The hullabaloo over Rakesh Sangma’s ethnicity, after being elected as the CEM of GHADC, is a very shaky democratic ground of protest. The government is even entertaining talks with the protesting groups now, which gives greater leeway to the unfounded questions being raised.
To take a deeper dive, protesting groups had four chances in the past using which they could have raised the issue they are talking about at present. First, when Sangma’s nomination from Babelapara was accepted before the 2021 GHADC election. Second, when Sangma won the election and was sworn in as MDC. Third, when Sangma was elected as chairman to the GHADC. And fourth, when he resigned as the chairman, and then contested and won the CEM elections this year.
All the above-mentioned instances were legitimate democratic processes which had significant time gaps in between occurrences. So it is highly impossible that all the protesting stakeholders would have missed it back then. It now raises eyebrows when Rakesh Sangma is brought to question only when he has won the CEM elections. It further gives rise to the question if the noise being created now is being fuelled by someone or some entity.
To look at it holistically, at this point the protest seems like a way to create publicity to malign Sangma’s image. If the protesting groups actually want action on the issue, they must go ahead and file a case in a court of law, where Sangma’s ethnicity can be challenged, investigated and a legitimate answer can be sought. This is the only reasonable solution. Without a proper investigation, if there happens to be a move where Sangma is removed from his post tomorrow, this will be a black blot in the history of democracy.
More importantly, where were the pressure groups when the identity of Mukul Sangma’s mother – Roshanara Begum – was in question?
Sengrik G. Marak, Shillong