Meghalaya legislator against Hindi songs

A Meghalaya legislator Monday spoke out against the inclusion of Hindi songs in government-sponsored festivals which were meant to promote the culture of the indigenous people of the state.

"Government-sponsored festivals should actually give a platform to items which are in sync with the culture and tradition of the people and Hindi songs do not epitomize the culture of the indigenous people," Independent legislator John Leslee K. Sangma said during Question Hour in the assembly.

He, however, did not advocate a ban on Hindi songs during such events.

The legislator from the South Tura assembly constituency also wanted to know the reasons behind the "winter festivals" organised by the tourism department.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said such festivals are organised to provide visitors a glimpse of the culture, tradition, cuisine, handicrafts of the people and to foster unity and understanding of the cultural diversity of the state.

Moreover, stakeholders at the district level are being invited to structure the programmes for such festivals, he said.

However, Leslee Sangma said the chief minister's reply was contrary to what is actually happening. "You have singers from Shillong and elsewhere who come (to a festival in Tura) and sing Hindi songs which do not actually reflect the culture of the people," he said.