AHAM urges CM to consider inputs on proposed amendment of 6th Schedule

Tura, Sept 24: The A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) through a memo to the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, urging him to reconsider the recommendations to the central government over the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule.

Uneasiness has been growing in Garo Hills over the recommendations made on the formation of village Councils as there is apprehension over the Council undermining the powers of the Nokmas (village headman).

The memorandum which was submitted today appreciated the government for rejecting the proposed inclusion of the ‘unrepresented tribes’ in the Sixth Schedule. However, it felt that the proposal for an elected body such as the Village Council will dilute the power and functions of the Nokma.

“The amendment seeks to supersede the institution of Nokma as a custodian for community assets. This has been in existence for generations,” felt vice president of AHAM, Georgeprince Ch Momin.

As per AHAM, the framers of the Constitution were well aware of the ill-treatment towards the lower classes by the dominant societies which were why the Sixth Schedule was given to the tribals of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard their identities, culture, rights etc as well as to establish autonomous bodies for themselves.

“There is no problem on the issue of development and policies which look at direct funding from the centre to the GHADC. However, diluting the power and function of the Nokma is our biggest concern,” he added. AHAM asserted that it stood with various organizations and Nokmas from the region in their opposition to the proposed amendment and threatened agitations if corrective measures were not undertaken by the state government on the matter.