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25 years on: Restructuring Khasi society yet to gain acceptance
SHILLONG: It has been a 25 year journey for crusaders from Synkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT) who has been on a campaign to reform the family structure in the Khasi society. This is yet to get the acceptance of a majority of the people of the indigenous community.
SRT president Keith Pariat gave insights on this while delivering his presidential address during the concluding function of the silver jubilee celebration of the organization which was held at Don Bosco Youth Centre here on Tuesday.
He further admitted that it was difficult to change the system which was being practiced for many decades now.
Pariat was of the opinion that the old matrilineal system, in which property and the family name passed from mother to daughter needed a change into the patrilineal system as found in majority of the societies in the world.
According to him, the matrilineal system has brought negative impacts to the society especially by dampening the spirit of the male members whose status continued to be on the lower side.
"We have seen that community where the male has the overall control is better place compared to the matrilineal society," he said.
SRT president said that many of the male members of the Khasi society are dying at an early due to depression since they do not earn a respect neither in his own family nor in his wife family. He also attributed the early drinking issues to the fact that males did not quite have a say in matters related to the society.
Pariat says Khasi men have become so accustomed to a life of no responsibility that they have no drive left and feel "useless".
He stressed on the fact that men in the Khasi society have minimal roles as fathers or uncles. According to him, the current scenario was so bad that there is a distinct difference in celebrations when a girl or a boy is born!