THOUBAL, May 15: Another public convention held today at Lamding High School, Thoubal under the aegis of the Protection and Preservation Committee Manipur (PPCM) expressed strong disapproval of the ongoing campaign for inclusion of the Meiteis in ST category.
The meeting was presided by PPCM convenor Dr Y Mani Khuman and National awardee teacher Tekcham Rameshwar.
Addressing the gathering, Change and Peace Action (CPA) director RK Bobychand said that Manipur was merged into Indian Union at the behest of the then Congress leaders not long after British colonial rulers even though the question of whether Manipur should be merged into India or not was being debated intensively.
People of Manipur were divided by the Indian Constitution since 1950 by creating two categories namely General and Scheduled Tribe.
Reservation politics being played by Indian politics are highly controversial. Meiteis were quite advanced in terms of different aspects of civilization since the time of monarchy, Bobychand said.
Ahoms who came to Assam in the 13th century cannot be compared with the Meiteis. Ahoms had started losing their traditions, culture and identity while Meiteis have been successfully preserving and protecting their culture, traditions and identity.
Saying that ST status may be beneficial to income tax payers, he urged the public to identity who are the vanguards of the campaign for ST status.
Although Manipur has limited mineral resources, Meiteis are frontrunners in terms of human resources among all the North Eastern States.
There are many Meitei scientists and professors at different universities across the world, he claimed.
AMUCO advisor NC Khuman said that all the people who were attending the convention believe in unity.
He then appealed to all the people not to follow those people who don’t believe in unity and have taken a separate path.
The term tribe should not be applied to the tribes of Manipur alone. Tribal people in Manipur are already qualified to be clubbed together with Meiteis in General category.
The assumption that equality can be established in Manipur society through enlistment of Meiteis in ST category is something implausible.
Most of the organisations/groups which are shouting for ST status were never heard of earlier.
The public convention attended by students, local club volunteers, meira paibis and the general public resolved that the campaign for ST status is an anti-thesis to the history and future of Manipur.
It further resolved to persuade all concerned to abort the ongoing campaign for ST status.