TODAY -

Mingthing endorses ST demand for Meiteis
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 18 2018: Former Tribal Affairs Minister RV Mingthing has today endorsed support to the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur (STDCM)'s demand for enlisting Meitei/Meetei in the ST list saying the community was initially living/residing together with tribes in the hills as brothers and hence there should not be any disparity in granting ST status under the Constitution.

He said this while speaking to some media persons at his Lamphel Sanakeithel residence today and it was the 11th episode of the STDCM's ongoing campaign of seeking opinions from experts and eminent personalities of the State.

Recounting the history of Manipur, RV Mingthing asserted that the present valley region of Manipur was only a water body in the initial days of its evolution and the Meiteis/Meeteis were residing together with the tribals in the hills as brothers.

He went on to say that Meiteis/Meeteis only went to the valley region and settled there when the water level receded and Imphal valley dried up.

However, a rift between the Meiteis/Meeteis and tribal people developed when the earlier community embraced Hinduism/Ramandi enmasse and maintained the concept of purity and impurity among the communities.

The rift between the Meiteis/Meeteis and tribal people became even more severe when the tribal people in the hills were Christianized after British colonized Manipur.

He also recalled many mythological stories that revealed Meiteis/Meeteis as brothers apart from pointing out the similarities in the cultures and traditions of Meiteis/Meeteis and tribal communities while underscoring the close bond shared between them.

The Leirumfi which the Meiteis/Meeteis cannot avoid in their marriage ceremony till today are being worn by Tangkhul elders.

The attire was presented to a Meitei brother by a Tangkhul to feel his presence when the latter cannot go and attend the marriage ceremony of the daughter of the former.

Therefore, Meiteis/Meeteis are brothers of tribals and the indigenous people of the State.

Hence, they should be treated as one and must belong to the same category as tribes under the Constitution, Mingthing noted.

He also said that one must not react or obstruct when Meiteis/Meeteis demand enlistment in the ST list saying it is their right.

He added that the Central Government must take the proactive role in granting ST status to the Meiteis.

Maintaining that the incumbent CM's slogan "Go to the hills" is an appreciable step/move, Mingthing stated that love can win the hearts of the people and will bring peace, harmony and unity in the State.

He also appealed all to refrain from violence and shed hatred towards fellow beings while noting that Manipur can take the upper hand when North East as a whole is united and developed.


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