ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prospects of Liberal Democracy in Meghalaya

The Khasi Students' Union (KSU), which came into existence in the year 1978, declared that it would work for upholding the Khasi identity by awakening respect for Khasi language, culture and tradition, fight against infiltration by outsiders, and ensure that the children of the soil control the economy, polity and land in Meghalaya. Initially KSU played a decisive role in state politics, though it was not affiliated to any political party. Later, however, the other tribes and the non-tribal communities living in the state started viewing it with suspicion and fear. KSU's hegemonic role had shrunk the democratic space for the rise of other organisations within the state. It was during KSU's agitation of 2001 that Meghalayan civil society demonstrated an acceptance of liberal democratic ideas by criticising KSU's ethnocentric agenda. Khasi society is now trying to make a break from the past and open itself to criticism and self-criticism.

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