the transfer of land in certain areas only and that two, such area is to be notified first by the Government. My contention is that if we are going to protect the land of the tribals we must be positive. It is only by implementation the aims embodied in the Constitution that the land of the tribals can be protected. But the protection is not that we introduce the Bill now and then provide that there will be restriction only on such area by notification Specified as they have done now. In places where there is no non-tribals, the Government may issue a notification that in so and so place transfer of land is prohibited. In that case the burden lies on the tribal people to persuade the Government that their land must be protected. A notification may be issued like areas in Nongpoh, Nongstoin which are in the scheduled areas by the present Government but we cannot say that it is only this present Government which is going to continue and give protection in many of the areas. But another Government may come and they may not give a single notification to prohibit the transfer of land in any area. Therefore, it is negative. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would say that to be positive, this House should have brought a Bill to protect the land of the members of the Scheduled Tribe in their areas, specially, in those areas known as the scheduled areas. We do not include the whole of Shillong but at least in those scheduled areas because the Constitution itself has provided these scheduled areas. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, on one hand we discuss the protection of the Scheduled Tribes but on the other allow their lands to be alienated and transferred, then no useful purpose would be served. Any member of the Scheduled Tribes is likely to part with his land because of his simplicity or ignorance or the urge of money. Therefore, if there is no protection by law, when he finds any financial difficulty as in sickness, he will naturally part with his land. That land naturally will pass into the hands of any non-tribals who have more money and who can compete in any competition. If this land of the tribal people is allowed to the transferred to the non-tribals then, in a few decades, we will find that the members of the Scheduled Tribes would be without lands. In that event, how will you protect him when he has no more land ? Sir, I would again remind, as some hon. members had earlier spoken in this House that the members of the scheduled tribes in the State are mostly the Khasis, the Pnars or Syntengs, the Garos and other communities. These people have got no lands anywhere else. Where will these people go if they do not have lands of their own. The other communities like the Bengalees and the Assamese, if they do not have lands here or if they have disposed of their lands here, they still have a place in their States like Bengal and Assam or, for that matter, as somebody has said, a Himalayan Kingdom. But where our tribals will go when they have no more land ? Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Khasis used to sing a song : Ri Khasi, Ri Khasi, nga ieit ia phi, kari kaba ieit uba rim uba jah. The Khasis we used to sing for their land to express their love for it and for which their force-fathers had shed blood. Therefore, should he not then reserve it. If a Khasi loses his land because of this simplicity or ignorance vis-a-vis the economic power of other advanced people, shall we not protect him ? The leaders of our nation, fight from the very beginning, had realised that, and that was why they had given a provision in the Constitution for safeguarding and protecting the lands of the Scheduled Tribe. Therefore, in the matter of protection of the members of the scheduled tribals, we should first of all protect their land and then their economic activities like business, trades, jobs and industry and also communications which are required for his development. But first of all what he needs is protection of the land then he will be given the opportunity to develop himself. As I have said earlier, since the members of the tribal community live in the border they can be regarded as the sentinels of whole border. All the tribal communities right from Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, etc. upto this State of Meghalaya are sentinels of our great country, India. Therefore, if they are left unprotected and if that are dissatisfied, naturally many problems would crop whereas if they are satisfied as we have seen during the last few years in which the Prime Minister, Smti. Indira Gandhi's policy had been successful in satisfying the people by dividing the small States as per their aspirations the expenditure of the Central Government has narrowed down. If other sections or other communities feel that the hon. members in the House are always discussing the welfare of the tribal people, then I must say that it is not only their welfare but also of the sentinels of the border areas because there are certain elements in this part of the country who want to disturb the tranquility of the tribal people. If these elements are not waeened and checked they can cause a lot of instability, naturally the whole of India will be in danger. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri Jormanik Syiem :-  Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to  take part in this very important motion and we should be grateful to the hon. Member who has  brought this motion before the House. We have heard enough about protection of tribal interest in all its aspects which I would not repeat. The motion reads. This House do now discuss about the measures for the protection and development of the tribal people of the State. As I said, I am not going to repeat the arguments about the protection because we have heard enough from the Speakers. But what I would like to take up is about development. Mere protection without development will take us nowhere. The question is that what measure are we to adopt for the development of our tribal people. We have started  an number of industries, though very few in number; the one is known as Mawmluh Cement Factory which is a very important factory. It has got sufficient raw materials, sufficient raw materials within the vicinity and a number of tribal people employed in the factory. This factory has developed that area which has lost much after the partition of the country. We built up a high hope about the development of this particular industry. but it is unfortunate that quite a number of years have passed but we are still in short of cement production. There is shortage of cement even at the present moment although we have got a factory within the State. From enquiry I understand that the factory is facing acute problem because machine parts could not be replaced. Many parts of the machine are worn out and yet they have not been replaced for whatever reason.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not know how the replacement of machine parts in relevant to this motion.

Shri Jormanik Syiem :- If we want to develop, this factory also needs development. If we are to develop we have also to start some industries to develop tribal welfare. So as I said, unfortunately, this factory is not making any progress because the management is not as it should be. The other day we are talking about location of the Head Office in Shillong instead of being at Mawmluh itself. I understand that these parts of machinery could not be replaced because neither the Chief Engineer nor the Works Manager could make any purchase of such parts unless it is approved by a big officer like Director of Finance. The Director of Finance is stationed at Shillong who is probably not a technical man, does not know much about machinery. Now unless these parts are replaced immediately, there is a danger for the factory being stopped that is one part of the development for the State and there are other industries like one in Garo Hills i.e. Thermal Projects at Nangalbibra. We have heard much about those industries which are also not making headway for the development of the State. We have heard about some industries in Burnihat which cannot make headway for want of saw. For example, the Meghalaya Plywood Factory which has got a number of machines, big powerful machines but for want of raw materials which the State Government could not apply, they have to bring those raw materials from Bhutan Nagaland and other places. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think apart from Bhutan from protection, Development also is one the important items which the tribal people need to be protected and safeguard. I would not make any more question of protection because many previous speakers have already spoken much. With these few words I resume my seat.

*Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the subject of protection and development of tribal people in the State has very often come up in this House even since 1972 in various forms of proposal and proposition in legislative forms. And in response to demonstration of protest made in this House we are happy today that the entire House has become more and more conscious of this problem which is really agitating the minds of the people because it has become now a question of survival. It is no longer a mere question of percentage and the size of communities that we have or of the inter-relations between such communities; it has become a question of survival. We are very happy indeed that the Government has announced that the scheme of sterilisation and compensation on sterilisation would be completely stopped and hence forth this money will be spent for giving compensation on sterilisation done in the past. Sir, this sterilization, we may even call it an act of genocide to sterilise our people and thereby deprive the people of the State of their progeny. Sir, we are also very happy that atleast our Government has come forward with the amendment of the Land Transfer Act and according to this Act some area should be notified where from no land can be transferred from a tribal to a non-tribal. But I would like to reiterate that the problem still exists. It is not a problem that can be tackled in a piecemeal manner. I would rather support the proposal given by the home Member from Jaiaw that we should have a round table conference of the persons who are in the State who are really interested in preserving the tribal communities in the State, and with such aims and objects we fought for the Hill State for the hill people of our State. Sir, no doubt, we are happy to have our non-tribal brothers here in our State and it is a part of the inmate character of our tribal people to welcome any non-tribal in our State which is also a sign of hospitability of our tribal community. But Sir, many outsiders have misunderstood the smiles of our woman folk because these smiles are given to all and not to a particular person. And Sir, we are fond of songs, dances and music and God has blessed us with shining sky and that is why I always want to change the name of our Meghalaya State. I am happy that God has given us given us such a fine weather and beautiful green valleys with the glittering water and the social life of our tribal people is beautiful that they leave their home early in the morning, with the twinkling of the dew on the green grass, to plough their fields where the twinkling of their cow's bells pleases their ears and in the evening they come back home from their fields, satisfied with the day's work. He sits near the fire with his families and sometimes he is under sublimation to ease his weary muscles of his body. This is the village life of our tribal people, a happy life, no doubt, Mr. Chairman, Sir. So, Sir, we should bear in mind that we have to protect this happiness and prosperity of our people which God has given to us. Sometimes we are long in a valley or in a particular village so much so that our contact with others is only once in eight days when we come to the market and if we are satisfied with it then we should at least see that our people are properly clothed and their future is bright. Sir, when  there was a heavy influx of refugees in our State during the time of Bangladesh war we had to feed lakhs and lakhs of people but fortunately and unfortunately we have been able to remove them from our State otherwise only their population would be not less than 12 lakhs as compared to our tribal population of about nine or ten lakhs. Sir, if they had continued to remain in our land with varieties of their social customs and several wives, it would be a great embarrassment to our people and so also to our Government. Even in this august House, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the majority of M.L.As. would be non-tribals and naturally these people would hold the reign of our Government. And the economy of our people would be affected adversely and Mr. Chairman, Sir, no people can exist and no Government can run properly when the economy of the State has been affected. Sir, such kind of exploitation has affected every State in many ways and this kind of problem is very difficult to face specially for the simple hearted tribal people of our State. Naturally they will find it difficult to cope with the razor sharped intelligence of the persons coming into our State who by nature itself are made to face the hazards of the nature and in this way they are made to sharp and intelligent and it is difficult for the average tribal people to compete with them. And Mr. Chairman, Sir, when they try to hold the reign of our Government, what will happen to our tribal people and what the Chief Minister can do when the ninety per cent of the Members of the Assembly are outsiders. This is the harsh effect of reality. We have to face this fact of history. History will blame us Mr. Chairman, Sir, if we are not able to handle this problem and also to take action to find a solution of this problem. History waits for no one. So, Sir, if we are not able to evolve a practical and permanent solution to this problem, then the future of our tribal people will be doomed. For the last five or six years we have been discussing about this problem over and over again. But I believe that we are not going to tackle this problem in a piecemeal fashion. Let us discuss it threadbare and take some measures in order to protect the tribal identity. I appreciate the point raised by one of the hon. Members and it is a point which I have often presented to many non-tribals friend. We have got West Bengal, we have Cachar for Benglee friends, we have also got Tripura, you have also got other parts of the North East India our friends from Nepal have a place of origin, a friend from Bihar has a place of origin. But where will the Garo go, where will the Khasi go and where will the pnar go if true physical exploitation and huge entry into the State were allowed. I heard my friend from Cantonment mentioning Sweden. I hope he is only joking. How can hundreds and thousands of Nepalis from Meghalaya go to Sweden. Let us tackle this problem very seriously, not by cracking jokes. This is a matter by which we are going to determine the history of the people. It is a very serious matter. Now where will our people go if there is a huge exodus into our area. Where will we go ? Nobody has created any row. We have got sympathy and we are very peaceful people. This is because we are hospitable. I will request our non tribal colleague to be patient, to understand, live happily here among us. We have no grudge against them but allow us to control the organs of the Government, to control the economy of the people, allow us to control the cultural, financial and special destiny of our people. We have seen instances in the village of Mawhati, sometimes it is being done in the interior. There the foreigners have summoned the Khasi Sirdar to appear before the villages Durbar when they refused to pay the loans, they allowed their buffaloes to roam about the paddy fields of our people. They cut off the head of one person in the year 1974. This happened in the villages of Mawtari. He was beheaded over his complaint and the case is still going on. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are instances how a group of persons coming from outside take the law into their own hand. Only yesterday I heard of a Khasi being beaten up in a particular area by a person from outside the State. He was severely wounded in the Umpling area. Such things are happening. I would also like to reply to some objections made, for example reservation of posts in the State Government 80 per cent, I would recommend 90 per cent for the tribals and 5 per cent for non-tribals. But may I point out Mr. Chairman, Sir, to the position at the Central Government offices. Are we only looking upto the State Government ? Should we not look up at the Regional Offices of the State Bank of India, at the Accountant General's office, Commissioner of Income Tax office, Posts and Telegraphs office, North Eastern Hill University etc. A long list. Mr. Chairman Sir, only a few days age I went to meet some of the persons in the Accountant General's office at Motinagar for some discussion. When I arrived there I thought I was in Dacca or Calcutta. In every singly quarter there were pujas going on all round and I thought I was in another land, though these hills were bought by the blood of our people. Mr. Chairman, Sir, may I remind this House that in the Central Government offices despite strict orders by the Central Government that 40 per cent of the posts must be reserved for the tribals in the State, but this order of more honoured in violation than in observance, by any Central Government offices in Shillong. I am prepared to say that the community-wise structure is in total violation of Central Government Order. Mr. Chairman, Sir, when we go to the economic aspect of it no doubt our friends who are not tribals have a gift for business and that all of them have wonderful talents. They love each other belonging to their community, there is no jealousy among them. If any one of them falls short of money or happens to fall out of a financial transaction he is immediately helped; they stand together. They set up chambers of commerce and every chamber of commerce is controlled by them. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the year 1972 I have moved a resolution in this House for raising the salaries the salaries of certain categories of Government servants namely, the policeman, teachers, nurses and doctors by 25 percent. I would ask how the Government can meet this additional expenditure which I had calculated at Rs.88 lakhs per year and I succeeded in saying that if Government would take over the operation of the middleman, if the Government were to take over the functions of the middlemen in the potato trade, in the bamboo grass trade, in the tezpatta trade Government would earn 6 crores per year and out of this amount of 6 crores of rupees Government would easily be able to meet the additional pay of 88 lakhs per year. But the question before us is who will bell the cat. Would you dare over this business from such powerful vested interest. Only to day we heard how a previous lessee has again taken possession. I am sorry to have heard these things today, Mr. Chairman, Sir, but the vested interest is there. How they are allowed to spread their ramifications and throttle the economy of our people. I plead with all and sundry what is the power. Mr. Chairman, Sir, of these persons ? The power of money. Money can purchase, the purchasing power of money is a tremendous thing. We have seen it in the highest echelon of the society. How money can purchase power I would humbly take it that we are all conscious of this when we would face a very bleak future when the whole economy of our people passes into the hands of others. I had the unfortunate experience of taking up these issues for which I had been illegally detained under MISA. I tackled the problem, Mr. Chairman, Sir, of money going out of the State. You know Sir, that milk is produced in the Bhoi area to the extent of about 35,000 litres per day. This entire quantity of 35,000litres of milk is produced in the Bhoi area and this was controlled by 6 monopolists who sent most of it to Gauhati to veterinary authorities at Khanapara. They purchase it at the rate of Rs.1.25 paise per litre and sell most of it to Gauhati, to the Veterinary authorities at Khanapara at Rs.1.75 paise per litre. They spend about 10 paise on identical expenses and make a net profit of 40 paise per litre. If you multiply 35,000 litres by 40 paise, it comes to Rs.14,000 per day and in a months to Rs. 4,20,000 and in a year to more than Rs.50 lakhs. This money Mr. Chairman, Sir, is being carried regularly out of the State to a place which I will not name. If we were given the passport to go to their place, we will find huge palatial buildings erected by these persons who took away milk from this State. Mr. Chairman Sir, it was a wonderful opportunity to save foreign exchange, to return the power of control, to improve the economy of our own people. Unfortunately, that dream was shattered. But I had hoped it will come into being whether we would be able to come forward with the power that the Government has to help in collecting, in helping, in controlling this economy. I repeat to our non-tribal friends who are also human beings like ourselves and because Christianity teaches us to love others as ourselves, but Christianity also teaches us that charity begins at home. While we will love our neighbor as ourselves, there is a limit where we cannot, like the camel in the Arab's tent hands over your house to an intruder even if he is very charming. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I will again plead with my friends to live happily and enjoy life. I will not enumerate the enjoyments that these hills can provide. Live here, enjoy life but respect our customs. Allow us to control the reigns of Government no, only now but also in future. I am talking even of the next election when everything has been released. What will happen I do not know. What will happen now that there are no more reserved seats. May God bless us the near future. Let us control our economy, let us shape the destiny of our people. If we are allowed these things, only then we welcome the non-tribals friends.  

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I thank the mover of the motion because he has provided us with good scope to speak and contribute towards measure for protection and development of the tribal people in the State of Meghalaya. Sir, various friends from both sides of the House have expressed concern regarding the apprehension of the tribals of our State their economic condition and the fear that their culture might be completely annihilated or obliterated. Sir, I have certain observations to make. The foster fathers of the Constitution had the welfare, protection and development of the tribal people in their minds. Therefore, to protect their rights and privileges, they had made provisions in the Constitution. There are provisions in the Constitution where ample protection for the tribal people was envisaged. The relevant articles in the Constitution are 15 (4), 16 (4), 17, 19 (5), 46, 244A, 275, 330, 330, 332, 334, 335, 339, 341, 341 and the fifth and and sixth schedules to the Constitution. Special provisions in the Constitution for the scheduled castes and tribes in addition to the Preamble to secure to all citizens justice, equality, social, economic and political rights as well as to secure equality of status in all opportunities. Sir, these provisions are unique and might feature our stand on our land because they are special safeguards for the welfare of both communities as well as social autonomy of scheduled castes and tribes. Sir, one of the hon. members from the opposite side, the hon. member from Jaiaw constituency, has stated certain illuminating statement of the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that he wanted that the tribals of India should not be only specimens of museum. There should be conditions created where they can develop as genius and live as free citizens of a free country. In order to achieve that end, the Government of India carved out States in the north - eastern region, though at the first instance, economically it was not viable. Even then in order to allow the tribals to develop according to their own genius, they have carved out different States. But due to historical reasons, the present historical reason, they were not given the scope to develop according to their own genius. Conditions were not created and there were general fears that they would have been annihilated as apprehended by my friends.

        This only provides a goal of leading the tribals to form a part and parcel of our big country, part and parcel of our Indian nation, to develop according to their own genius, to get protection in the matter of development and progress. States were carved out where they will form the majority. Where they were minorities conditions were created and overnight they become the majority and the majority becomes minority. It is upto the legislature, the Regional Councils and the District Councils to take measures to develop and protect their genius their rights, their privileges and their future according to their own choice. We are all one in their zeal to preserve their identity, to protect their rights and to get their genuine development to the fullest extent. All other sections of the people including both tribals and non-tribals are also living here in Meghalaya. We must not forget the fact that due to long historical reasons, which are unavoidable at that time, these sections of the people had come to these hill areas and had served the State to the best of their abilities and had adopted this land as their own place of abode, as their own home where they would toll hard and contribute their mite for the development of the State as a whole and for the development of the area. They have rendered valuable services to the people living here as to the State. There are non-tribals also living here, as already admitted by every Member, by statistics and data of the State, that 20 per cent of the people living here in Meghalaya are non-tribals who from the minority. Sir, with a zeal to protect the rights and privileges of the tribal people we should do our best to evolve measures to achieve that end, but at the same time we must not forget that the non-tribals living here were also adopted this land as their own home and were regarded as people of this State. So they should not be ignored or treated as untouchables. They also have got their own share to contribute and they have made and are still going to make this State of ours rich and prosperous in order to make the State itself a patch of beauty and grace in the map of India. Sir, in this House, I have urged upon the Government on one occasion to create a cell under some Minister-in-charge, so that the rights and privileges of the minority would be safeguard, protection would be given in respect of their rights and privileges and so on and so forth. 

        It is our zeal to protect the rights and privileges of the tribals which is a must, but Sir, at the same time, we must not forget the rights and privileges enjoyed by other non-tribal communities who are also living here in Meghalaya. They are the bonafide and genuine people of Meghalaya and our Constitution also is very vocal on this while making a distinction between ethnic or linguistic groups. They have carved out these words 'tribals and non-tribals,' but I think it should have been right and proper if we can evolve measures in future which can eliminate this distinction between tribals and non-tribals in so far as this State of ours is concerned. But there should be only one word - and genuine Meghalaya irrespective of any section of the people or any linguistic differences. Meghalaya has its own distinct culture, distinct way of life, whether it is the Khasis, the Jaintia, the Rabhas, the Bengalis or the Nepalis does not matter, if only they have adopted Meghalaya as their own home land and therefore are also hill people. So in that context measures taken for the development of this State and for the welfare and upliftment of the people should not be confined only to tribal people of Meghalaya. It should have been taken beyond this limit to cover every people irrespective of any community who have adopted this land as their own. Up till now, Sir, to my dismay, I have found, though I have repeatedly advocated the same cause for having a cell a non-tribal cell created by the Government to look into all these problems and grievances of the non-tribals who live here in Meghalaya, yet nothing tangible has so far come out. Now as our hon. friend has given us scope to take effective measures for the protection and development of tribal people living in our State, we must at the same time, give a little consideration and apply our mind to find out ways and means as to how best we can develop the tribaled to of life, tribal culture, tribal rights and privileges as well as those of way non-tribals living now in the State. There should be no distinction because they have served the State in the past, they are going to take in future also and they should not be treated as outsiders. They serve already contributed their mite in developing many towns and for have all-round development of Shillong in various fields of developmental the activities in the day to day life of Meghalaya as a whole. Therefore Sir, I am one with the Mover of the Motion that effective measures should be taken for the development and protection of the tribal together with the non-tribals living in our State. With these few words I resume my seat.       

Mr. Chairman :- Any other hon. Member ?

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman Sir, I would like to speak a few words, but it appears there is no more time.

Mr. Chairman :- I am giving you one minute.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Anyway Sir, I will just make use of this one minute given to me on this subject Mr. Chairman, Sir, this subject is all embracing for the development of the tribal living here in Meghalaya. In fact during the discussion on the Budget, in my Speech, for nearly and hour. I have dwelt mostly on this subject. So I would like very much to discuss the subject in view of what the hon. Mover and Mr. Kyndiah and other Members had already expressed very thoroughly on this subject. I would just by way of suggestion make certain preservations during this limited time. Now, I would refer to the programme for protection of the tribals in Maharashtra and other States of India. I happened to have the privilege and opportunity to visit the tribal areas in Maharashtra constitution about 3 million people and about 4 or 5 times the tribal population of Meghalaya. There the Government has taken up a very very special and bold programme for the protection and development of the tribal areas. I would tell you, Sir, now luckily the Government has got its own Officer who is incharge of protection and development of the tribal people in their State. The Government would make use of the services of this Officer who is an experienced Officer in regard to giving protection and development of the tribal people in Maharashtra. Though the Government have initiated last year a similar line of promotion in the matter of trade and business by way of establish a trade centres in Maharashtra (Bell rang ............)


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Chairman :- The hon. Member will continue next day.

        Now the House stands adjourned till 9-30 on Wednesday, the 8th June, 1977.

D.S. KHONGDUP,
Dated Shillong, Secretary,
The 7th June, 1977. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly

*****