Shillong: In 2018, when the then Governor of Meghalaya, Ganga Prasad, addressed the Legislative Assembly in Hindi, the former Congress MLA, Ampareen Lyngdoh, staged a walkout.
However, in a recent incident where Governor Phagu Chauhan also addressed the Assembly in Hindi, Lyngdoh, who is now a Cabinet minister with the NPP, chose to remain silent.
While some may assume that Lyngdoh’s silence is due to her being in government now, she clarified that it was because her role had changed. “Just because Ampareen has gone into government, that does not mean that the Opposition shall not highlight it,” she said. “Despite the fact that our roles in government change, it is not unusual for roles in government to change. It’s not as if I’m in government, so I should also rise. I have to maintain the protocol.”
Lyngdoh’s explanation suggests that her decision to remain silent was not influenced by her current position in government, but rather by her understanding of the protocol in such situations.
Earlier in the day, During the Governor’s address, the Voice of People Party (VPP) MLAs staged a walkout in protest, expressing their resentment that the speech was delivered in Hindi, a language that the members of the House do not understand.
Lyngdoh expressed satisfaction that the issue has been highlighted once again and emphasized the need to maintain consistency and remind the Government of India that the people of Meghalaya do not speak Hindi and that they are a non-Hindi-speaking community. “The government of India should take note that they should send Governors who could preferably speak the language spoken by the people,” said Lyngdoh.
Former Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, who is also the Songsak MLA, stated that the VPP’s decision to stage a walkout was self-explanatory. Meanwhile, TMC leaders who remained silent during the Governor’s address provided an explanation, stating that their views expressed in the tenth Legislative Assembly House are on record.
Dr Mukul stated that they do not wish to repeat what has already been raised in the House, as those concerns are already on record and available for review.
He emphasized the importance of recognizing and appreciating the enormous diversity in India from linguistic, cultural, and religious perspectives.
He believes that it is crucial to approach situations in a manner that is in line with the aspirations of people from diverse backgrounds in a nation such as India.
Dr Mukul further noted that the response of political parties to a given situation is critical, as different parties have different ways of handling such situations. He added that it is ultimately up to the conscience of the leaders of those respective political parties.
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“How do we approach things in a manner which is in sync with that whole aspirational aspect of these people from a diverse linguistic, cultural and religious background in a nation such as ours?” stated Dr Mukul.
The 11th House of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly commenced the Budget Session on March 20 and is scheduled to end on March 28, 2023.
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