Students' movement in Meghalaya is not a new phenomenon, prior to the birth of the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) a number of students' organization were formed by dynamic and concerned Khasi youths. These students' organizations actively took part and address the issues concerning the overall welfare of the Khasi community in general and the students in particular. Some of these organizations like the Khasi Students' Association (KSA) formed in 1955 were proactive in raising the educational standards of the Khasis. Other organizations follow suit like the Hill Students' Union (HSU) formed in 1960 which demands for setting up of a university and a law college in the state, the Khasi Jaintia Students' Union (KJSU) formed in 1968 which rejects the concept of an autonomous state proposed by the Government of India, the Meghalaya Students' Association (MSA) formed in 1970, the Shillong Students' Union (SSU) formed in 1970 which opposed the shifting of the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) headquarter from Shillong to Tura and the Meghalaya Students' Union (MSU) formed in 1975 which demands for the immediate deportation of the Bangladeshi refugees who migrated to Meghalaya during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. However all these organizations were short-lived and ceased to function along with their respective issues.
The Khasi Students' Union (KSU) was basically formed to address academic related issues with the objective of prioritized educational facilities for the Khasi community. These issues were later designated as ‘in-campus' issues of the Union. Lack of political will to address the social, economical, political, cultural, etc. issues plaguing the Khasi community from the various political leaders and parties alike prompted the leadership of the KSU to shoulder the responsibilities of addressing these critical issues which evokes a welcoming response from the Khasi populace. These issues other than academic, were designated as ‘off-campus' issues by scholars.
Formed in 1978, the KSU was led by a group of enthusiastic students with a spirit of Khasi nationalism. The office bearers of the KSU during 1978 were as follows:
- President: Bah Panbor Tariang (NEHU)
- Vice Presidents: Bah Aibuit S. Rynjah (St. Edmund's College) & Kong Bluecylian Jyrwa (NEHU)
- General Secretary: Bah Geoffrey Basan (St. Anthony College)
- Joint Secretaries: Bah S. Marshall Nongkynrih (Shillong Polytechnic), Bah Langstong Slong (Synod College), Kong Bertha Dkhar (St. Mary's College) & Kong Velerina Basaiawmoit (Lady Keane College)
- Treasurer: Kong Miranda Hynniewta (St. Mary's College)
- Auditors: Bah Vijay Lyngdoh (Sankardev College) & Bah Fearless Warjri (Shillong College)
Members of the KSU can only be from the Khasi community, which is a conglomeration of the Khynriams, Pnars, Bhois, Wars, Marams, Lyngngams and Dikos sub-groups irrespective of religion. In its 43 years since its inception, the Union was led by selfless and dedicated leaders with widespread memberships from across the length and breadth of Khasi inhabited areas. The following is a list of all the Presidents of the Union from 1978 to 2018:
- (L) Panbor Tariang (1978)
- Michael N. Syiem (1979-1980)
- Robert Kharshiing (1981)
- (L) Bull N. Lyngdoh (1983–1991)
- (L) Banshan Nongbet (1991-1994)
- Paul Lyngdoh (1994-2002)
- Samuel B. Jyrwa (2002-2012)
- Daniel Khyriem (2012-2017)
- Lambok S. Marngar (2017-till date)
The incumbent Central Executive Council members of the Khasi Students' Union are as follows:
- President: Lambok S. Marngar
- Vice President: Biangbor L. Paliar
- General Secretary: Donald V. Thabah
- Assistant General Secretary: Readyon Stone Nongrum
- Assistant General Secretary: James Hitler Mawphniang
- Assistant General Secretary: Eric A. Nongkynrih
- Finance Secretary: Manly Nongpluh
- Assistant Finance Secretary: Rapborlang Nongrum
- Assistant Finance Secretary: Sonstar Nongkhlaw
- Organizing Secretary: Ostarnic Marbaniang
- Assistant Organising Secretary: Dakishanlang Z. Malngiang
- Assistant Organising Secretary: Iashan Borlang Mukhim
- Assistant Organising Secretary: Pynkmenlang Sanmiet
- Education Secretary: Raymond Kharjana
- Assistant Education Secretary: Reuben A. Najiar
- Assistant Education Secretary: Shiningstar Kharbihkhiew
- Publicity Secretary: Pynshai Borlang Rani
- Office Secretary: Spaindarsing Lyngkhoi
- Assistant Office Secretary: Bandonkupar Nongbri
- Litigation Secretary: Shemphang L. Mawphlang
- Environment & Cultural Secretary: Barikular Nongsiej
- Executive Member: Streamly S. Niangti
- Executive Member: Ferdynald Kharkamni
- Executive Member: Vincent Makri
- Executive Member: John F Nongsiang
- Executive Member: Forwardman Nongrem
- Executive Member: Ian Gilmore Nonghuloo
- Executive Member: Shemphang Nonglang
The Khasi Students' Union (KSU) had been vociferously voicing its concerns regarding issues pertaining to the welfare of the Khasi community. The Union had been instrumental in tackling the major issues which pose a threat to the community. A plethora of issues and activities which are detrimental to the survival and rights of the indigenous Khasis are vehemently opposed by the KSU. Being an apolitical pressure group, the Union resorts to a myriad forms of agitations to air its grievances if the Government or other groups remains adamant to its concerns.
One of the major issues featuring in the KSU's agenda is influx. The massive flow of migrants into the state from Bangladesh, Nepal and mainland India since the 1970's had brought an unprecedented threat to the survival of the indigenous communities of Meghalaya. A proportionate amount of land has been snatch by these immigrants. Adding more woes, migrants tend to grab the economic, social and political rights of the Khasis. The KSU since its inception has been spearheading for deportation of these immigrants which can reduced the indigenous populations to a minority thereby altering the demography of the state. Time and time again the Union has demanded from the Government to implement laws and effective mechanisms to curb the unabated flow of immigrants into the state. Some of the demands of the KSU are implementation of the Eastern Bengal Frontier Act 1873 popularly known as the Inner Line Permit (ILP), the Inter State Migrant Workmen Act 1979 or Work Permit, the Three Tier ID Card (cut off year 1971), etc. and the exclusion of the state of Meghalaya from the purview of the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950. Currently the Union is in dialogue with the Government for the full implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, Meghalaya Benami Transaction Act (Amendment) and the Entry and Exit Points.
The Government of India since the early 1990's had its eye on the rich Uranium deposits in the state of Meghalaya. The Central Government in connivance with the state Government and the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had made many attempts to mine this radioactive mineral from the regions of West and South West Khasi Hills Districts since 1993. However all these attempts did not prevail due to strong resentment amongst the public spearheaded by the KSU. The Khasi Students' Union does not want another Jadugoda in the making whereby lands will be scorched; water bodies and the atmosphere will be polluted with radioactive particles due to Uranium mining. A series of agitations had been spearheaded by the Union to express its opposition towards the nefarious designs of the central Government to mine Uranium in the state.
Another prominent issue that had caused much deliberation in the state is the Railhead Project proposal. It is a known fact that railways will easily facilitate influx of outsiders into state. The KSU though not fully opposed to this project yet is against the immediate implementation until and unless conspicuous effective mechanisms are in place to combat the unregulated entry of outsiders into the state. With regards to this issue also, the Union has been agitating since 1983 the latest being in May 2017.
Other issues that the Union had taken up are the implementation of the Education Policy, Sports & Youth Policy, reorganization of the state's border, etc.
Office of the Khasi Students' Union, Jaiaw Chapel road,
Shillong, Meghalaya - 793002