The two incidents which took place in the last couple of weeks in the state of Meghalaya could also have major consequences and shake the very core of its existence.
The Governor stirring up the hornet’s nest when he delivered his address in the Legislative Assembly in Hindi rather than the usual English and the brutal murder of Poipynhun Majaw who is also president of the Jaintia Youth Federation were the two unpleasant incidents which will have larger consequences in the State.
The language controversy which was sparked by the Governor’s maiden address to the Budget session of the Meghalaya Assembly using Hindi has been a subject of debate in all media platforms.
The legislators and the people of the State are used to the House being addressed in the language which is common and also which the people are familiar with.
But for the first time in the history of the young state that the Governor’s address was delivered in a language other than English.
The first day of the Budget session was followed by protests and walkout by one of the opposition MLAs and the subsequent day saw members of the House addressing the House in their own lingua franca which if continued will create confusion and chaos in the House.
On day two, Meghalaya Assembly became a biblical tower of babble of a sort because if members start addressing the House in their own mother tongue, then they will not be able to understand each other.
The truth is, even in the grand Khasi language there are sub-dialects which is difficult to understand even by fellow Khasi-Pnar.
For example, very few Khasi would understand Pnar, and very few of those who can communicate Khasi or Pnar can understand War-Jaiñtia dialect.
Then we have the Maram, the War Syntung, the Bhoi, the War Khasi dialects which is another variation of the Khasi language.
Thanks to the Welsh Presbyterian mission for making Sohra-Khasi a medium of communication which is also the only common link that connects the Khasi-Pnar people under the pan-hynniewtrep tribe.
Although people continue to speak local dialect (Ktien shnong) locally; but it is Sohra- Khasi language which was taught in school and used in the churches of all denominations which by default becomes the common language of the Khasi-Pnar.
But the medium of communication of the other major tribe in the state is Garo which is again understood or followed by the Garos only.
Garo language is Greek to most of the Khasi-Pnar and likewise Khasi language is Latin to most of the Garos; so one can easily understand the kind of scene that will play in the august house if all the members start speaking in their own mother tongue.
What is the ultimate impact of the language fiasco? BJP will further alienate itself from the people of the State because the allegation is that it is the introduction of one culture, one language and one country grand scheme of the pariwar in the State which respect diversity.
So obviously in 2019 it is going to be a tough job for the party to win either Shillong or Tura Assembly constituencies.
Then the other shocking incident was the heinous crime; the murder of Poipynhun Majaw president of JYF, one of the most popular pressure groups in Jaintia hills at Khliehriat on the night of March 19.
Mawjaw has been part of the pressure group movement in Jaintia hills district for many years now.
He was one of the few popular leaders in the pressure group circle in Meghalaya and was respected by many.
Mawjaw was also an RTI activist and he has filed many RTIs to expose wrong doing and the nexus between the government officials and those involved in business, particularly in the two districts of Jaintia hills.
He had also filed a PIL against certain cement companies which is still pending in the court of law.
Under his leadership, the JYF and the Jaintia Students Union also jointly took the cause of the residents of Khliehtyrchi village who through RTI finding discovered that the MDC of the area was involved in rampant corruption.
The case was against the MDC, Madonbai Rymbai, who was allegedly misusing the money received from land compensation in lieu of land used by the NHAI for construction of the road which is called Jowai-bypass.
Majaw’s murder is now being looked after by the State Home Minister, James Sangma, himself and pressure groups across the State continue to pressure the government to arrest the culprits and find out the truth about his dead and the people who are responsible for his murder.