Supporters of the movement for creation of a Garoland state have decided to take their demand to the highest echelons of power in New Delhi by taking out a procession on Parliament Street on Wednesday.
Over a hundred volunteers from the Garo Hills Statehood Movement Committee (GHSMC), which is in the forefront of the demand for the creation of a separate state, have already left for New Delhi to participate in a first of its kind rally in the national capital.
“This demand for a separate state is not a new chapter in the political movement of the Garos. It has been going on for decades through different organisations and political parties but successive governments at the Centre and in the state have failed to pay attention to the peoples’ demand,” GHSMC leader Nikman Ch Marak told The Shillong Times on Monday evening.
According to the GHSMC chairman, dozens will assemble at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi on June 6 during which leaders will raise the statehood demand.
The supporters, who are expected to comprise mainly of Garo youth and elders, will then lead a procession through Parliament Street.
Seldom has a struggle for statehood in Meghalaya reached beyond the boundaries of the state but the GHSMC decision to make their voice heard in the national capital is expected to create a political ripple effect.
The Garoland demand was first moved by the oldest political party from Garo Hills, the Garo National Council, during the creation of the state of Meghalaya in the early 70s’.
GNC president and legislator from Chokpot, late Clifford Marak, was a strong advocate for separate states for Khasi-Jaintia and the Garos.
He was backed by the Khasi Hills based political party HSPDP and its chief Hopingstone Lyngdoh who was also on the same wavelength seeking a separate Khasi state.
With the passing away of the two leaders who advocated a separate state, the mantle has now been taken over by the younger generation of leaders of the two political parties, GNC and HSPDP, and more so by the GHSMC in the Garo Hills.