State

Paul cites ‘history’ to counter RSS chief’s Hindu remark

Shillong, Sep 28: UDP leader Paul Lyngdoh on Wednesday joined several state politicians and activists in criticising RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for his remark on ‘Hindus in Bharat’.

The former minister said an individual’s speech cannot change the course of history.

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“…we have always called ourselves ‘Ki Khasi, U Khun Hynniewtrep Niawasa’ — that is our root and nobody, however high or mighty, can change the course of history through a few lines of speech,” Lyngdoh, who is also an MDC from Jaiaw, told reporters.

Bhagwat, who was on a two-day visit to Shillong on September 25 and 26, said during a press conference that all people living in India are Hindus.

Referring to historical facts, the UDP leader said, “We became colonised because the British could conquer India up to Myanmar for which Burmese had to sign the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826… Now, the next point is when did we become Christians? A vast chunk of us became Christians in 1841- 42. On June 2 in 1841, Reverend Thomas Jones arrived at Sohra. He probably took some time to learn Khasi before preaching so we presumed that the first Christian converts were in 1841-42.”

“Then came the presidential order of Schedule Tribes and the Khasis were named as one of the STs which means 1950. So we became colonized in 1826, we became Indian in 1947-48, before that we became Christians in 1841-42, then ST in 1950, then Meghalayan in 1970-72,” he added.

When asked if the RSS chief’s remark would do more harm to the prospect of the BJP in 2023, Lyngdoh said, “That’s a difficult question for me to answer because I do not understand their mindset. I only know that he has made this remark four months before elections are scheduled in Meghalaya. What is the motive, what is the agenda he knows better.”

He observed that people of the state are looking for a change after the current government’s five years were wasted, barring a “few bright spots here and there”.

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