TODAY -

ST status demand legitimate, says STDCM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 14 2019: Clarifying that the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) is not an organi-sation formed by a bunch of unknown people, general secretary of the committee, K Bhogendrajit has appealed to one and all to lend support to the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list of the Constitution.

Speaking to media persons at STDCM office at Ima Khunthokhanbi Shanglen, DM College campus today, Bhogendrajit informed that STDCM comrpises of elders, experts, intellectuals as well as people from all walks of life.

He admitted that the issue of granting ST status to the Meitei community was indeed started by a few individuals, but now, many from the Meitei community have realised that this is a valid demand and the issue has become one for the public and not just for the committee.



ST status demand legitimate, says STDCM
ST status demand legitimate, says STDCM


As such, arguing that one will not support the demand, even if it is reasonable, just because it was started by a few people, is a completely unreasonable argument, he claimed.

Bhogendrajit continued that inclusion into the ST list is a right granted to a community by the Constitution of the country and the decision to either get included in the list or not is entirely upto the said community and not any other external players.

The inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list is to be determined as per the criteria and regulations of the country by the authorities concerned of the Central Government and the role of the State Government is simply to recommend the same to the Centre.

Explaining that these criteria/regulations are dependant on the political system of the time, Bhogendrajit clarified that the argument that inclusion of the community in the ST list will de-motivate the youth to achieve higher goals, is simply an illogical statement.

STDCM regards itself as no less than any other organisations who are working for the betterment of Manipur and its people.

The committee will never compromise any issue which concerns the welfare of the Meitei/Meetei.

There may be organisations or associations which are easily bought but STDCM is not one of them, he claimed.

On the other hand, Bhogendrajit stated that it is extremely unfortunate that some associations have linked the ST status demand with the Framework Agreement signed between the Central Government and the NSCN IM.

The members of STDCM all love their motherland and their community and the committee strongly condemns the attempt to sideline all these positive points and project STDCM in the wrong light, he lamented.

Appealing all those concerned to stop such cheap tactics immediately, he explained that STDCM is working as per the aspiration and the sentiments of the people, unlike some others who are trying to misguide the people.

Bhogendrajit narrated that STDCM has never turned its back on key issues of the State like territorial integrity, ILP, CAB etc and added that all should realise that the demand for inclusion of Meitei in the ST list is no less important than any other issues of the State.

He dismissed the claims made by some associations that demanding ST status for the Meitei/Meetei community is akin to attempting to encroach upon other's benefits/status, as baseless and false.

He reasoned that such claims is the main factor fuelling tension among various communities, not the ST demand.

Bhogendrajit further urged all those concerned not to project the ST demand as an attempt to create friction and tension among the communities residing in the State and clarified that the demand has been raised after carefully analysing what an indigenous population must do to survive in a country like India.

STDCM has been organising programme/campaign for collecting feedback and opinions of various elders and experts of the State on this issue for a long time and it is still ongoing.

He then appealed to all the CSOs, organisations, clubs, Meira Paibis and the people to support the ST status demand for the Meitei/Meetei.


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