Several protests have erupted against the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in Meghalaya on their decision to table the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage (Amendment) Bill, 2018. A young activist, Emarine Kharbhih, 28, recently sought the support of the global community against the proposal which declares a Khasi woman who marries outside the tribe will be deemed as a non-Khasi.
Nearly 600 people supported the activist by signing an online petition on Change.org that was put up by the activist. In the petition, Kharbhih, a programme manager at Impulse NGO Network in Meghalaya noted that the proposal of the council to amend the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act, 1997 “discredits” the values of society by threatening the very identity of Khasi women, thereby leading to gross violation of human rights.
The amendment bill was sent to the Governor for his assent. However, the governor returned the bill to the State government. The council then recalled the amendment bill from the government. It has constituted a consultative committee, which would go into the minute details and hold discussions, before proposing a fresh amendment to the principal act.
Kharbhih aims to gather 10,000 signatures before she sends the petition to the governor, Chief Minister and the council.