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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Traders who became rulers


On the occasion of U Syiem Tirot Sing memorial on the 17 July 2022 let us remind ourselves that after U Tirot Sing was arrested by the British East India Company the Hima Nongkhlaw (Native State) was imposed with huge tax in the form of a war tribute that the Hima had to pay to the East India Company at Saitsohpen, Sohra. This had pushed the Hima Nongkhlaw to total bankruptcy and taken a huge toll on poor subjects. Subsequently, several of U Tirot Sing’s successors too found it very hard to raise the huge amount of tribute to meet the demands of the British Company’s Government. During the conversation with a few Khasi authors it was told that Thomas Jones, the first Welsh Presbyterian missionary stood in solidarity with the subjects of Hima Nongkhlaw in challenging the imposition of this war tribute.

In the neo liberal era the business or corporate houses no longer finance elections, rather they themselves are running for public offices, like MDC/MLA and MP to claim full political control in order to expand their business interest at the cost of the people and the State.

Moreover, in the case of Meghalaya, since the past several years or a decade or so, the State government had been taken humongous loans from ADB et al. Now who will repay this loan? is it not the citizens of the State and what will be the implications on the economy, employment, education, health and development of the State in the near future? So the end result is structural adjustment.

During the era of U Tirot Sing, native States like the Hima Nongkhlaw had to pay war tribute to the British East India Company. Today and henceforth, we the citizens of the State will have to repay the loans with high interests to ADB and others?

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