language politics

Congress criticises Meghalaya governor for delivering Assembly speech in Hindi

MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh walked out of the House, claiming Ganga Prasad had disrespected people’s sentiments.

The Congress in Meghalaya did not take well to Governor Ganga Prasad’s decision to open the state’s Budget Session in Hindi on Friday. The Opposition party held that the governor was trying to popularise the concept of “one nation, one culture, one language”, which the Bharatiya Janata Party has been accused of repeatedly, The Shillong Times reported.

“For the first time in the history of Meghalaya, a governor addressed the House in Hindi, and this is to popularise one nation, one culture, one language,” said Congress leader PT Sawkmie, who is the Opposition chief whip. “This infringes on the norms and will create a precedence as members will resort to the use of Khasi, Garo and Pnar languages in the days to come.

English is the official language of the Meghalaya Assembly. Copies of the governor’s speech were circulated among members, though some pointed out later that Prasad had skipped out a number of paragraphs while delivering his speech in Hindi.

Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh walked out of the House after the governor continued his speech in Hindi for nearly 10 minutes. A former urban affairs minister of Meghalaya, she claimed Prasad had disrespected the sentiments of the people of Meghalaya by speaking in Hindi, News18 reported.

“Democracy by its nature promotes mutual respect,” Lyngdoh said. “I had to put my foot down when the governor went on speaking in Hindi for seven to eight minutes, skipping paragraphs and even going to the extent of calling Garo Hills ‘Gora Hills’. We don’t have any such place in Meghalaya.”

Speaker Donkupar Roy defended the move, saying, “The official language here is English, but as per the rule, anyone can speak in their mother tongue, provided they give the translated version beforehand.”

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also defended Governor Prasad, saying it was “not an issue” that the speech was in Hindi as it is not a foreign language and is one that is spoken countrywide.

The Congress won the most number of seats – 21 – in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. But the chief minister’s National People’s Party formed the government with 19 legislators and an alliance with six MLAs from the United Democratic Party, four from the People’s Democratic Front, two each from the Hill State People’s Democratic Party and the BJP, one from the Nationalist Congress Party and one Independent MLA.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What is it about Tom Clancy’s characters?

In the mammoth Jack Ryan series, Tom Clancy creates a compelling protagonist who is as cerebral as he is action-oriented.

Jack Ryan (Ph.D., CPA, KCVO) has had an eventful life. He’s served as a marine, made a fortune worth millions after retirement from the military, earned a doctorate degree in history and beaten up a lot of bad guys along the way. He is a unique action hero, in that he has also been a US Marine, an investment broker, a history teacher, a CIA analyst rising to Deputy Director, National Security Advisor, vice president and eventually the President of the United States of America! This multipotentialite is the protagonist of Tom Clancy’s ‘Ryanverse’ - the term used to refer to the fictional universe he built over 10 books.

Jack Ryan is a complex hero. Before he was beating up bad guys Hollywood-style, he also took a year to learn to walk again and battled painkiller addiction. Before he became the POTUS, jet-setting around the world on official matters, he nursed a crushing phobia of flying. A reluctant president, he nonetheless campaigns for a second term and even has foreign policy named after him - the ‘Ryan Doctrine’- in the tradition of some past US presidents.

Other prominent characters in Ryanverse have equally rollercoaster-like story arcs. John Clark/Kelly - Ryan’s bodyguard - is tragedy’s favourite child, having lost his parents in childhood and later wife. After a whirlwind adventure involving two gunshots and 16 murders, John Kelly ended up having to change his identity to John Clark. He, unlike Ryan, has an unusually strong aversion to drugs.

In the later books, Tom Clancy also devotes space to Jack Ryan Jr, who takes after his father more ways than one. An intelligence analyst by profession, Jack Jr, too, is adept in firearms, close-quarter combat, surveillance and espionage. Jack Jr has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, a CIA operative herself, with whom he parts after she’s revealed to be an indirect intelligence asset.

Ryanverse is replete with scores of characters of all shades - spies, soldiers, terrorists, politicians and criminals - that set in motion events that threaten the course of world order. Clancy’s varied interests and love for research culminates in an action series which also explores history, politics, international relations and the human condition, especially when it comes to loss and grief. All his prominent characters are fighting some personal demons even as they chase down enemies that are equally complex.

Ryanverse’s charismatic leading man has also been the focus of five Hollywood films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine have all portrayed the iconic character at various stages of his career. Now, John Krasinski takes up the role in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, playing a gifted-analyst-turned-reluctant-action-hero thrown into a global terrorism conspiracy. Watch the trailer of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan below.

Play

Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. You can watch it here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon Prime Video and not by the Scroll editorial team.