Daughters should also get equal rights in father’s property as sons. Controversy has intensified in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on this issue. The state government was about to introduce a bill on this in the rainy session of the assembly. But due to the opposition of various organizations, the government has postponed it for the time being. However, the Women’s Commission has supported this draft. He had submitted the draft of this bill to Chief Minister Pema Khandu. In many tribes of the northeastern states, women have got equal rights as men. The Khasi community living in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills areas of Meghalaya is known for its matriarchal traditions. In this community, the women of the house make the decisions. Children are also given surnames after the mother’s name. The younger daughter is the owner of the house and property and the lineage continues in her name. Apart from Meghalaya, in many tribes and tribes of Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, women are the head of the family. Manipur has the only market (Emma Market) in the world where all the shopkeepers are women.
What is the latest case The Arunachal Pradesh government had decided to introduce a bill in the Legislative Assembly to legalize the scheme of giving equal rights to daughters in ancestral property as sons. The bill was drafted jointly by the State Commission for Women, the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society and the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. But due to the opposition of various organizations of the state and the growing controversy on this issue, the government has postponed this scheme for the time being. Various organizations and political parties in the state have termed the said draft as anti-tribal and anti-Arunachal. They argue that this will open the way for outsiders to capture tribal land in the state through marriage. Protesting organizations say that this proposed law is fine. But this right should not be given to young women who marry youths outside their tribe. But the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (APSU) has opposed the draft. The organization says that it will oppose any such bill that violates the rights and traditions of tribals. He says that there is no problem in making tribal women heirs of ancestral property. But if a tribal woman marries a non-tribal, she will have to be deprived of this right. Know: Bengia Tada, general secretary of the All Misi Youth Association, who has opposed the proposed bill for the welfare of orphans, claims that the draft is against the interests of tribal women.
“The organization respects the rights of tribal women, but the proposed bill will not benefit women. On the contrary, it will only harm the interests of local tribal women,” he says, adding that the state already has daughters as a father. Got equal rights in immovable property. But this right cannot be given to a woman who marries a non-tribal youth. Going forward, only these women will suffer. TADA claims that the proposed bill is in violation of the established traditions of tribal society. Chief Minister Pema Khandu had earlier said that the government would introduce a bill during the next session of the Assembly after studying its various aspects. Khandu said, “We are in favor of giving equal rights to our daughters in every way. But the issue of society, tribal traditions and inheritance needs proper debate and deliberation. State government minister and spokesperson Bamang Felix says “The government will proceed only after consultation with all the parties in this matter. The draft of this bill was submitted to the Chief Minister by the State Commission for Women. Therefore the government was planning to go ahead with the issue.” The Women’s Commission’s contention, on the other hand, has defended the draft of the controversial bill. It has asked organizations opposing it to make any comments or opinions. One should read the draft carefully before submitting and any suggestion in this matter will be welcomed.
Radhilu Chai, chairperson of the Women’s Commission, says, “We have prepared this draft after many years of consultation with various social and student organizations. It has taken a lot of research”. Haven’t read it carefully. It also has two new provisions regarding the rights of tribal women of the state marrying non-tribals. Radhilu explains, “A provision has been said that tribal women of the state have full right to inherit movable and immovable ancestral property. The Supreme Court has also said in one of its decisions that every woman born in the state is a tribal. And despite marrying youths from other communities, tribal status cannot be taken away from them.” Know: The condition of women in neighboring countries They say that some organizations are demanding to take away tribal status from women who marry outside youths. But the constitutional rights of tribal women by birth cannot be ignored. Radhilu says that the commission has also sought suggestions from various organizations to protect the interests of the women of the state. The Women’s Commission argues that this draft is not against any tradition. In this some things have also been included from the Special Marriage Act. Apart from this, it has been made clear that ancestral land or property means the property acquired by the parents and not the property of the ancestors. Despite this, keeping in mind the ever-increasing controversy, the government has decided to put it in cold storage for the time being. Report: Prabhakar Mani Tiwari.