Home » Apple of discord: Why ST at this hour?

Apple of discord: Why ST at this hour?

by williamgurumayum
0 comment 4 minutes read

At first the mass agitation for introduction of legislation to safeguard the indigenous people of the state was assumed as a common issue for both the people at hills, who have been entitled the Scheduled Tribe Status and those living in valley as general category. But with the proposal made from various psuedo intellectuals by expressing their views about the need for conversion of the meitei community into the status that the tribal people of the state are enjoying has prompted some of the intellectuals who really care for their community to spread awareness about the problem that they faced if the Meitei are converted into ST. According to the series of retrospection from many tribal brothers and sisters it is learnt that meitei’s demand for inclusion to the ST category is not accepted by them. And why should it be?It is a known fact that, before the merger of the erstwhile kingdom Manipur, to the Indian Union in 15 October, 1949, after the signing of the controversial merger agreement with the dominant of India in September 21, 1949, Manipur was then a sovereign nation having its own constitution. It is also a fact that meitei are the majority community and since the time there were many small communities whose status was not that good as compare with the then ruling community. These whole of the smaller ethnic communities are really backward that the state has to give some kind of status to improve their situation to compete with the major community.But after Manipur was merged to the dominion of India (or say annexation) the so call majority meitei become a mere minority group when compare with those of the people of the mainland Indian community. Being an erstwhile kingdom with organised set up all the administration the meiteis are somewhat superior.But the influx of the illegal or legal migrants from the mainland has given a threat to this people.When the valley region which is a home of all the Manipuri communities has been dominated by these so called illegal or legal migrants, there is definitely a threat to the cultural, social and economic condition of the state as a whole. It is consider that if the identity of meitei is protected all the other Manipuri communities like those under the Kuki, Naga, Zou, Paite, Hmar,Meitei Pangal can be protected.Surprisingly the issue which should be supported by whole community has been somehow distorted with the idea of converting the whole meitei into ST status. This idea may be easy process but, the idea will definitely sabotage the healthy relationship between the meitei and other ST communities.Remember only few among this STs have managed to come up but 95 persons of the STs need to be supported. Let the ST issue be never brought up at this crucial hour or people need to think why the matter which may incite anger between the ST people and meitei community should be raise. There is also scepticism to the part of those demanding and ST status to get ILP status in the state.But the reality is that, we don’t feel it necessary for all the people to be schedule tribe for introduction of the ST status.Meanwhile, the relationship between hill people particularly the Mao community has been strengthen after the community’s vegetable vendors had started coming to Imphal for selling their goods instead of going to Nagaland. The decision of the Mao people to open their market was taken after some organisation in Nagaland had prevented them from selling their good at Kohima. Reason- The community fights the other for protection of the Manipur’s territorial boundary.Most surprising thing is that our state government don’t seem to show any interest to this new development. Except providing a land near Chingmeirong (which has not yet started construction)the government has done nothing to encourage their coming here in Imphal. No transport subsidy arrangement has been made,and no permanent site for these vendors has been established.Indigenous people need to be protected and framing of a legislation is a much for checking the influx but not by depriving the right of the tribal people at this hour.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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