Home » ‘Equality between Hill and Plain people’ as the justification for ST demand confuses tribal leader

‘Equality between Hill and Plain people’ as the justification for ST demand confuses tribal leader

by IT Web Admin
4 comments 3 minutes read

Imphal, May 25: Demands for ST status by Meetei/Meitei community, justifying it as the only means for creating social equality between the Scheduled Tribe Community of the Hill and the majority people of Plain region is confusing to many ST communities of the state.
A tribal student leader from Manipur University, in an exclusive telephonic conversation with the Imphal Times said that ST status is provided to the down trodden tribal community to make their status go in par with the majority Meitei people in the state as well as those advance people across the country. Keeping the Meitei to the similar status with the tribal community is nothing but an attempt to suppress the tribal people, he added.
“Already we the ST communities in the state have many problems and misunderstanding among ourselves as the number of tribal communities is around 38, we find no logical conclusion on what basis the ST status will bring equal status among the people who are already recognised as tribal and the majority Meitei people”, Bosco Jaiche Kharam, President of Manipur University Tribal Student union said while talking to Imphal Times. He however admitted that as long as the rights of the smaller communities already included in the ST list in the state is protected, he did not want to give comment to the demand of any community.
“Besides, I am an ST student studying among the majority people and I don’t feel safe giving comment”, Bosco said.
Those demanding the ST status had already stated that the rights of the smaller ST group will not be affected as the state can prepared their own law.  In a Judgement by Pradeep Nandrajog J of Delhi High Court in a case between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Memorial  vs Union Of India (UoI) and others, announced on 5 July, 2004, it was ordered that Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India enables the State to make provisions for reservation for appointments or reservation to posts in favor of any backward class of citizens, which in the opinion of the State is not adequately represented in the service under the State. Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India is an enabling provision. Its object is to create equality of opportunity by reverse discrimination, in employment in public offices. This equality of opportunity is achieved qua backward class of citizens by enabling them to compete amongst equals i.e. amongst themselves.
When asked about his opinion, Bosco said that before he gives a proper comment he needs to know why the majority people want to become Scheduled Tribe. However the tribal student body leader said that when there is still a lot of trouble and problems among the different communities belonging to the ST Category how they could make arrangement if the majority Meitei also include among the ST.
“It will make another unending problem between the already ST people and the majority Meitei”, Bosco added.

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L B Devi May 25, 2016 - 5:23 pm

The media house has committed a great blunder while using term valley and plain. Editors need to know clearly the geographical term valley which is laying between different hill ranges. In North east correct geographical term are used in Brahmaputra and Barak valley. Ganga plain, Northern plain etc are used. Even in J & K, people used to describe kashmir valley. Our media house should be very careful while using such important term because it will have severe political implication. Manipur as a whole is hill state with small valley in the middle.

L B Devi May 25, 2016 - 5:53 pm

Dear Editor, any type of vested interested privileged groups of people are always objected to any demand for the right of underprivileged groups. It is natural for all those privileged sections who enjoy all type of benefit under the state try to continue to corner all the benefit without sharing with others. Let us see the episode of Kakching, Moirang, Chairen, kaakching Khunou, Thanga people became SC status. Those Loi groups under Khurukhul, Sekmai, Leimram, Phayeng, Laimanai and Andro SC students were objecting the inclusion of of the above Loi of Kakching and other in SC status. There were total shutdown and severe protest all over the state. After the inclusion of the above Loi in the SC list, there is unity among the antagonist party. They are now forming a common platform to redress all their common interest forgetting all conflicting interest before inclusion. So, tribal student from Kharam tribes may not be happy to see the demand ST status of Meitei because he may perceive that they can’t monopolize the politics holding tribal cards. Using tribal cards, state is in the process of destruction by vested interested tribal students leaderships to get short term political interest. No reform in the land relation be possible untill and unless equal status of all communities of Manipur. In case of present demand once Meitei is included in ST list, it will break the artificial Berlin-wall created by Meitei elites in the 1950s. So, the pseudo intellects like MC Arun and Dhanabir Laishram with their shallow weak arguments can’t convinced the brillient Meitei youths of Indian. In electronic media and local news papers, such doctored public opinion are published under threat from UGs. A time is not far for a great revolt against the elite Meitei who think that Meitei public as their puppets.

L B Devi May 25, 2016 - 6:16 pm

Boscao Kharam, with your name you are not downtrodden section of Manipur. Sixty five years mean around three generation support and protection has made you one of the influential person despite a small tribe of around one thousand. Meitei community were earlier included in ST list during British time. Our elite section with their false pride did not want to continue to be recognized as ST at the the time of Schedule caste and Schedule tribe commission visiting in Manipur. In Imphal, you may ride auto-rickshaw, taxi, bus and trucks driven by many graduates. Moreover, you will find many masonary, carpenters, mechanics and daily wage eraners despite their higher educational qualification. Do you have any such type of labourer as done by meitei? How down trodden Meitei compared with so call tribal of Manipur. As you are enjoying all type of scholarship, you have better access to better educational facilities. Why you want to block the entry of meitei into such facilitities? don’t be to mean. It is the rightful demand from central government not from you people. Moreover, the empty propaganda of M C Arun, Dhanbir laishram through electronic media to mislead the people will lose respect to you all. All the neutral Meitei citizens are fed up of your politics of misguiding people in your dream political ideology. Demand of ST status of Meitei is only one line of demand should not be compromised for political interest of vested interested few pseudo intellects.

T P May 26, 2016 - 7:51 am

The demand of Meitei community for renew inclusion in ST list is highly reasonable demand as per the existing threat perception from different angles. If Meitei is put in non-tribal and others in tribal entity, there is no convergence year down the line. Year down the line most vested interested groups may use such artificial boundary to play divisive policy. As we know all the major civil society based in valley can’t extent their influence in hill areas. Already there is severe divide between hill and valley because of hill leaderships which are supported by valley based civil society and governance as per their action. According different administration and constitutional recognition of hill and valley people has been dividing people since independence. So, for a resurgent Manipur having common identity, Meitei people need to be put in ST at any cost that have long term political implication for inclusive identity. Some veteran intellectuals who always occupy public space in electronic media has been propagating the ST demand of Meitei in the wrong light. In ISTV discussion of ST demand of Meitei on May 24, 2016 is one sided. Why ISTV did not include other party supporting ST demand of Meitei? All points of Oja Arun and Dhanbir can be refuted one by one even laymen of ST demand committee.


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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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