The World Meetei Convention (WMC) demanded the recommendation of inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the scheduled tribe (ST) status to be tabled in the state Assembly session and deliver justice to the small population of around 18 lakhs Meetei/Meitei community settled across the globe.
As the past leaders of the Meetei/Meitei community claimed themselves as not indigenous or native but a part of a larger Aryan society, the Meetei/Meitei are allowed to settle in only the valley areas which constitute only 10 per cent of the land of Manipur as per the Indian Constitution, said WMC chairman Heikrujam Nabashyam while speaking to the media on Monday in Imphal.
Nabashyam said because of the historical blunder made by the past leaders, the Meetei/Meitei are still not a rightful or indigenous citizens of Manipur in their own motherland.
The chairman drew the attention of chief minister N Biren for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the ST category to rectify the historical blunder made by the leaders of the Meetei/Meitei community in the past.
Advisor of WMC Potsangbam Sonamani supplemented that giving of the ST status to the Meetei/Meitei will help in strengthening the bonds between the peoples of hills and valley in the state as the whole state will come under one administration and equal law.
He also lambasted opposition parties, especially the MLAs belonging to Meetei/Meitei for not raising the issue to the state government. Those MLAs should keep in mind that the demand of inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the ST category is for the welfare of all the future generations of the community, he added.
"The demand is not anti to any one. It is to bring more unity between the difference indigenous community settled in the state," said Sonamani. He even claimed that the Assam and Tripura governments are ready to give ST status to Meetei/Meitei settled in their state, if the parent government (Manipur government) recognised the Meetei/Meitei as ST.
Aug. 23, 2021, 6:57 p.m.