TODAY -

KSO opposes ST status to Meiteis
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, July 23 2013: Kuki Students' Organization, General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) has strongly opposed the demand made by Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur Valley (STDCMV) for converting Meitei community, who belongs to general category, as a Scheduled Tribe under the Constitution of India.

The Kuki student body said that it is baffled, as the community which has been categorized under the general category since time immemorial and who enjoyed the privileges of being general status in every field in the state hitherto has suddenly demanded ST status.

"Moreover, the demand is absurd as unless proven otherwise that a community which has once considered the tribal as inferior status and untouchable community would be demanding ST status," the KSO-GHQ stated.

"It is an unfortunate and undeniable fact that the Meitei community who are enjoying maximum benefits under different categories in employment avenues at the time of recruitment of any post claiming as Other Backward Class (OBC), Schedule Caste (SC) and considering themselves as the general category as their exclusive category now raised demand for inclusion of Meitei community in the tribal category in addition to these categories.

The STDCMV's demand has now come out in the fore which is the long plan of the Meitei community eying to grab the benefits meant for the tribal community which is only 31 percent out of 100 percent i.e.31 posts for the tribals out of 100 posts created under the Government of Manipur at the time of recruitment in government or public services," the Kuki students' body said.

The KSO-GHQ then warned that if the demand of converting general Meitei community to ST is materialized it would be a nightmare for the present tribal in Manipur, as it is the tribal status and privileges reserved under the Constitution of India that make the tribal of Manipur alleviated their social position to some extent.

Compare to the Meiteis, the social-economic-politic status of tribal people is still far cry.

The population dominance would eventually assimilate the present tribal to Meitei tribal which would endanger the existence of indigenous tribal of Manipur.

Therefore, it is a plot of indirectly annihilating the existence of the present tribal in Manipur, the KSO-GHQ asserted.

KSO went on to say that it felt that having mongoloid physical features cannot be the basis for recognizing anyone as Scheduled Tribe.

"Similar physical structures and features will be found in different places in different communities or in different countries but recognizing all the resembling physical features as Scheduled tribes irrespective of different community backgrounds, traditions and practices will be absurd," the Kuki students' body reasons.

The KSO then said the STDCMV's demand for inclusion of Meiteis in tribal category indicates that the Meiteis are like 'a catalyst' which has no identity of its own.

If not, the committee would have been definitely constituted by few individuals of vested interest who hail from the Meitei community, the KSO-GHQ stated.


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