The proposed Arunachal Pradesh Marriage and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2021, which would grant land rights to girls has been faced with strong opposition in the state.
Several student unions of Arunachal Pradesh have opposed the proposed Arunachal Pradesh marriage and inheritance property bill, which is expected to be introduced in the forthcoming assembly session. The organizations claimed that the law was bought without consulting stakeholders and that, if passed, it would be a disaster for APSTs and would allow non-APSTs to settle down permanently.
Student groups said that they will not allow the Bill to be passed in the State Assembly unless a tribal woman who marries anyone belonging to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (non-APST) is stripped of her ST status and benefits.
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) said the Bill was being brought without consultations with the stakeholders and, if passed, would pave the way for the non-APSTs to settle down in the State permanently.
“This Bill is a bid to structurally change the customary laws or traditional settings of the State’s tribal people. It is aggressive and undemocratic in nature and largely undermines the views and opinions of all the community-based organizations,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said. ‘’Opposing the draft Bill doesn’t mean we are against the women of Arunachal Pradesh. But the government should first publish the draft it has been preparing on the issue of the offspring of non-APST men married to APST women,’’ he added.
“This bill forcefully brings about a structural change in the customary laws/traditional settings of the tribal people of Arunachal. It is aggressive and undemocratic in nature and largely undermines the views and opinions of all the community-based organizations,” the Adi (community) Student’s Union said in a press statement. Equal rights have been given to males and females in tribal societies since time immemorial although customary and traditional laws allow land to be given to men, it added.
Other student unions of the state are also against the proposed bill and demand for scrapping the bill.