Manipur government urged to send recommendation to Centre for inclusion of Meetei community in ST list

The Meetei Students Association (MSA) stated that the ethnic identity of the Meeteis will disappear if inclusion of Meetei in the ST list is delayed any further.

(File Photo: IFP)

The Meetei Students Association (MSA), Manipur University has asked the state government to send a recommendation to the Centre for inclusion of the Meetei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list at the earliest.

The responsibility of deciding whether the demand for inclusion of Meetei into ST list is genuine or acceptable will be taken by authority concerned under the government, stated a release issued by the association on Saturday.

The association urged other communities in the state to not portray the movement for inclusion of Meetei in ST status in a wrong light.

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It stated that for keeping the constitutional safeguards of the Meeteis, the association has been supporting the demands for inclusion of Meetei in the scheduled tribe list.

The movement is to protect the language, identity, culture and tradition of the indigenous Meetei community, it added. MSA claimed that the Meetei community has remained as a minority after Manipur merged with India in the year 1949 and the present population of the Meeteis is not even one per cent of the total population of 1.3 billion.

The release stated that inclusion of Meeteis in the ST list, given by the Indian Constitution for the smaller communities will be an important factor to protect the Meetei.

The ethnic identity of the Meeteis who have been deprived of many opportunities even in their own land will disappear if inclusion of Meetei in the ST list is delayed any further, stated the release.

The release continued that different individuals who think for the welfare of the Meetei have been supporting the democratic approach for inclusion of Meetei in the ST list, it added. 

The demand for inclusion of Meetei in ST list is now a question of life and death situation for the Meeteis. Therefore, it will be best for all if the sentiments of the Meetei are not affected and the relationships among all communities remain unaffected as well. 

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The motive behind the movement is to save the Meetei community and also bringing a communal harmony between different indigenous communities in the state, the release added.

Further the release added that such a legitimate demand should be supported by the farmers, teachers, students, writers and every section of Meeteis since the future generations will not forgive the present generation if it fails to protect the Meetei community.

First Published:Sept. 4, 2021, 10:05 p.m.

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