The Garo Hills State Movement Committee (GHSMC) on Thursday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding creation of Garoland, to be carved out of tribal Garo inhabited areas in Meghalaya and Assam.
The GHSMC – a conglomeration of several Garo organisations, including the Garo National Council (GNC), a regional political party – said that their demand was on the linguistic lines of the States Reorganisations Act, 1956.
“Constitution has given a fundamental right under Article 29 (1) that those having a distinct language, script or culture can preserve the same,” the committee stated in the memorandum, which was also submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind and home minister Rajnath Singh, among others.
Stating that Garo people were unanimously demanding creation of Garoland state, contiguous to state of Assam and Khasi Hills for Garo people, the GSHMC said, “We demand Garoland state to include original lands inhabiting by Garo people in Assam and Khasi Hills presently under Meghalaya.”
Reminding the prime minister of promised “Acche Din” for “Aam Admi” under the driving theme of “Sabka Sath-Sabka Vikas”, the committee said that they confidently looked forward to see “Garoland” state under Modi’s “able leadership”.
Meghalaya became an autonomous state in 1971 and a full-fledged state on 21 January, 1972.
The GNC, one of the oldest regional political parties, has been demanding creation of Garoland for over two decades. However, it does not have any representatives in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. However, it has three members in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council.
On 18 March, 2014, the Meghalaya Assembly had rejected a resolution for the creation of a separate “Garoland” state in Garo Hills in the western part of the state.