Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Chief Executive Member (CEM) Titosstarwell Chyne has taken offence at Voice of the People Party (VPP) president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit’s comment on the issue of taking the father’s surname in a matrilineal society.
“It seems like he is criticising me personally. When I said Khasis cannot take the father’s surname, I wasn’t attacking him. I did not have any intention,” Chyne said.
Chyne was surprised to see in some meetings that he (Basaiawmoit) was saying “Do Khasi people have surnames starting with C”.
According to him, there are surnames like “Chen”, and Khongwir has been anglicised to “Cunville” and not only Chyne.
“I am one of those who are involved in the exercise on amending the clan bill which was started during the time of H S Shylla and the current EC (Executive Council) is taking pains to get it passed,” the CEM added.
Chyne said a committee was formed by the KHADC headed by veteran politician and a nominated member of the district council Bindo M Lanong and in the amendment bill, it has tried to systematise the way a Khasi surname is written.
The CEM said that if he was selfish, he wouldn’t have put that section in the bill, which is trying to systematise on how Khasi surnames are written.
“I started from myself and I also told the House that once this bill gets the assent of the Governor I will be the first to change (the spelling of his surname). We practice what we preach,” Chyne said.
Chyne said that the personal jibe made by Basaiawmoit at him was a childish act.
“I feel that these speeches are just to sway the emotions of the public, to fool them,” the CEM added.
The CEM also said that out of four years of the present term of the KHADC House, two years were affected by Covid-19, but the executive committee has passed three bills and got the assent of the governor.
He also said that as politicians, they should try to stay away from making personal remarks.
Chyne said that the EC in the district council consists of four parties and they are working together and they are not playing politics.
“We are not thinking about the elections, we want to work first. We don’t worry about it, others are doing politics anywhere they go,” the CEM said.
He also said that the EC has decided that it will soon meet the government and ask that the district council be given the power to issue Scheduled Tribe certificates.